What does the future of technology look like? It’s a question the tech industry constantly asks itself. The past 18 months have been ones of momentous change for all sectors, but especially for those in IT – and more change is expected in 2022.
Sustainable energy solutions, hyperautomation, Internet of Behaviours (IoB) and artificial intelligence are amongst just a few of the trends that have grown over the past year. So, why are they important to the sector and what other trends can we expect to see in the new year?
The identification and protection of data has and will continue to be a key driving force behind new technological innovation. “We can expect to see a steep rise in US state-by-state data privacy requirements and movement toward a potential federal privacy law in 2022,” predicts Jeff Sizemore, chief governance officer, Egnyte. “In fact, by 2023, it’s expected that 65% of the world’s population will be covered by privacy laws.
“This becomes even more critical with many companies’ employees working from home or adapting to hybrid work models. Increasingly, these organisations are aiming to be more data-driven by measuring employee productivity. To achieve desired productivity, organisations will need to ask employees intrusive questions, and those questions will create their own privacy impacts.
“Increasingly, personal privacy is being viewed as a human right, and the way vendors handle consumer and employee data will determine how much the public trusts them and wants to conduct business with them.”
Julian Boneham, data practice director at Node4 expands on this: “Adding to this challenge is that data is increasingly shared in different formats and stored in different locations – from private infrastructure to public cloud. This causes challenges in supporting and managing the databases, as well as presenting difficulties in getting meaningful insights from the data to aid effective business decision making.
“As such, in 2022, we are likely to see increased demand from customers for a modern data platform, where all of their data is easily accessible within a modernised data warehouse. This approach will give access to the tooling within public cloud platforms, such as AI and machine learning, enabling predictive analytics as opposed to just business intelligence. This will be possible through the accessibility of the functionality that exists within some of the public cloud options, such as enabling data foresight as opposed to insight.”
The rise of ransomware
One of the most concerning trends that we saw throughout 2021 has been the rise of data breaches, in particular the rise of ransomware attacks. As such, “Disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) will become a key necessity for many organisations and its adoption will skyrocket”, states Ziv Kedem, CEO of Zerto, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
“Most organisations are looking to offload capital expenditures and only pay for what they use. DRaaS, managed or unmanaged, allows companies to eliminate the costs and administrative overhead of managing and maintaining their own purchased secondary sites. Why refresh hardware every couple of years? Why allocate time, resources, and labour to something that doesn’t drive revenue? DRaaS brings organisations a rapid, efficient way to reduce costs and only pay for the applications that need protection.”
Smarter tech investments
As budgets are tightening many companies are going to be faced with the tough decision of what needs to be prioritised, and as such, customers will be looking to make smart tech investments in 2022. Stuart Abbott, AVP & GM, UK & Ireland at Commvault suggests, “One solution to this is reducing the overall number of vendors you work with as a way of reducing costs. Look for best-in-breed solutions that can cover more of your businesses’ needs. People are increasingly looking for pay-as-you-grow solutions, paying for only what you need and use – solutions like this will prosper in 2022.”
In tandem with this, customers are not only prioritising smarter tech solutions, but sustainability is increasingly becoming a primary concern. Terry Storrar, managing director, Leaseweb UK explains, “The push for more energy-efficient innovation will continue to drive the technology sector. For the data centre industry, this poses a notable challenge. Data centres do not naturally lend themselves to being environmentally friendly – not only does their upkeep require large amounts of space and equipment, but most importantly they require copious amounts of power.
“It is a stark fact that inefficient legacy infrastructure will have to become a thing of the past, as the industry moves to a more virtual environment with energy-efficient technology. Everyone should and will be looking at ways to assist in the climate change program; technology and data centre providers have a big part to play in ensuring that they optimise energy efficiency and are constantly looking to improve this.”
Many industry leaders are looking more and more for new solutions that can simulate processes and tool changes without having to implement them manually. “That’s where we’ll see Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerge in 2022,” predicts Bob Davis, CMO at Plutora.
“In the DevOps world, Value Stream Management (VSM) is able to highlight past events, identify where the bottlenecks are and share visibility that helps to provide insights into the efficiency of an enterprise software factory. The early adopters that embrace AI are going to do so in order to take these insights to the next level in 2022, asking, Where are the bottlenecks going to be in the future?”
Another closely related technology that has been around for a long time, but has yet to go mainstream, is augmented reality (AR). Gareth Tolerton, product innovation director, Totalmobile explains, “When this technology is done right, it will have major implications for all sectors, including the field service management sector.
“AR will empower workers and enable them to achieve more than they could on their own. For mobile workers, it will enable an increase in a mixture of physical and virtual visits to customers, as more will be able to be achieved via AR technology. It will provide a communications platform to share knowledge and experience between workers, and will hopefully help to use resources more efficiently because you get the knowledge where it needs to be and allows collaboration without multiple workers all travelling to one location.”
Finally, Simon Spring, operations director, EMEA, WhereScape predicts that data lakehouses will continue to take hold in 2022. He highlights, “The term ‘data lakehouse’ has become increasingly popular in recent years, and 2022 will be the year we see a significant leap in adoption.
“At a time of exponential growth in data, we know that companies are looking for new, innovative data infrastructures, relying on technologies for data-driven decisions and insights more than they ever have before.
“The data lakehouse is a concept that bridges the gap between the data warehouse and the data lake, which to some degree, are just two sides of the same coin. Both serve as storage locations for large amounts of data. However, each technology has a different structure, supports different formats and has been optimised for different purposes. Together, though, enterprises can experience the best of both worlds, combining features and functionality into a single system which means data teams can move faster and unearth deeper insights into the data they are working with.”