We keep our ear to the ground for the interesting stats, insights and discussion points you need to feel in the know.

1. The business case for emerging technology

A woman presenting to a room of people

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and quantum computing are just a few of the emerging technologies dominating headlines in 2023. Yet despite this flurry of emerging tech, why is new technology adoption so difficult to achieve? According to the EY Emerging Tech at Work 2023 survey, most US employees say they are open to or already adopting emerging technology into their day-to-day personal and professional lives. Take Gen Z and millennial employees for example. They are more likely than other generations to say they currently use generative AI to draft emails (24% for Gen Z and 27% for millennial vs. 12% for Gen X and 6% for baby boomers). Yet many of them do not feel empowered to use, adopt or embrace emerging technologies, especially if they don’t see their senior leadership team leading the way. In fact, the survey reveals that 59% of employees overall say senior leaders at their companies have been slow to embrace emerging technologies and 48% believe that the senior leaders do not see the value of adopting them. So, what’s the way forward?  

How talent feels about emerging tech

2. Level up with zero-party data

Hundreds of narrow yellow light beams, glowing and beaming up from the bottom to the top of the image

Data has been helping businesses better understand their target audiences for years. But there’s one type that’s been overlooked. Zero-party data. Forrester defines zero-party data as “data that a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand.” Say if you were to directly ask a customer about themselves, the information they share with you would be considered zero-party data. It is therefore unlike the more popular third-party data, which is collected from external sources, often without the consumer knowing. So, what’s all the fuss about zero-party data? And who would choose to give their data to a brand? Well, it leads to better personalization because it contains deeper and better-quality information than third party data. It also helps companies comply with data privacy laws, in a world where consumers are increasingly privacy aware. The way you capture it will depend on how your customers currently engage with your brand. But as an example, think ranking buttons, newsletter sign ups and quizzes. How can you take advantage of its potential? 

Zero-party: The next frontier in consumer data

3. Translating climate enthusiasm into real change

A group of young people sitting in a home environment; one person is presenting using a laptop

In survey after survey, when asked which issues are most important to Gen Z and its younger counterpart, Gen Alpha, climate change appears at or near the top of every list. Younger generations are the driving force toward building a more sustainable future, but translating their enthusiasm into meaningful and lasting change isn’t easy. Educators and schools, as those on the front lines of education systems around the world, should without doubt play a critical role. How? EY teamed up with JA Worldwide to answer this question and shed light on which resources Gen Alpha and Gen Z are using to learn about sustainability and climate change. The findings were clear: Younger generations are extremely aware of global sustainability issues, but they rely more on social media than schooling when it comes to learning about them. The report also found that social media was rated the least trustworthy source of sustainability information, and that young people want more – and better – sustainability education from their schools and teachers instead. How can educators around the world work with their students to make this a reality? Julie Teigland, EY EMEIA Area Managing Partner, shares four ideas with FE News.

Four ideas to help educators turn young people’s enthusiasm to action on climate change

4. Has your business faced a cyber attack? 

A woman fixing a computer server, in a room filled with them

With some of the most protected public and private companies falling victims to cyber-attacks, it’s becoming clear that even substantial investment in incident prevention is not enough. And cybersecurity solutions are not bulletproof — some inherently have weaknesses that attackers know how to exploit, such as encrypting malware-laden files to bypass content inspection gateways. These attacks are costing businesses millions. In 2022, the global average total cost of a data breach estimated at US$4.35m. It’s clear that cyber breaches must be responded to swiftly. However, organizations took an average of 207 days to identify a breach in that same year. But this statistic only included breaches that were detected – sophisticated cyber breaches are likely to go undetected. This means threat actors can potentially lurk undetected in your network and systems, doing reconnaissance, collecting credentials, staging the final attack or exfiltrating sensitive data. So, what can businesses do to protect themselves?  

Why cyber breach detection is a crucial part of defense 

5. Quantum computing is coming

A close up of the pipes and cylinders of a quantum computer

Why is quantum computing important? “Right from the start, quantum computers weren’t entirely about replacing their classical cousins,” says Hans Jessen, EY Global Robotics and Web3 Leader. “Instead, they were (and are) intended to tackle specific kinds of problems that classical computers either can’t solve in a useful timeframe or will never be able to solve at all.” These are typically complex problems involving many factors and possible combinations. And solving them could help us achieve great things. Think simulating new molecules to speed up drug discovery, planning truly sustainable urban environments and optimizing global shipping routes to be green – as well as profitable. Not so long ago, everyone thought quantum computing was sci-fi. But after decades of graft from scientists, technologists and engineers, the past few years have seen incredible progress. “Whether it takes a few years or longer, with continued investment and ingenuity, I believe large-scale quantum problem-solving will come,” says Hans.