Technology is constantly changing and evolving. One need only look at the advancements that were made over the past decade. For example, in 2010, Apple released its first iPad and its 4th generation of iPhone. This year, not only is the tech giant on different generations and variations of the iPad and iPhone, but they have also released different smart applications: including TVs, smartwatches, air pods and many more.
We’ve also seen continued developments in AI, automation and smart tech to name but a few. Not only is this likely to continue, but the industry is being projected to grow exponentially in the future. However, this does raise the question of which technology will lead the way forward in the next year?
As a society, we look for ways to not only survive but thrive in our environment. This means that tech trends can change in an instant, depending on what will help our daily lives and will enhance our capabilities. For instance, the challenges brought on by COVID-19 led to a huge increase in online chat and video call services, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Here are the four tech innovations we believe will make the biggest impact on 2022…
Before we reveal our four picks, it’s important to explain how we assess and decide on which tech we think will be next year’s big hits. As we said, the digital landscape is always evolving, meaning that today’s treasure could be tomorrow’s trash. Just think, when was the last time you looked up your Myspace profile?
To give a good idea of how we can look at the current trends in the tech world and identify which ones will have the biggest impact, we have to consider where we are currently in tech advancements compared to where we were years ago – and how predictions at the time panned out. For example, the IEEE Computer Society looked back on a report they published in 2013 that predicted 23 technologies in 2022 that would shape the IT & tech sector. They did this by collecting nine industry experts, who made their suggestions based on research and industry knowledge and whittled their choices down. They then surveyed a few thousand society members to confirm or contradict their predictions, and to gain a different perspective on future tech advancements.
The important question though, is were they correct?
Some predictions have followed the course and had more success than others, while some didn’t quite have the same impact. For instance, one prediction was that DRAM would gradually be replaced over time by newer NVM technologies and ‘Universal Memory’. While there has been a decline in the use and popularity of DRAM, the gradual switch hasn’t seen as much of a change, as DRAM is still seen as a standard form of memory storage.
On the other hand, the report did highlight factors that became high-profile advancements and also identified areas that would define the years to come: such as the increasing scrutiny over security cross-cutting and how large-scale companies collected and used the public’s data. They also identified how online courses would become more popular, and that cloud computing would be a viable alternative to standard storage systems.
This highlights that there is no 100% fool-proof method of predicting which tech will definitively be a success in the future. But by looking at current trends and activity – alongside which sectors of the digital industry are seeing continued investment – we can gauge a strong idea of where the landscape is headed, and which tech advancements will be at the forefront of 2022.
Here are the four tech innovations we believe will make the biggest impact in 2022.
Automation has increasingly become one of the most important developments in the IT & tech world. This is largely due to the important role that automation plays in businesses, helping management orchestrate users, tasks and systems depending on the business needs at any moment.
As industries look for ways to improve their efficiency and save time and costs on certain tasks, automation has become one of the most essential advancements in the last few years. In 2022, it is set to continue its success with further developments and innovations. This is especially true in terms of the work environment, as businesses are looking at more routes to implement automation into their strategy.
For the world of manufacturing, collaborative robots are being used by smaller businesses to streamline their productivity and help their workforce run their tasks more efficiently and at a greater speed. This has become a major area of growth for the sector, and is now producing exciting outcomes for other service-providing industries. Industries like hospitality are now using robotic task automation to enable employees to enhance the customer experience by handling tasks like room deliveries and reservation information in hotels and resorts.
Another form of automation that has continually succeeded is chatbots, which has transformed business-customer interaction (and is set to do even more so in 2022). With more businesses taking advantage of the increasing number of online users, and with it the desire to interact with businesses remotely after the pandemic, companies will deploy chatbots to boost customer engagement. Alongside this is the rise in automated process discovery technologies, which are helping businesses to understand their processes in a whole new light. Process, task, and conversation mining are tools that can improve process discovery and improvement initiatives.
Whilst similar to automation in several ways, it’s important to look at how artificial intelligence will shape 2022 as its own entity. Already, AI has proven to be incredibly useful in numerous game-changing ways. Certain AI applications are being used to tackle climate change by designing energy-efficient buildings, improving power storage and optimising renewable energy deployment by feeding solar and wind power into electricity grids when needed. It’s also being integrated into cancer care, being used to improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosis, aid clinical decision-making, and lead to better health outcomes.
In 2022, Artificial Intelligence will see numerous innovations and developments. And similar to the implementation of automation in the workplace, so too will AI find ways to improve company productivity. As companies navigate the process of creating data-and-AI-literate-cultures that will coincide with the human-driven aspect of their structure, staff will increasingly find themselves working alongside AI technology to boost their abilities. For instance, marketers can determine whether their leads are worth pursuing based on the analysed data provided by AI tech. In knowledge industries such as law, there will be an increase in tools that sort through large amounts of data to identify nuggets of relevant information crucial to a task or project.
Language modelling will continue its growth into the next year. It will improve the communication between humans and machines by allowing software to understand our language, and to turn human language into computer code that can run programs and applications. This is set to advance even further in 2022, as OpenAI, a research business co-founded by Elon Musk, has already released GPT-3, the most advanced language model ever created. It consists of around 175 billion parameters, which are variables and datapoints that machines can use to process language. The organisation is now working on its successor, GPT-4, which is estimated to contain up to 100 trillion parameters (500 times more than its predecessor). This, in theory, will make a huge leap forward into machines being able to create language and hold conversations that are indistinguishable from those of a human.
But one of the biggest advancements in AI set to take place next year is the commencement of development of the metaverse. This is the name given for a unified persistent digital environment, where users can work and play together. It’s become a hot topic recently after Mark Zuckerberg announced this year that Facebook will be putting a huge investment into this division. With this increased focus, AI will become a lynchpin of the metaverse, helping create online environments where humans will feel at home. These metaverse environments will also likely be shared with AI that will help users with tasks and take part in games.
With the onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, Big Data and Analytics (BDA) has become a crucial resource for public and private enterprises. This is especially true for healthcare institutions in handling the huge backlogs and incoming demand brought on by the pandemic. This will continue further into 2022, as these companies look at how they can further leverage BDA to improve results as we move further away from lockdown.
It’s been reported that organisations in the technology, business, consumer and manufacturing industries will have high increases in the planned adoption of business intelligence tools in 2022. This will include predictive analytics software to forecast potential future trends, helping businesses to target their strategies and output in the right direction.
It will also include cloud-native analytic solutions, as companies will seek to get the most out of business intelligence. Organisations will include innovative cloud analytic solutions in their portfolio, renovating components or complementing their on-premises platform if they want to gain an advantage over competitors through analytics. Self-serving analytics will also become a critical component in business intelligence, coinciding with an increasing demand for fact-based daily decision-making. In 2022, more companies will adopt truly self-service tools that allow non-technical business users to securely access and gain insights from data.
Internet of Things (IoT) has become a heavily-hyped innovation that is known for its social and technological wonders. In recent years, IoT and its smart sensors have already paved the way for enhancements in several sectors, along with its increasing implementation of cloud and 5G tech. In 2022, the continued advancements in IoT will make a huge impact on the digital landscape.
For instance, IoT analytics and data will be used in detecting disruptive software and programs in IT structures. This tech will trigger alerts while transferring volumes of data to the network cores. Integrated analytics are being deployed into working solutions, as providers and business leaders look to accelerate data without the issue of bugs and viruses holding their productivity back.
Similar to BDA, the adoption of IoT into healthcare will also become a huge focus in 2022. Different types of equipment like wearable sensors and devices, tracking software, and indoor navigation will be used to help healthcare staff focus on the care of the patients, while IoT tech will focus on menial tasks, alongside identifying rises in illnesses and tracking progress.
Another big innovation in IoT is the emergence of Smart Cities. To help avert crises, cities are investing in smart tech and IoT technology. This can include smaller changes like connecting utilities, parking meters, and traffic lights to IoT networks, helping keep local governing structures running swiftly. It will also include larger damage-control-and-prevention services introduced like flood prevention systems, mapping techniques and measuring sensors for rivers and pollution.
There are plenty of technological advances which could have been included in this list. This ever-changing technical landscape makes it increasingly more difficult to accurately pick which technology will have the biggest impact on day-to-day lives and businesses. The aforementioned report by the IEEE Computer Society was bold in its aim of accurately predicting technical advances 7-8 years down the line.
The above technologies are a bit more predictable, given that 2022 is only a couple of months away – but whether these technologies will have the biggest impact in the world of IT remains to be seen. We – like everyone else – are eagerly looking forward to what advances the new year will bring…
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27th October 2021