As businesses look forward and prepare for a post-pandemic world, the rate of innovation in the technology sector shows no sign of slowing. While supply-chain issues and lockdowns over the last two year may have hampered many industries, they have also spurred numerous advances that promise to transform business and society. Read on for the ten top technology trends to watch this year.
1: The Metaverse
For many, the first mention of the metaverse came when Facebook changed its name to Meta in late 2021, but the idea of a virtual three-dimensional realm where people can socialize, work, shop, collaborate, or play games has been under development for decades, and 2022 looks set to be the year when it enters the mainstream.
From novel technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to decentralised payment systems and virtual real estate, the metaverse offers real-world business opportunities. Independent analytical consultancy MetaMetric predicts real-estate sales in the metaverse already top US$500 million per year and are set to grow further in 2022.
“In 2022 we will see more brands carve out specific marketing spend to accelerate the growth of their brand identity within this new space,” Yasin Dabhelia head of automation at Bidstack comments.
With geopolitical tensions growing in 2022 and cybercriminals becoming ever smarter the pressure to improve cybersecurity measures is higher than ever. The Covid pandemic has also caused record deployment of remote working tools over the last two years, leading many companies to be perilously exposed to cyber threats.
Astute Analytica predicts that the average cost of a data breach due to remote working can be as much as US$137,000 and that the global cybersecurity market will reach US$346 billion by 2027 as a result.
“2022 will be the year of zero trust, where organizations verify everything versus trusting it’s safe,” Eric O’Neill, national security strategist at VMware, comments. “We’ve seen the Biden administration mandate a zero-trust approach for federal agencies, and this will influence other industries to adopt a similar mindset with the assumption that they will eventually be breached.”
3: Hyperscale Cloud
Many firms are already familiar with the cloud but in 2022 hyperscale cloud providers are set to transform the way businesses use online services. Combining infrastructure and in-house business solutions, these services can deliver vertically integrated business solutions, creating ecosystems that establish de facto industry standards create holistic cloud-native solutions.
Technology consultancy Gartner estimates that public cloud revenues of US$408 billion in 2021 will skyrocket to US$474billion this year. Economies of scale mean that the hyperscale cloud market will be increasingly dominated by a few large providers, as competition drives rapid innovation in this space and firms are forced to move away from purely technical offerings and deliver macro- and micro-applications along with data management.
The Silicon Valley mantra – learn to code – has driven a generation of entrepreneurs and helped found some of the biggest companies on the planet but that may be about to change as new low-code or no-code (LCNC) tools hit the market in 2022. These visual software development environments allow non-technical staff to quickly create applications via drag-and-drop, replacing the need for complex development.
A survey by Accenture found that 79% of small businesses (SMBs) saw greater business agility from using low-code/no-code and 56% saw improved speed-to-market. Christian Kelly, Managing Director at Accenture, notes “SMBs are a powerful force within today’s economy… and LCNC is set to reshape the way that SMBs use technology. This is a space to watch”
5: Quantum computing
Once the stuff of sci-fi, quantum computing has emerged as a real commercial objective and in 2022 some of the biggest businesses on the planet will invest millions to claim quantum supremacy.
The global market for quantum computing technologies is set to reach more than US$500 million this year but major challenges still remain for widespread roll-out, as researcher Scott Aaronson at the University of Texas at Austin predicts it will still be “pretty shocking” if a general-purpose quantum computer can solve a useful problem in 2022.