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In the Zone

Tech trends and predictions for 2022

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by Intel on 12/08/2021
Blog Category: advanced-technologies

By Jason Kimrey

Let predictions season begin! The new market trends and forecasts have started to be published. I’d expect that over the next month or so, the prognostications will continue to come in. So I thought now would be a good idea to start sharing these early predictions.

IDC has released its latest spending guide on digital transformation, forecasting growth of 16.4% (CAGR) from 2021 to 2025. The top three spending categories by 2025 will be robotic manufacturing at $120.6 billion; autonomic operations at $90.9 billion; and 360-degree customer and client management at $74.7 billion. The fastest-growing use case will be virtualized student workplaces.

First up is Gartner, which looks at trends its analysts deem “critical to business.” This year’s Top 12 Strategic Technology Trends for 2022 are (drumroll, please):

1. Data fabric

2. Cybersecurity mesh

3. Privacy enhancing computation

4. Cloud-native

5. Composable architecture

6. Decision intelligence

7. Hyper-automation

8. AI engineering

9. Distributed enterprises

10. Total experience

11. Automatic systems

12. Generative AI

When I look at the trends from Gartner and others at a high level, I see a few themes emerging. These include the continued importance of data; cloud and cloud-native applications; the ongoing move to automation; enhancing user and customer experiences; and cybersecurity, trust and privacy protection.

Looking deeper into the user/customer experience IT priority, you can’t help but acknowledge that hybrid workplaces continue to be influential. We know few companies will return to how we operated pre-pandemic. So investments to ensure that staff and customers remain connected will be critical to future growth.

For CIOs, choppy waters ahead

IDC says the next three years will remain “highly fluid” for CIOs. These executives will be influenced by disruptive and highly complex issues ranging from societal and economic to technological. The critical external drivers for CIOs include:

> Embracing digital-first: New strategies for complexity and ubiquity

> Pervasive disruption continues: Volatility, opportunity and resilience

> Cybersecurity and risk: The threat environment just keeps scaling

> Digital ecosystem: Thriving in a multiplatform world

> Intelligence on demand: Navigating the torrent of data

> Environmental and social responsibility: A new stakeholder-driven imperative

> Workforce outlook: Redefining teams, reinventing models and rethinking leadership

IDC also offers some excellent statistics about the ecosystem and focus of CIOs, which prioritizes long-term business outcomes and sustainability:

> 65% of CIOs will sustain a cycle of tech-based empowerment, agility and resilience through collaborative governance, new service-delivery models and a business-outcomes orientation.

> Given the rising imperative for hybrid and smart workplaces, 60% of CIOs will reimagine user support and create COE-based teams to guide the necessary investments in technology and process by 2024.

> 85% of organizations whose data practices inhibit their business and operating strategies will empower CIOs to lead cross-enterprise investments in data governance, quality and compliance by 2026.

The Future of Digital Infrastructure is also out with 10 predictions about how organizations will deploy, operate and scale infrastructure.

“IDC's 2022 predictions for the future of digital infrastructure identify critical shifts in governance, operations, architecture, and sourcing that need to be factored into enterprise digital transformation strategies going forward.” — Mary Johnston Turner, research vice president, Future of Digital Infrastructure, IDC

You can read the full list, but here are a few highlights:

> By 2024, due to the  explosion of edge data, 65% of the G2000 will embed edge-first data stewardship, security and network practices into data-protection plans to integrate edge data into relevant processes.

> By 2026, mid-market companies will shift 65% of their infrastructure spending from traditional channels towards more app-centric trusted advisors.

> By 2025, 70% of companies will invest in alternative computing technologies to drive business differentiation by compressing time to value of insights from complex data sets.

> By 2026, 90% of G2000 CIOs will use AIOps solutions to drive automated remediation and workload-placement decisions that include cost and performance metrics, improving resiliency and agility.

> By 2025, 60% of enterprises will fund line-of-business and IT projects through OpEx budgets, matching how vendors provide their services with a focus on outcomes that are determined by SLAs and KPIs.

From break-fix to innovation

I like how Forrester is describing its overarching theme for IT investment in 2022. It is projecting a move from short-term, reactionary decision-making and will start to shift back to solving longer-term challenges.

“The ones that do it best will leverage a customer-obsessed approach to technology that enables their company to quickly reconfigure business structures and capabilities to meet future customer and employee needs with adaptivity, creativity, and resilience. We call this future fit, and our data show that future fit companies outperform their peers by 2.8 times.”Matthew Guarini, VP and research director, Forrester

We have spent the last two years fixing short-term problems, many brought about by the need to adapt the pandemic. But in 2022, we’ll transition to long-term innovation. I think this is good news as we become more strategic and build plans for the future. I also think there’s a strong role for IT partners to help guide customers’ ongoing transformation journey.

From the CEO’s desk

“Expectations for business growth remain strong, as investments in digital transformation and innovation continue to drive a positive economic outlook. Attracting and retaining talent in a tight labor market has ascended to the top of CEOs’ list of strategic priorities.”Joe Ucuzoglu, CEO, Deloitte U.S.

> Two-thirds of CEOs expect their organizations’ growth to be either strong or very strong over the next 12 months.

> 73% of CEOs say the talent/labor shortage is the biggest influence or disruptor of their business strategy. Another 70% of CEOs cited epidemics/pandemics, and 29% said cybersecurity threats.

Sales trends

Forrester is also highlighting priorities that will be important to those of us in sales:

> Investments in “always on” digital-engagement technology will be a focus in 2022. But Forrester says 5% of efforts to create automated, personalized engagement won’t meet ROI goals because of inadequate buyer insight.

> Brand values will equate to trust. Half of all adults will purchase from brands they trust, which means in 2022, CMOs will need to navigate an even more politically divided and vocal consumer base.

> More organizations buying tech will commit to accessibility. Some $10 billion in design spending will shift to vendors and services that commit to accessibility. The importance of ensuring accessibility is no doubt linked to the priority we’re placing on diversity and inclusion. But I also believe it’s tied to our drive to improve the user and employee experience.

Even more 2022 predictions!

> Tech budgets will remain steady, with securing the enterprise a priority for 25% of IT leaders. Meanwhile, customer-experience tech, BI and analytics are other areas for spending increases. Business-process automation, the skills shortage and AI are also noteworthy (CIO).

> Hybrid experiences, composable business, hyper-automation and security are just some of the trends accelerating digital transformation (Mulesoft).

> Responsible AI, cloud at the edge, cybersecurity mesh, embedded data, analytics, and connected sensors and machines are coming (Bearing Point).

> AI everywhere, XaaS, digitization, virtualization, governance and accountability make the list of trends that will have the biggest impact next year (Bernard Marr).

> I was fascinated by what Forrester called bias bounties. Forrester predicts companies will launch bias-bounty programs, which are modelled after bug bounties and aim to reward users who detect biases in AI systems.

> In 2022, investments in smart infrastructure will increase 40%. The U.S., the EU and China all launched related initiatives backed by trillions of dollars of stimulus. IoT and edge technologies that ride advanced networks like 5G have demonstrated their ability to empower smart, connected ports, roads and trains (Forrester).

> Networking: Satellite internet will challenge 5G as the connectivity method of choice (Forrester).

Keeping a pulse on the trends coming through research like those I’ve highlighted above can help us guide our end-user customers as trusted advisors. It can also help us to better understand how sales environments are shifting.

I’ll bring you more reports and insights as they cross my desk, so we can see where the tides are shifting and help our customers navigate the ever-changing IT landscape.

Jason Kimrey of Intel

Jason Kimrey is general manager of U.S. channel and partner programs at Intel.




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