Timely adoption of latest information technologies is paramount for companies in many industrial sectors and spheres of life. By monitoring the latest technology trends, businesses get valuable insights that help them keep up with the competition and shape their digital journey in the years ahead.
In this article, read about the disruptive tech trends that may inspire many new achievements in 2022.
- The Metaverse Is Rising
- Cybersecurity Is Everyone’s Concern
- More Data Needs Smart Analytics
- Privacy-Enhancing Computation
- Robotics Will Become More Widespread
- Automation Means Efficiency
- Composable Applications
- New Technologies Extend Cloud Computing
- 5G–6G Networks Are Here
- IoT Isn’t Slowing Down
- Blockchain Technology Boosting
- NFT Platforms
- Artificial Intelligence Engineering
- Generative AI
- Autonomic Systems
1. The Metaverse Is Rising
The idea to unite various digital technologies into one ecosystem and create the analog of our reality has captured the minds of tech leaders worldwide. Facebook (now Meta) is already working to bring the metaverse concept to life. However, this trend hasn’t been limited to Meta, with other giants such as Google, Apple and Microsoft taking steps to keep up.
In its essence, metaverse will provide opportunities for people to experience the world in a completely new way, moving beyond the screens of mobile phones and computers. This trend is going to be a new milestone in digital communication based on multidimensional interactions.
In the metaverse, people who interact with each other will have a feeling of physical presence, eye contact and a shared sense of space. While far away from each other in reality, they will feel like they are in one room in this virtual world. This will make communication, work, entertainment, education, online shopping and other social processes more natural and joyful, replacing the necessity to use smart device screens.
The metaverse development trend is driving the evolution of the following technologies:
- Extended reality (XR), which comprises augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR)
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Computer vision
- Hand tracking and eye tracking
- Perceptual science
- Hardware, such as haptic sensors, smart glasses and AR/VR headsets
The metaverse market size was valued at $47.69 billion in 2020, with a revenue forecast of $829 billion in 2028.
This technology trend may seem unrealistic to many people, but we need to recognize that the future is already here. Data privacy and security concerns are the main challenges the metaverse developers still have to address.
2. Cybersecurity Is Everyone’s Concern
In 2021, there was a record surge in ransomware attacks registered by the SonicWall experts — 495.1 million attacks, which is 148% more than in 2020. And it’s expected that the number of cybersecurity threats will continue to grow in 2022.
The trend is that as more businesses undergo digital transformation, more IoT devices are connected to the network, and more employees work remotely, which results in more sensitive data being at risk. Therefore, spending on cybersecurity is anticipated to grow as well.
- 69% of executives plan to increase their cybersecurity spending this year. (PwC, “Global Digital Trust Insights 2022”)
- Spending on data protection and risk management is expected to reach $172 billion in 2022, which is an 11% increase. (Gartner)
- The average cost of a single ransomware breach is $4.62 million, while the annual spending of a large business on cybersecurity is $2–5 million. (Global X)
As you can see, the cost of cybersecurity failures may be much higher than the cost of protective measures.
Trends Aiming to Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks
Cybersecurity mesh architecture. Organizations are forced to develop comprehensive security strategies called mesh architectures. In such architectures, several security tools and services are joined together with the aim to provide overall protection to business environments, thus improving these environments’ resistance to threats. According to Gartner, companies can reduce expenses related to security incidents by almost 90% by implementing a cybersecurity mesh. So this trend is highly important.
The increased role of CISOs. Management of most companies has realized the dramatic importance of cybersecurity not just as a technical aspect but also in a business context. That’s why the role of the Chief Information Security Officer is becoming more prominent at the executive level. All large corporations should have a CISO or equivalent position on staff.
Growing demand for security talent. Highly experienced specialists are required to address new security challenges. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that cybersecurity is among the fastest-growing career areas in the country and predicts growth of 31% through to 2029, which is over seven times faster than the national average job growth of 4%.
3. More Data Needs Smart Analytics
Volumes of data generated in many areas are growing exponentially. The potential benefits of data are priceless when it is analyzed correctly. But humans are unable to cope with this task alone. That’s why smart analytics is gaining momentum.
Currently, companies miss lots of opportunities by not analyzing available information.
- Less than 50% of structured data collected by IoT devices is actively used in decision-making.
- 99.5% of the collected unstructured data is never analyzed or used at all. (Cisco)
The trendy smart analytics leverages AI and ML technologies and can be used to predict and respond proactively to future events. Implementing predictive analytics in retail and eCommerce, manufacturing, healthcare and other industries brings tangible results.
- Companies that analyze Big Data can make decisions five times faster than those that do not work with data analysis.
- 50% of companies that have implemented smart analytics have boosted company growth and gained the ability to better understand consumer demand. (Chakray)
4. Privacy-Enhancing Computation
Under the impact of the previous trend, Privacy-Enhancing Computation (PEC) is beginning to be used in many spheres. Its goal is to provide the balance between extracting valuable insights from personal data and ensuring data protection.
A range of PEC techniques is used to minimize risks of sensitive data breaches when online users (merchants, service providers) process this data. The techniques include zero-knowledge proofs, anonymous data credentials, informed consent, homomorphic encryption, and others. With the help of these tools, users can perform various actions with data without the need to reveal sensitive information.
The trend to use Privacy-Enhancing Computation allows organizations to comply with data protection laws, while still performing the needed analytics.
5. Robotics Will Become More Widespread
2022 is likely to be the year robotics flourishes. The reality, with pandemic issues, labor shortages and increasing demand for automation across industries, dictates the rules, which means the introduction of more robots in all industries. For example, autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are widely implemented to complement the workforce and streamline processes in fulfillment centers and warehouses in the eCommerce and retail industry.
An interesting trend is that the collaborative robots (cobots) market is actively growing. Statista predicts that it will reach $1.5 billion by 2026 compared to $695 million in 2021. In healthcare, for example, these small robots help medical personnel with patient care or lab testing, which has been especially important during the pandemic. Other industries leveraging cobots and other types of robots are manufacturing, agriculture, automotive, food services, and more.
6. Automation Means Efficiency
Automation has become the pillar of successful digital transformation. By automating repetitive tasks, organizations achieve better efficiency and free time for employees to be innovative and do more creative work.
Research by Automation Anywhere reveals the following key findings:
- Office workers spend more than three hours a day on manual, repetitive computer tasks.
- 87% of office workers would like their employers to automate more manual repetitive business processes.
- Over 75% of respondents say employees shouldn’t spend time on tasks that can be automated.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a current trend. It is based on the usage of bots or software programs empowered by artificial intelligence (AI). The RPA market is forecast to increase from $2 billion in 2021 to $3.17 billion in 2022, according to Statista.
RPA is applicable in many spheres, including banking, eCommerce, mortgage and lending, and more.
7. Composable Applications
Composable apps are a strategic tech trend for many businesses. A new approach to building business applications allows companies to implement more projects within a shorter time span, spending fewer resources. Composable applications consist of reusable modules that can be quickly built, much like a Lego set, due to the following characteristics:
- Standardized functions and input/output operations
- Reusable components
- Low-code/no-code programming
- Automation of typical operations
- Universal approaches to different projects
- Ability to assemble complex applications from basic functions
With the trend to use composable apps, businesses can instantly respond to evolving market changes by building new solutions from existing constituents.
8. New Technologies Extend Cloud Computing
Dictated by the pandemic and the necessity for remote work and education, the demand for cloud services have been rapidly increasing over the past two years, and the trend continues.
According to Gartner, global public cloud spending will reach $482 billion in 2022, which is a 21.7% growth rate (up from $396 billion in 2021). The top spending items will be SaaS, IaaS and PaaS solutions.
Interestingly, new technologies based on cloud computing are coming to the forefront. These are fog and edge computing that extend the capabilities of cloud computing and address its drawbacks.
The technology of fog computing is a distributed system serving as an intermediate between the cloud and devices that generate data. It was invented to simplify the storage and processing of huge amounts of data, which is particularly important for IoT systems.
Statista predicts a high-speed growth of the global fog computing market, forecasting that the transportation sector using this technology will reach about $3.3 billion in revenue in 2022.
Another trendy technology is edge computing. Instead of sending data to clouds and faraway data centers, edge computing allows for data processing in the device itself, or near it. As a result, you increase the response time and save bandwidth, getting real-time data analysis.
The edge computing market is growing fast:
- The global edge computing market size is forecast to reach $15.7 billion by 2025.
- The capital expenditure on edge computing devices and infrastructure is projected to amount to $104 billion by 2028. (Statista)
The wider adoption of fog and edge systems is stimulated by the rapid development of 5G networks and the Internet of Things.
9. 5G–6G Networks Are Here
With a breakthrough in mobile internet connectivity, 5G networks have become a popular trend.
Though the technology is still available only in certain areas, it is worth investing in.
- By 2024, 5G networks are predicted to cover 40% of the globe. (FinanceOnline)
- 5G offers unprecedented speeds, up to 100 times faster than 4G.
- An average 5G network will support millions of devices per square mile, compared to thousands of devices per square mile supported by 4G networks.
The greatest potential of 5G technology will be reflected in edge computing and IoT systems, as it will empower devices to perform complex operations (that only computers could do previously) and interconnect with each other seamlessly.
Moreover, 6G research is already underway in China, the US and some other countries. The sixth generation of mobile communications is expected to be introduced in 2028–2030.
10. IoT Isn’t Slowing Down
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been introduced into many spheres and continues to build up its presence despite the ongoing pandemic.
At your home, on your body (wearables), in automobiles, hospitals, manufacturing plants and on city streets — you can find IoT devices anywhere.
- The number of IoT devices worldwide is forecast to almost triple from 8.74 billion in 2020 to more than 25.4 billion in 2030.
- In 2020, for the first time, there were more IoT connections (e.g. connected cars, smart home devices, connected industrial equipment) than non-IoT connections (smartphones, laptops and computers). (IoT Analytics)
- Projected global IoT spending by 2023 is $1.1 trillion.
Telemedicine and digital health are an industry that’s taken off during the pandemic, and IoT will become the core driving force behind it.
11. Blockchain Technology Boosting
Blockchain is among the strategic technology trends for businesses in 2022. The operational scheme of blockchain implies that there are no central nodes and all distributed devices simultaneously store all the information published in the blockchain. This provides an exceptional level of transaction security required by industries such as banking and finance, automotive, insurance, government, healthcare, telecommunications, and more.
Many companies strive to reduce business conflicts and improve the transparency of their operations. That’s why blockchain technology will continue to evolve rapidly in the years ahead.
12. NFT Platforms
Another technology trend — the rise of NFT platforms — also provides the impetus for further blockchain development. NFT stands for non-fungible tokens that exist as entries in the blockchain environment.
What does it mean? Standard tokens (or digital assets) are fungible, meaning they are not unique and can be replaced by other tokens. NFTs are unique tokens that belong to specific people and can’t be replaced.
How do people use this technology? They buy some unique objects/assets in the digital format. For example, you can buy a non-fungible token of a painting by Pablo Picasso. This will be a one-of-a-kind token containing information about the object itself, the author/original owner and you as a buyer. Blockchain will securely store this information, making the token a kind of certificate that ensures your digital ownership. Note: this doesn’t mean that you own the physical object.
Anything can be transformed into the NFT format: images, video, text, music, real estate, items from computer games, etc. There are many NFT platforms or marketplaces where users can sell and buy non-fungible tokens for a fee. This is a new growing digital business that is particularly in demand with gamers, collectors and art lovers.
13. Artificial Intelligence Engineering
The growth of AI use cases across industries is explained by the benefits the technology provides: more informed decision-making, automated processes, improved customer experience and expedited outcomes.
According to MarketsandMarkets, the AI market is predicted to reach $190.61 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 36.62% since 2018.
The figures show that the need for the AI engineering discipline has evolved. The ultimate goal of artificial intelligence engineering is to guide the introduction of AI capabilities into real-world usage with the help of specially designed tools, systems and processes. This trend is crucial for manufacturing, automotive, eCommerce, healthcare, telecommunications, and other industries that apply computer vision, chatbots and other AI-based technologies.
14. Generative AI
Strategic technology trends for 2022 also include generative AI — a new branch of artificial intelligence. If traditional artificial intelligence learns from data provided by people and discovers patterns, generative AI creates new digital items (images, texts, video, audio content) without human participation. It consists of two neural networks, one of which generates the content and the other that checks it for errors.
New pieces of content, which have no analogs in the real world (for example, generated images of people), can be used in marketing or advertising, without infringing copyright laws or personal rights. Alongside the evolving metaverse, generative AI will also grow, as it will create characters and items for this “new universe”, gradually transforming into a profitable business.
15. Autonomic Systems
Another emerging technology trend is the development of autonomic systems. These are comprehensive computing systems that replicate the operating principle of the human autonomic nervous system, i.e. the ability of self-management and adaptation to changes. Autonomic computing systems constantly monitor themselves, detect threats and changes in environments they operate in, and find alternative ways to keep functioning without human participation.
The evolution of this trend is explained by the growing sophistication of computing systems, their crucial role in various processes and the increased complexity of their management.
The Technology World Is Moving Forward
Technology trends in 2022 will continue to gather momentum due to new business demands and life challenges. In this primarily digital world, the emphasis will be on cybersecurity and the necessity to analyze huge amounts of data generated by billions of IoT devices.
Automation and robotics will strengthen their presence in many enterprises, improving the efficiency of business processes.
The demand for cloud services will grow with the entrenchment of remote work and education. In addition, cloud alternatives such as edge and fog computing will gain popularity as they open up new opportunities for IoT systems.
Artificial intelligence is no longer a science fiction concept: it has entered all spheres of our life and will continually improve, accompanied by generative AI as well.
The developing technology of 5G will probably become a game-changer for many businesses due to its enormous potential. 6G is already being researched.
Many more innovations and tech trends will play a significant role in reshaping our future: blockchain, AR, VR, metaverse, NFT platforms — the work is in full swing.