- Digital-First, Remote-First Dominates the Technology Landscape
Let’s start with the most obvious technology trends as we look to 2022 – digital-first. It is mainstream and shaping business today. For example, workforces are more remote than ever. As a result, they demand more substantial connectivity, plus greater reliability from that connectivity. And they require it 24/7.
Your customers have come to expect a similar service level. For many, digital has become the preferred means of communicating and interacting with your business. Your reward for keeping pace with that demand is greater customer loyalty, not to more improved competitive differentiation.
Not surprisingly, according to a study by IDC, 70% of all organizations have accelerated their use of technology. As a result, new technologies and space redesigns will emerge to support hybrid collaboration.
- 5G Helps Deliver that Digital-First Focus
Improving networking and interconnectivity requires better and faster connections—for example, 5G averages more than 100Mbps, with peaks of 20Gbps. Plus, 5G supports up to a million connected devices per square kilometer versus 100,000 for 4G networks.
In addition, as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes even more integral in business and our personal lives, the reliability of those internet connections becomes paramount. On a side note, the IoT certainly deserves mention as a continually emerging trend.
Equally important, the sheer number of people connecting to the internet has grown exponentially. For instance, 3.4 billion users used the internet in 2017. As we enter 2022, internet usage will expand to another 1.4 billion users. Moreover, those users will consume 4.8 zettabytes of data annually, whereas users consumed 437 exabytes of data in 2012. So, 2022 levels reflect a multiple of 11 compared to 2012 levels.
As a result, 5G will take center stage next year in the U.S. owing to its more substantial reliability and expanded bandwidth. All the major internet providers – AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile – will expand their 5G coverage. In 2021 alone, 5G connections globally tripled to 670 million.
That greater bandwidth delivers more responsive experiences. It also allows technology companies to make their devices more immersive. In addition, use cases for the IoT become more expansive, and with that comes greater adoption of edge computing. In short, 5G technology enables business much more than its predecessor, 4G.
By the way, 6G capabilities will begin to take shape in 2022. Starting in 2020, a Next G Alliance represented by Apple, AT&T, and Google, among others, has directed its focus on pushing toward 6G capabilities.
- More significant Expansion of Cloud Services
Gartner predicts cloud services spending will increase to more than $482 billion in 2022, up from $314 billion in 2020. Deloitte projects the industry cloud market at $640 billion within the next five years.
Although enterprises have reportedly migrated more than 83% of workloads to the cloud, there remains a chasm for what they host privately. Owing to compliance, regulatory, security, and privacy concerns, enterprises still maintain a sizable technology footprint in their data centers. That opens the door to a greater reliance on hybrid clouds and multi-cloud infrastructures to bridge the gap between data hosted on public clouds and on-prem.
Cloud-native applications will expand, as well. To optimize digital experiences, providers will take advantage of the cloud’s native capabilities, namely self-service provisioning, elasticity, and the power of cloud-managed services.
Cloud-native offloads the hosting burden and cost while optimizing business and technical process automation. Moreover, it allows the 24×7 response demanded by digital.
Finally, key cloud service providers like Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), and IBM present the serverless cloud as a solution. Often referred to as “functions-as-a-service,” organizations no longer tie themselves into leasing servers or paying for fixed storage amounts or bandwidth.
You don’t have to contend with configurations or technical concerns as a user. Instead, the serverless cloud delivers a bona fide pay-as-you-go service that scales as required.
- Artificial Intelligence Impacts Cybersecurity
Cybercrimes continue to escalate. By 2021, costs reached $6 trillion and will climb to $10.5 trillion by 2025. In addition, a single data breach in 2021 cost an average of $4.24 million. Meanwhile, ransomware claims have grown 150% since 2018, according to AIG.
It’s little wonder, cyber artificial intelligence (AI), though in the early stages of adoption, presents a trending IT solution for 2022. As a result, the market will grow by $19 billion between 2021 and 2025.
As the cyber-threat landscape evolves, organizations need real-time monitoring and remediation solutions. And AI plays a substantial role in providing those capabilities. For example, it delivers real-time network traffic analysis that enables faster response and remediation of threats. In addition, it can more readily identify risks and cybercriminal behaviors to prevent future attacks.
In 2022, you can expect organizations to deploy threat management, threat intelligence, endpoint detection and response, continuous vulnerability scanning, and Security Operations Centers with greater frequency. If they’re incapable of managing these services internally, outsourcing IT support to managed IT service providers or cybersecurity companies will provide an option owing to cost reductions and greater efficiencies.
By the way, hackers have become increasingly familiar with the benefits of AI. So, expect them to enlist AI to launch attacks.
- Cybersecurity Technology Trends Shaping 2022
No technology discussion can be complete without addressing cybersecurity. It shaped 2021 and will continue to do so in 2022. We just mentioned how AI would impact the security space but, here are some other trends that will shape the cybersecurity industry next year:
- Focus on Application Security: The first half of 2021 saw a 348% increase in API attacks, according to a report by Salt Labs. In addition, Gartner predicts that API abuses will become an enterprise’s most frequent attack vector. As a result, more organizations will take a strategic approach to API security, accounting for unique business logic in application source code. In addition, anomaly detection via AI will support improved API security and defense against known and unknown threats.
- Improving Edge Security: As IoT devices proliferate, your attack surface expands. As a result, edge security becomes critical. Improved security starts with a focus on devices themselves. But, it extends to security protocols to improve protection, including deployment of next-gen endpoint protection.
- Deployment of Zero-Trust: Today, security extends beyond an organization’s perimeter. Hybrid and remote workforces, the increased use of mobile devices, bring your own device (BYOD), and cloud services require a different approach to security. Consequently, zero-trust architectures will become a critical trend in identifying verified users. Moreover, micro-segmented areas associated with zero-trust provide more granular verification control.
- Locking Down Supply Chains: Supply chain attacks increased considerably in 2021. For example, 82% of organizations suffered a data breach due to a supply chain security weakness (BlueVoyant). So, not surprisingly, we’ll see enhancements to supply chain security throughout 2022. As a result, many organizations will request a complete list of software components leveraged within a software solution from supply chain vendors. Indeed, 60% of organizations will use cybersecurity risk to conduct third-party transactions by 2025 (Gartner).
- Edge Computing Emerges as a Key Technology Trend for 2022
As IoT devices increase, edge computing increases. By 2022, the global edge computing market will reach $6.72 billion.
Edge computing relieves the latency issues attached to cloud computing. By moving processing to where it needs to happen, organizations can deliver time-sensitive data to remote locations. In addition, it can do so with limited or even no connectivity to a centralized location. As such, edge computing acts as a mini data center.
Of course, the expansion of edge computing requires a more significant focus on security as many devices inherently lack security.
On the horizon…
- Blockchain Enjoys More Industry-Wide Adoption
Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have been the darling of the media and the public. But these technologies are moving to the enterprise starting in 2022.
For example, Deloitte’s 2021 Global Blockchain Survey presented that 80% of the survey participants indicated their industries “will see new revenue streams from blockchain, digital assets, and/or cryptocurrency solutions.” As a result, spending will increase from $5.3 billion in 2021 to $34 billion in 2026.
Banking tops all industries from an adoption standpoint, followed by telecommunications, media, entertainment, manufacturing, healthcare and life sciences, retail and consumer goods, and government.
At its core, blockchain enables companies to track transactions and conduct business with unverified parties without the need for a trusted third party to validate the transaction.
Making a chain of data that you can only add to and not change increases security substantially. In addition, blockchain is consensus-driven, meaning that no single entity can assume control of the data. Moreover, it reduces business conflicts while improving transparency, immutability, decentralization, and an append-only structure.