2021 saw many technology trends as a continuous response to the COVID pandemic that emerged in 2020. Industries were in shock during the first quarter of 2020. But towards the end of the year, most of the industries were able to take control of the situation and we saw somewhat an accelerated growth during the year 2021.
In 2021, most industries optioned for technology adoption and it helped them tremendously. The industries that took advantage of digital transformation included manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, education, financial services, media, and retail. Since customers were mostly confined within their homes, we saw some big jumps in emerging technologies in industries like education, media, retail, and healthcare.
2021 is already over and we are now in 2022. Most of us will be wondering what to expect this year especially in technology industry since it was the driving force behind all emerging trends for past couple of years. To help the curious minds, we have curated a list of emerging technology trends for the current year, 2022.
Major technology trends to watch out for in 2022
The word “automation” is not new to any of us. We have been hearing about automation and how different industries are adopting it to improve their productivity, efficiency, cut costs and boost profit margin. However, as different industries are seeking out more ways to adopt automation, automation is also seeing a diversification.
In the beginning, it was the manufacturing industry that recognized the benefits of automation. Later, the service industry also adopted automation in the form of CRMs, inventory management software, payroll software, invoicing software and so on. These days automation has reached every nook and cranny of a business. People have become familiar with terms like self-driving vehicles, autopilots, smart wearables, smart home notifications etc. We are also seeing an increase in consumer numbers for IoT devices as they are becoming more affordable and convenient.
“By 2025, more than 50 billion devices will be connected to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), generating 79.4 zettabytes of data yearly.”
We can expect more growth in the field of automation and IoT in coming years as the potential is limitless and we have only touched the tip of the iceberg.
Facebook renamed itself to Meta in October last year. The tech giant rebranding itself after a decade and a half reflects the potential of metaverse. While AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are not a new trend in 2022, the coming together of physical, augmented, and virtual world to form a single and seamless entity, where people can hang out with friends, meet new people and places, do shopping, participate in entertainment and professional activities alike, is something new and yet to experience. Of course, the idea has been lingering around for a while and we even had a chance to see few demos and experimentation, the Metaverse was still in its conception stage. But we can expect some breakthroughs soon especially since trillion-dollar companies like “Meta” have recognized that it is the future.
Enhanced Search Optimization
The pandemic forced so many physical stores to close down. Businesses around the globe, irrespective of their industry, discovered that it is difficult to find customers in traditional ways since movement of the people are mostly restricted. It forced businesses to migrate from offline business model to an online business model with a focus on websites and apps to connect with their customers.
However, the results were not promising since most businesses were out of reach for the customers. Their websites and apps failed to show up in search results and were undiscoverable for potential clients. It forced businesses to put more focus on search optimization and become discoverable for their customers.
Due to the comfort and convenience it offers, people are still preferring online shopping even after the restrictions are lifted. We can expect the trend to stay the same for a while at least until there is some incentives for customers to prefer the traditional way for shopping. So, currently businesses are forced to find new search and discoverability strategies to attract sales.
Decision intelligence is a new discipline that can help such organizations with their organizational decision-making process. It can support and enhance human decision-making using intelligence and analytics to inform, learn from and create a set of processes to find the right decision. It combines various disciplines like data science, engineering, social science, decision theory and managerial science. We will be seeing decision intelligence in action more often in the coming years.
A distributed business or distributed company is a business that has a remote workforce and consumers connected via digital technologies. It is a digital-first, remote-first business model that encourages hybrid workforce and virtual services to improve employee and consumer experience. Ever since the pandemic there is an apparent shift in employee and consumer preferences and distributed business model can help companies to meet the expectations of both.
Hacking, breaches, data theft etc. are becoming widespread despite technological advancements. Hackers are leveraging the advancement in technology to find loopholes in systems and create novel ways to get access to them. In 2022, businesses need to be proactive than ever to counter such cyber threats.
Thankfully, artificial intelligence and machine learning help to build models that can learn their own and detect novel patterns in a system. Processes like “Anomaly detection” etc. are a big step towards achieving this goal. Such models can not only detect an unusual pattern, but they can also contain them, notify about such events to concerned parties and use the data to improve themselves.
Distributed ledger and Blockchain
Decentralization is happening in all fields. Data storage and processing are also undergoing a major transformation. The traditional, centralized databases are giving way for distributed ledger (shared ledger or DLT) and blockchain models that are more secure and safe.
Industries like finance and banking are taking full advantage of these technologies as they offer more efficient transactions. The transactions and their details are recorded in multiple places at the same time making them impossible to be lost.
DLT is still an emerging technology if we compare its potential to the current rate of adoption. Since it can help to deter issues like hacking, unauthorized access, data theft etc., we can expect it to become an emerging trend in 2022.
Businesses are moving from legacy environments to the cloud at a faster rate. The necessity to go virtual and remote forced most businesses to ditch legacy models and find alternative solutions.
Since the tech industry foresaw the rise of cloud a long time ago, most of the new solutions like productivity tools, businesses suits, even games and media services are already cloud-based. Along with the necessity to go for a decentralized and distributed model, the potential for much better compatibility and integration are forcing companies to build their infrastructure and solution using cloud tech.
Are you someone who always click on the “forgot password” button every time you try to log in to a platform? If yes, here is good news. The traditional, character-based passwords are giving way to more sophisticated biometric passwords. The use of fingerprint, face recognition, iris scan and voice authentication etc. are becoming popular as an authentication mode. They are not only secure but also convenient compared to traditional passwords that are based on alphabets, numbers, and special characters that we always manage to forget.
Also, service providers like Google etc. are moving towards more convenient authentication methods like signing in with your phone or authenticator app where you do not have to remember any password or code but to tap on the matching code that appears on your device/app.
The introduction of the Apple Pencil was revolutionary. Even though stencils were in use for a long time, Apple Pencil offers something more than a pencil. They are integrated very well with the devices and designed in a way that is convenient to users. It can undertake different functions based on pressure, tilt, the application that is currently open, double-tap, or for navigation and everything else including notetaking and drawing.
In short, we are moving from an era of keyboards and input tools to a new era that enables us to interact with devices just like how we interact with other human beings.
Technology is moving its focus from experience to immersion. Until now each component in a system had its own set of functions that focused on delivering a specific experience to users. However, the recent technology trends are moving towards immersive experience where each component is designed in a way to offer a realistic, more enjoyable and wholistic experience and eliminate any chances for interruptions. The vision is to narrow the border between the virtual and real world and deliver the experience the users want rather than they need.
The two industries that are more focused on this emerging trend are gaming and media. It is because these industries were always struggling to deliver “the right experience” to their users especially when the users’ interests span across history, science, and fantasy. For example, it always was a challenge for game developers to offer the experience of living in space or a treasure hunt in ancient times to its users even though the storyline and models were of the best quality. The fault was not in the quality of the design but the delivery of the experience.
Ever since AR and VR became more mature and there are significant improvements in rendering, physics, display and audio technology, the experience has become much better for the users. In 2022, we can expect this trend to become widespread and more industries adopting it to improve customer satisfaction.
There are some exciting technology trends we can expect in 2022. Some of the names associated with these tech trends may seem familiar to you. Even if they are familiar, we are yet to see the adoption of such technologies on a scale that is large enough to make an impact on our day-to-day life. 2022 seems like to be the year we are going to experience them in our regular life.
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