Home Technology The 2022 technology predictions bonanza

The 2022 technology predictions bonanza

We have compiled some of the predictions we've received on how 2022 will pan out. Topics include network, 5G and edge; the future of work; data analytics and databases; and blockchain.

Network & 5G

45% of organisations in Asia-Pacific that were increasing their ICT spends were investing in wireless networks such as 4G and 5G and related services. As we shift to more hybrid work arrangements, we expect the adoption of 5G to unlock new customer experiences. The focus for organisations in the new year is to understand how 5G can elevate and become the foundation for them to innovate at speed and in an agile manner.

With these applications and new technology brings with it new challenges for companies, such as an increase in network usage. Companies need to ensure that they are backed by a robust

networking solution and enhance their overall wide area network (WAN) strategy to ensure smooth collaboration for hybrid work.

– Geraldine Kor, Managing Director, South Asia, Country Managing Director, Singapore, Telstra

As a continued increase in remote working accelerates the adoption of cloud services, it’s crucial for businesses in these sectors to gain awareness of the trends and that will shape how they operate. 

Key predictions for the coming year include: 

  • An increase in hybrid multi-cloud management due to remote working, plus the transition of MPLS to SD-WAN to gain new visibility and security at lower costs.
  • The push towards software-based solutions, analytics, automation, and AI to address regulatory complexity.
  • The greater focus on cybersecurity threats due to rising costs associated with breaches and the switch from reactive to proactive risk management.
  • 5G adoption for last mile connectivity.
  • Continual exploration of automation and AI to enhance business’ connectivity infrastructure.

– Michel Robert, Chief Executive Officer at Epsilon

If 2020/2021 taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. Yet despite the impact of an unforeseen pandemic, we saw great progress in technology, especially as vendors all around the world began to roll out 5G. We expect this to continue into 2022, particularly towards 5G connectivity and how it will impact everything from the mobile market to IoT to a greater proliferation of 5G networks. When 5G becomes a norm, it will fuel a new era of innovation and it will redefine consumer experiences and drive transformation across every industry. 

– Emma Pudney, Chief Technology Officer, Asia Pacific and Japan, Rackspace Technology

In 2022, we’ll see a surge in new interest for campus-based and private networks. Security, data privacy, latency, and edge caching for optimization and analytics will drive initiatives that would have been cost prohibitive or unmanageable previously. New standards and regulatory changes are helping campus solutions push into the mainstream. We will see innovative new business models for emerging ecosystems of device, content, and business partners, while entirely new types of service providers emerge.

– Marc Price, CTO, MATRIXX Software

Edge 

It is a well-known fact now that data is being generated at an unprecedented rate as digitalization continues to take center stage – in fact, in 2020, every human created at least 1.7MB of data per second on average. These data streams can provide valuable insights to improve efficiency and efficacy of systems and processes, and modern age compute is adapting rapidly to make this a reality. Processing is being pushed closer to the users and to the edge of the network: Edge computing is transforming the way data is being handled, processed and delivered from millions of devices around the globe.

While edge computing offers numerous benefits to businesses, it also increases the risks with expanded attack surface. In the coming years, attackers will capitalize on seams in edge by targeting:

  • Quantum of sites and devices,
  • Gaps introduced in application and network security controls with manual implementation across sites, and
  • Lack of observability and central management.

Now is the most apt time to meet the edge security challenges head-on and design proactively. The tenets for securing this transformed compute must include secured communications with sites, uniform security policy enforcement, automation and cross site observability.

Uniform enforcement of adaptive controls from the edge, to the cloud and at the data centres will help solve challenges the distributed applications face.

– Shahnawaz Backer, Senior Solution Architect, Asia Pacific, China and Japan, F5

The pandemic has catalyzed digital transformation on all fronts. With more digital devices and products using HD-livestreaming and AR/VR, service providers must be able to meet this surge in demand for connectivity and low latency – or risk falling behind. The AR/VR market is expected to grow US$163B from 2021 to 2025, with the APAC region contributing 34% of the growth. These applications place huge bandwidth and stringent latency demands on the network edge across metropolitan areas. As a result, network edge will become top-of-mind for service providers to adapt to unpredictable bandwidth demands, stay ahead of the curve, and be future ready.

As a result, the network edge will become top-of-mind for service providers seeking to stay ahead of the curve, and be future ready. The hunt for new value will drive distributed edge cloud nodes closer to communities and enterprises, requiring high performance compute, networking and AI powered systems that can enhance productivity while improving user-experiences.

– Madhu Pandya, Senior Advisor of International Market Development at Ciena

Data 

In the coming year, we will see the rapid adoption of Graph Data Science, as data and learning are naturally merged. Relationships are fundamental, so having meaningful patterns is critical to enhance conventional machine learning and provide explainable results in industries such as healthcare (to provide real-time recommendations), the industrial supply chain (leveraging analytics for decisions), and financial services (to power real-time fraud detection). In fact, we will see the fusion of distributed graph databases, advanced analytics, and in-database machine learning. 

Graph Data Science brings expert knowledge to machine learning via graph analytics — and more enterprises will shift from an exploration to production mindset during the next year. These enterprises will benefit from deep-link pattern discovery, uncovering patterns and insights within 10-20 hops (or connections) of data.

– Dr. Jay Yu, VP of Product & Innovation at TigerGraph

Businesses are still trying to navigate the massive volumes and variety of data generated daily — from the most productive way to derive intelligible insights, to how they can best utilize that data. We will see emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), applied at a greater scale than before to accelerate these processes, and all of this will ultimately also serve to enhance productivity across the enterprise. More businesses will also leverage automation for manual processes, allowing them to manage and redirect their resources accordingly, and free employees to focus on driving what’s truly important — innovation.

As a result of this shift, we are also seeing an increasing demand for skilled tech talent both locally and across the region. In 2022 and the years to come, encouraging innovation and knowledge-sharing at the grassroots level will be critical to nurture next-gen tech-preneurs, data scientists and skilled IT leaders. We will also see greater investments into significantly simplifying and lowering the barriers to innovation, as well as access to modern software infrastructure and technical know-how — and technology will become increasingly democratized across the enterprise.

– Neville Vincent, Vice President, South Asia Pacific, Nutanix

Fervor for knowledge graphs/graph databases soared in 2021, especially at the business level. Adoption has increased across the board, from small businesses to large enterprises due to the ease of implementation. In 2022, this trend will not only continue but sprout new use cases in fields such as digital twin technology, patient journey analytics, biomarker detection and root cause analysis.

In 2022, companies will need to embrace the role of the “citizen data scientist,” which are employees who work with predictive/prescriptive analytics models but whose primary job function lies outside the field of data science and analytics. The data science field is one of the fastest growing, and with the workforce currently experiencing “The Great Resignation,” and companies will need to make data science more accessible to help fill gaps on their teams.

– Nik Vora, Neo4j APAC Vice President

The coming year and beyond will see data-driven observability gain further momentum. With end-to-end visibility, engineers and developers will have the deep insights they need to make informed business decisions based on data, not opinions, so they can do their jobs better, faster, more easily and efficiently.

This modern take on observability is in contrast to traditional monitoring methods and tools which employ multiple monitoring experiences, forcing users to toggle between a variety of stand-alone applications on top of purpose-built databases. This creates silos of data that inhibit true end-to-end, enterprise-wide data discovery and observability. The result is frustration and extra, time-wasting toil, that keeps engineers from doing the work they love: building and delivering amazing software.

– Ben Goodman, New Relic SVP APJ

The need for faster access to data across increasingly distributed landscapes drives integrated data management that uses metadata, semantics, real-time and event-driven data movement, and orchestration in the pipeline. Putting these capabilities into a distributed architecture is referred to as a “data fabric”.

The discussion on handling distributed data has evolved into “data mesh”, with the principles of treating decentralized data as a product, with ownership in the domains. The tissue connecting these domains and their associated data assets is a universal interoperability layer that applies the same syntax and data standards. This can all be tied together with a catalogue – not just for data but for analytic artifacts, too.

The large cloud hyperscalers will claim that they have this, taking the approach that they are effectively one big data lake. In other words: “Put it all in our platform; we can do anything you need”. But that narrows your choice to one vendor when the whole point is to accommodate for heterogeneous and decentralized data.

The key is what these new architectures enable. Having access to all the data you need, and treating it as a product, accelerates customer and supplier onboarding, improves inventory management, and much more. More widely, it establishes global consistency across your business and ecosystem. And having an architecture to handle the rapid proliferation of data – over a centralized data platform – makes both your enterprise and ecosystem (interwoven into a fabric value chain) more agile and robust.

– Dan Sommer, Qlik Senior Director, Global Market Intelligence Lead

The uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic has created an opportune moment for leaders to commit to data-driven strategies for greater agility. This is why an organisation-wide data culture is important – it is about the behaviours of people who value, practice, and encourage the use of data. It requires organisations to have a culture underpinned by data – an understanding that data needs to be in the hands of everyone in the organisation. Businesses need to have the following elements in place:

  • Commitment – where data is treated as a key strategic asset and people are committed to realising value from that asset. Leaders need to take the first step and lead by example
  • Trust – having both trust from leadership and transparent access to governed, accurate data, results in greater employee responsibility and accountability for the information used and needed
  • Talent – recognise and value data skills as part of how organisations recruit, develop, and retain talent
  • Sharing – creating environments such as internal communities, where people share and support one another to achieve common goals
  • Mindset – encouraging curiosity through exploration and even failure with data

– JY Pook, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific & Japan, Tableau

A growing number of companies outside of the Fortune 500® will hire chief data officers (CDO) charged with implementing one or more data governance programs in the coming year. We’ll also see organizations without an official CDO moving to implement specific subsets of the data governance portfolio, such as corporate-wide data dictionaries. The CDO position, with its emphasis on protecting and promoting the value of corporate data, will see rapid growth in companies of medium size, such as those listed on the Russel 2000® index. This will further emphasize D&A governance for small and medium businesses, which will be triggered by two widespread issues. First, the extension of work from home (WFH) and hybrid working arrangements has acted as a big motivator for companies to build stronger data governance programs as small and medium-sized corporations continue to allow access to their on-premises data for the first time from new and unsecured locations, such as employees’ homes. Second, global data privacy legislation—such as the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA—apply to organizations of all sizes doing business in those legal jurisdictions. These new laws have potent punishments for violators, prompting many firms to make data governance a new priority.

– SolarWinds Head Geek™: Kevin Kline

Future of Work

Like it or not, remote work is here to stay. That will mean greater need for cloud solutions that connect both the internal workforce and a company’s external stakeholders (customers, investors, vendors, and partners). At the same time, it is allowing for improvements in areas such as work-life balance, time management, self-determination, and more time with family, while the flexibility aids business continuity planning (BCP) strategies. More than ever, it is clear that the future of work will be inextricably linked to the cloud. 

New physical-digital mixture: Managing real human connections and relationships in the new digital-first environment will be a challenge of the ‘new norm’ that all businesses have to get used to. Physical events will start happening again and it will be interesting to see what that interaction looks like. Internal meetings at companies will likely continue to leverage new virtual solutions such as Zoom, even when everyone is in the same building. Digital transformation is still an imperative as we enter the new year. While companies may interpret that in different ways, or feel so overwhelmed they don’t know where to start, smaller initiatives can help them ease their way in. Many are hiring DX leaders whose role it is to deliver transformation, identify gaps and plug them, accelerate digital processes, and train staff.

– Edward Senju, Regional CEO at Sansan

While the physical HQ defines work as a place to go, the digital HQ is where work gets done. With enterprises adopting hybrid and remote work arrangements, the digital HQ – a single platform that connects employees, customers, and partners so they can thrive in a work-from-anywhere world – is gaining traction. In Singapore, a SMB Trends survey found that 100% of SMBs have moved part of their operations online in the past year, and almost 90% feel these shifts will benefit them in the long term.

By integrating workflows and apps into a single platform, digital HQs help to drive seamless communication and productivity with teams, customers and partners. Employers can also tap into the global talent pool, allowing businesses to achieve success from anywhere. Organisations looking to implement their own digital HQs must understand that this is a strategic undertaking that goes beyond the piecemeal deployment of a few digital tools. It is about making workflows seamless to support the way people naturally work together, regardless of where they choose to work.

– Sujith Abraham, Senior Vice President and General Manager, ASEAN, Salesforce

The gradual shift to the emphasis on skills rather than roles will be critical for organisations to retain talent, address core business challenges and drive competitive advantage. With accelerated digitalisation, businesses will turn their focus to upskilling current employees to spearhead innovation and success within information-age organisations.

As businesses continue to pivot digital transformation, automation will be the key to increasing productivity by streamlining the business processes. It will automate repetitive elements of people’s day-to-day roles and allow them to focus on areas that require a humanistic approach such as creativity and high-level strategy to meet the demands of their digital present and future.

In 2022 and beyond, we can expect to see companies embracing more flexibility to work from home more often while incentivising in-office time for collaborative work. As people adapt to the new hybrid working, having a collaboration platform to share information, real-time updates and even progress tracking will make collaboration within teams working in the office or at home more agile and intelligent.

– Jayden Soh, Head of Solutions, HKBN JOS Singapore

The Great Resignation and talent crunch for IT will create another push to cloud adoption, and small and medium enterprises need to take critical steps to maintain their competitiveness and agility. We are in a time of “The Great Resignation” as we witness employees in all roles, across industries, from all sizes of organisations around the world leaving their jobs in masses. Heading into 2022, this workforce trend means IT teams will face escalating pressures including talent shortages that impact their ability to drive digital transformation, let alone maintaining lights-on IT operations. With workforce shortages becoming increasingly acute, there’s a growing demand for automated solutions and cloud platforms to supplement the loss of manpower. We expect to see a continuing rise in hybrid multi-cloud in 2022 amongst small and medium companies, ultimately helping companies move beyond resilience into growth.

– Claus Andresen, Senior Vice President & Head of Mid-Market and Emerging Markets Growth, SAP Asia Pacific & Japan

Blockchain

The current and most noteworthy use of blockchain technology is cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. In 2021 we saw the explosion of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) where people spent absurd dollar amounts in an attempt to corner the market on pixelated GIFs created by unknown artists. However, there are much more promising and far-reaching use cases that’ll begin to make their way into the mainstream. For example, the secure sharing of medical information, intellectual property rights, and original content security. 

– Adam Field, Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy and Experience at Kofax