As the new year approaches, many of us are casting our minds towards the future and thinking about what 2022 has in store. New beginnings and developments are on the cards in many industries, with information technology being no exception. 2022 looks like it will be a promising year in the I.T. industry, and in some cases, it may be a critical time for certain technologies and sectors to come to the fore.
Keeping an eye on industry trends will ensure that you stay one step ahead and are best prepared for the changes to come. With that, here are our predictions for some of the most exciting trends in the I.T. industry that you need to know about in 2022.
Sustainable energy and tech solutions
Conversations about the environment and climate change have been had in many industries this year, and these concerns are unlikely to go away anytime soon. As a result, many tech companies are looking for ways to improve their green credentials, especially as more customers are becoming more environmentally conscious in their shopping habits. Research from Deloitte has found that in the last year, nearly 1 in 3 consumers have stopped supporting certain brands or products due to ethical or sustainability concerns about them. Therefore, in order to maintain their customer base, tech companies are now developing more eco-friendly products and services.
This might include using low-carbon and biodegradable materials, and batteries with more efficient and bigger capacities. In addition, with physical products lasting longer, their digital lifespans will most likely extend as well. Companies will develop system and security updates for their older products for longer, to ensure that they can be safely used for as long as possible.
Renewable energy is also likely to be a growing source of our energy needs in 2022. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 40% more renewable energy was generated and used in 2020 than in previous years, and this figure is expected to increase in the next year. Additionally, the cost of generating renewable energy has fallen by between 7% and 16%. This will be great news to governments and companies around the world as they aim to reach carbon neutrality, or even carbon negativity in the future. Other energy sources such as biofuels, liquid hydrogen, and even nuclear fusion are also becoming more viable, but the impact of these will more likely be felt further in the future than 2022.
Needless to say, this opens up a realm of possibilities for green technology, and we will be sure to see even more innovation happening in this area very soon.
Smarter remote working technologies
Whether you love it or hate it, working from home is going to be a part of our professional lives for a while to come, perhaps even permanently. Concerns about new coronavirus variants have led many companies to put their office return plans on hold, including tech giant Google, and many employees across a range of industries are reporting an increase in productivity and job satisfaction due to the better work-life balance that remote work can offer. As we adjust to the ‘new normal’ of our jobs being fully or partly remote, our technology needs to adapt accordingly.
Thankfully, companies such as Slack, Zoom, Trello and Microsoft Teams have provided creative solutions for staying in touch with our colleagues and maintaining our productivity since the beginning of the pandemic. This has provided many companies with the opportunity to build large-scale and sustainable remote working plans, many of which are set for the long term. In fact, many investors and analysts will look at a company’s remote working policies to judge how resilient they are to change, which goes to show how important these plans have become for businesses.
However, video chats and instant messaging might not go far enough soon. Virtual reality (VR), which is currently mainly used as a video game platform, may soon reshape the remote working landscape even more. By creating virtual and immersive work environments, VR could provide remote workforces with an even better way to connect with each other. Although current research is limited, this could result in some very exciting developments in the near future, which we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on.
Cloud services, such as Google Suite, have also seen a boom in the last year as more companies have taken to working remotely. A recent report from Hosting Tribunal has found that 94% of businesses use cloud services, and there are estimates that by 2023, the market will be worth an incredible $623.3 billion worldwide!
There are several reasons why more businesses are investing in cloud-native platforms. Firstly, they help improve accessibility. Instead of spending hours searching through your computer’s files to find a document to email across to someone, then beginning a back-and-forth of updates to the document, you can instead send them a link that allows them to edit it in real-time alongside you. Additionally, as more businesses focus on sustainability, cloud platforms provide a great way to store large amounts of data in an efficient way. Because of this, cloud-native platforms are going to play a big role in the tech landscape of the near future. Research from Gartner predicts that cloud-native platforms will serve as the foundation for more than 95% of new digital initiatives by 2025 — up from less than 40% in 2021.
However, cloud computing comes with risks, especially in the area of cyber security. One compromised account or misplaced password can give hackers access to huge amounts of information about your company, which could include sensitive employee or client information. Given the risks, it’s important to practise good cyber security measures when using cloud platforms. For more tips on how to keep your business cyber secure, check out our article on the subject here!
The rise of the metaverse
You would be forgiven for thinking that the metaverse sounds like something from a superhero movie. In short, the metaverse is a new kind of digital reality, which combines elements of VR, AR (augmented reality) and digital economies to create a unique user experience. In the world of work, Microsoft predicts that this might look like virtual meeting rooms, which employees can dial into via Star Wars-style holograms. Although this kind of technology is still years away, recent developments are nonetheless looking to be very promising.
The metaverse has been making headlines recently. Seoul has announced it will be the first major city to join the metaverse, and Barbados has said it will be the first country in the world to launch a digital embassy in the metaverse. This technology can bring huge advantages, for example by giving tourists the chance to ‘visit’ these faraway destinations, but concerns have also been raised about user security. Despite being in its infancy, there’s a good chance that in the future, more companies and governments will begin to explore the metaverse as an avenue for business, tourism and more.
Many of these innovations are still in the early stages of development, but will no doubt have a huge impact on the I.T. industry in the near future – so if you’re considering a career in the field, there’s never been a better time to get started.
Still curious about how I.T. might change even further in the coming years? Check out our blog post with our thoughts on what the future of the industry might look like.