The drive for progress in Information Technology (IT) for the year 2022 will emerge from the anxieties churned up by 2020 and 2021. No matter what plans and vision accompanied us as we entered this decade, things have uniformly aligned themselves to a single human goal – Sustainability. This is the umbrella under which our experts from various technology fields have predicted the course for 2022. The preamble is majorly centered on – Security, Decision Intelligence, Global accessibility, and Work-strength.
1.1 Storage Sustenance to Find Data Protection and Storage Security at its Core
If there was one lesson that 2021 rather harshly taught the IT world it was to never underestimate the cyber attackers. Failing to keep up with their creativity, 2021 saw many major businesses falling prey to Ransomware attacks, or worse, supply-chain attacks. Every incident was heavier on the wallet than the last one. Therefore, while Storage sustenance is touching upon newer avenues, 2022 will see a better investment in security and protection of storage systems and backup infrastructures. Cyberattacks already seem to have found vulnerabilities in Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Intrusion Detection tools which is working in favor of their easy evasion. Therefore, 2022 will initiate a long-term collaboration between security and IT teams. AI/ML will play a major role in working out automated security and vulnerability detection solutions along with faster threat remediation. Solutions like XDR (Extended Detection & Response), SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation and Response) and multifaceted security infrastructures are highly awaited this year.
1.2 Decentralized Cloud Storage Amped Up To Take the Reins
The world was forced to explore remote accessibility and now turning back doesn’t seem a popular choice. With Cloud computing at an all-time peak, organizations don’t want their storage ecosystems to stay behind. Software-Defined Storage has already proved its mettle for flexible and automation savvy storage. DevOps experts also seem to heavily favor the hybrid cloud infrastructures because of eliminated vendor lock-ins and application portability. This means that 2022 is all set to welcome Cloud Storage backed with Software-Defined Storage to take up the center stage in data persistence. Open-standards based decentralized storage systems would come forward to leverage physical and virtualized resources and interoperable containerized platform making data management easier and more business-friendly than ever.
2.1 AI-Driven Network Automation For Secure Remote Accessibility
The radical breakthroughs in Networking are more in terms of extending the capabilities of Software-Defined WANs (SD-WAN) to make the network more automation friendly. AI-driven network resources and wireless innovations seem to assert their position as key players in the networking domain for 2022. Design intent metadata metrics, domain-specific actionable ML, and virtual network assistants are likely to latch on to the network edge and make their way into the mainstream. As the network edge undergoes a more distributed fidelity for their employees, the organizations are keenly seeking networking solutions that are easily manageable but uncompromising when it comes to security. Anti-Malware and Firewall solutions will also attract more resource investment for more reliable and breach-proof networks.
2.2 Cloud-Managed Networking Architectures and AIOps
While secure accessibility goes beyond than just testing the AI waters, Cloud infrastructure is vigorously keeping up too. Cloud-managed networking utilities will continue to grow in 2022 and so will the ease of client telemetry and infrastructure maintenance. The adoption of AIOps has the digital transformation streets paved for it with a rolled-out carpet leading towards network troubleshooting, client behavior visibility, global network optimization, and enhanced wireless user experience.
3.1 Metaverse and Industry Virtualization
Thanks to virtualization the global economy was able to manage one of its most drastic derailments in a slightly better way. 2020 and 2021 had the workforces locked inside their homes and only the organizations that had their digital accessibility resources in place could possibly push for business continuity. Thus, the virtualization trends that might’ve taken a better half of this decade to be fully implemented already seem to be a part of day-to-day work culture in most of the modern organizations. 2022 would carry on these trends further with technologies like the “Metaverse” already in place. With VR datafication based feedback systems and immersive simulations testing waters for better customer experience this year is sure to lay the foundation for long-term industry virtualization solutions.
3.2 Enhance Virtualization Performance with 5G
Another aid that emerged in favor of speeding up the virtualization innovations was 5G wireless. Virtualization service providers couldn’t have asked for a better timing for 5G to turn up. 2022 would see organizations enjoy better network slicing, QoS, and Open API integration for network functions. The virtualized infrastructures would be able to stream and perform at better speeds while the DevOps teams leverage virtual and augmented storage, networking, and CI/CD resources for their innovative solutions. This is also a great news for Hybrid cloud infrastructure and AI-based solutions as now they can have a uniform playfield for public and private business clouds and datacenters to operate upon. Virtualization tools for cloud computing, configuration management, and application discovery management would be able to seamlessly manage the Kubernetes environments while enabling remote collaborations for hybrid workspaces.
4.1 Encouraging Hybrid and Multi Clouds with Consolidated Security Platforms
With 5G and AI enhancing our network and virtualization capabilities, Cloud platforms will also have to gear up against the cyber threats. 2022 will see the IT security teams and digital think tanks to come together and develop consolidated security platforms for multi-level security and minimal management complexities. While more and more organization are tempted to engage hybrid cloud and multi cloud environments, it would make sense for Security Service Edge (SSE) platforms to come out at the front and rise to the security challenges related to surface exposure, access management, and legacy infrastructure silos. Data security being of utmost priority, these consolidated security platforms would layout phase-wise security solutions to tackle the fresh cyber threats that created a menace in the yesteryear.
4.2 Flexible and Smart Cloud Migrations
The reason organization are keen to move towards hybrid and multi cloud environments in the first place, is the promised flexibility. Therefore, in 2022, along with all the security work being done at its pace, organizations will also focus on more flexible cloud deployment models, and infrastructure optimization for more mature cloud capabilities. As a lot of organization may want to regulate the pace for their cloud migration and operation, hybrid clouds would be just the right fit. Companies will now be able to architect, optimize and streamline their cloud infrastructure offering better DevOps capabilities and digital transformation solutions to their customers. Moreover, here too AI/ML would be employed to incorporate the require automation for better management of cloud native services, data analytics, and business intelligence.
5.1 Ease of DevOps with Low-Code and AI
While DevSecOps and Shift Left will continue to grow and AIOps, as we discussed above, will make its way to mainstream market, 2022 will also see DevOps democratizing and demystifying software development. The Low Code practices will be encouraged for rapid innovations with shorter test cycles and quicker deployments through the CI/CD pipelines. Even the organization sceptical about AIOps or MLOps, would be willing to integrate varying extents of AI-enabled services into their agile development methodologies to eliminate downtimes, quick troubleshoots, and faster change management workflow. As see above, with better datacentre and cloud capabilities, DevOps team would find more space to enable data-driven business intelligence and improved operational metrics for people, technology and execution.
5.2 DevOps Specializations Ahead
We have discussed AIOps and DevSecOps so far but these aren’t the only specializations that DevOps would explore this year. Most of the organization already have basic DevOps machinery in place and therefore with all the developments in cloud and datacentre technology, will be able to work on specializing DevOps for their needs. SRE, CloudOps, and DataOps would be a few important names that the companies would be keen to adopt in 2022. DevOps teams would start edging toward more specialised data and intelligence needs to streamline more business oriented processes for their organizations. Such specialization cannot be limited to just DevOps process but would also affect the DevOps teams that would incorporate new divisions and roles to accommodate their specialized DevOps needs. For instance SRE engineers would be required by DevOps pipelines that require better recovery processes in places while DataOps would be more keen to hire data analysts and specific developers with experience in developing data-driven solutions. Moreover, with its increasing popularity, GitOps might be a game changer in 2022 by engaging microservices development for better developer platform strategies, deployment processes and network utilization.
6. Kubernetes and Infrastructure Automation
6.1 Closing the gap between Kubernetes and Cloud-Native
SaaS and Containerization are ascending towards their prime and Kubernetes seems to be all the push they need. In 2022 organizations will be keen to make this push more cost-optimized by bringing Kubernetes and cloud-native development closer than ever. Containerization being the key, Kubernetes will aid cloud-native DevOps to integrate with more futuristic technologies like AWS lambda, Service Mesh and Azure Functions. This is a happy news for infrastructure management that seems to be weighing light on either abstraction or security over the past few years. In 2022, organizations won’t have to make a choice and they can see their flexible could environments working in a better synergy with Kubernetes.
6.2 Infrastructure Automation
With Kubernetes and Cloud-Native gaining upon their friendship, Infrastructure automation would be happy to venture upon fresher avenues in 2022. Containerization and hybrid cloud flexibility would allow infrastructure virtualization to be more agreeable with intelligent data-driven and ML-based tools allowing for automated infrastructure management. Technologies like Internet of Things, Infrastructure as a Service, Software Defined storage would have all the right catalysts in 2022 to bring about the change reaction for more autonomous risk analysis, downtime troubleshooting and intelligent container orchestration.
7.1 Data-Driven, Intelligent QA Automation
QA automation already has some of its processes like Continuous Testing and RPA testing in place and they will continue to grow in 2022 as well. What seems like a remarkable trend for 2022 QA is the data-driven approach that it’s edging towards. QA engineers will loop in some data-driven tools to monitor and act upon critical quality indicators for a more targeted test automation and optimization throughout the DevOps pipeline. Again, Artificial Intelligence will have a major role to play here especially with all the momentum it will build up with specialized DevOps and automated infrastructures. In 2022, companies across scales and sizes will be willing to incorporate AI into the creation of automated QA scripts, test prioritization, test environment management, and early prediction of issues. Therefore, an end-to-end integration of QA and AI resources would not only result in lower delivery time and defect detection, but a more secure testing process owing to the transparency and continuous monitoring capabilities it will provide.
8.1 Virtualization and UI/UX grow together
We talked about Metaverse and its effects on Virtualization. 2022 will also see Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) having similar effects on UI/UX innovations. Many giant organization have already been setting up consolidated XR hubs for such innovations where augmented environments and simulations can be deployed to incorporate feedbacks from the end-users. Such User Experience avenues will extend much beyond this decade but 2022 will be the year to lay down the foundation stone especially with regards to minimizing UI complexity and integrating multi-faceted interfaces for the ease of use.
8.2 Reusable Design Libraries
The stay at home services have also forced the UI/UX thought leaders to set up a design system that enables engineers to develop proactive libraries for easily reusable design templates based on user feedback. Such a systems is essential for rapid UI changes that are heavily required now more than ever. Especially with the pace at which the “Metaverse” is expected to move ahead, such reusable libraries would ease the extension of UI to multiple devices, varying resolutions and at the end a comfortable experience to the end-user.
9. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
9.1 Double-down on AI Inside
Artificial Intelligence in 2022 will thrive deeper into more traditional markets as more and more enterprises leap towards digital transformation. The more “AI inside” platforms will emerge as organization strive to narrow the latency between insights, decisions, and outcomes.
9.2 Responsible AI will become the norm
In 2022, we expect the demand for responsible AI solutions to extend past their regular industries to other verticals using artificial intelligence for critical business operations. Its high time AI/ML vendors had their chance to explore newer specializations and 2022 seems the perfect year to start that journey with interpretability, bias detection, and model lineage capabilities already making their way to mainstream digital market.
9.3 Creative AI will win several patents
This AI reached South Africa for its first patent in the country. A privilege that was reserved for Humans so far, especially in EU and US, was finally extended to an Artificially Intelligent System. This means that 2022 is going to be a big leap for creative AI systems especially in terms of legal recognition and mainstream opportunities.
10. Dashboard and Data Analytics
10.1 Natural Language Querying for Data Visualisation
Dashboards have been efficiently helping organizations to put in their data analytics, UI/UX, and Microservices skills together among other for a clean and insightful surface visibility. Therefore, taking their capabilities a step further, Natural Language Querying (NLQ) would enhance their ease of use with an obviously easy interface. This is a good news for both business leaders and the BI professionals working tirelessly at the backend to ensure insightful data visualization on-demand. 2022 would see notable development in this direction making NLQ and Data I synergize for a never seen before branch of Dashboard innovation. NLQ-based Dashboard will be able to proactively train for instructions while gradually adapting to the key user delivery for an even better data insights and actionable intelligence.
10.2 Higher Adoption of Business Intelligence Tools
Business Intelligence tools themselves have been moving at a rather slower pace than expected. However, the events of 2020 and 2021 and the need for better business continuity resources has motivated different industries including retail and manufacturing to actively look for suitable BI tools and technologies in the coming years. Predictive Data Analytics is being vehemently explored for its promises to mine the business data and optimize the business processes as per the market needs. If nothing else, predictive analysis itself would spend the tenure of 2022 finding its way into various digital transformation projects and integrating with various BI tools. The critical variable would be the ease with which the users from minimal to no technology background can operate on such tools for decision-worthy insights and reports.
11.1 Modernizing the Finances
Fintech is in for a pretty happening time starting this year. There’s embedded solutions like in-built payment gateways that are already integrating with the traditional finance platforms for better customer experience. Then there are the pay-later solutions that a lot of tech giants are already offering. But the spotlight still seems to be fixed upon Crypto and NFTs that are going through an adventure of their lifetime. Blockchain technology has already had heads turned in the past few years, but the traditional institutions are now looking upon drawing suitable derivations from the existing crypto technologies. Traditional stock exchange firms are looking upon harbouring the time optimization and ease of use and security offered by blockchain to accelerate asset transfers, investments and transactions. With the innovations emerging in data analytics and better Fintech resources, organizations are also looking to enable better fraud detection and reliable customer experience.
12. On-Demand Talent Acquisition
12.1 Flexibility will drive acquisition and retention amid the Great Reshuffle
While the “great reshuffle” baffled a lot of companies, talent acquisition and retention was bearing a big question mark in the yesteryear. Therefore, 2022 would see some big workplace policy changes for a better talent pool maintenance. Along with hybrid work models, on-demand hiring would be a more welcome option for organizations that are now looking for flexible workforce to serve their end-clients. On-demand acquisition would be the most flexible option for both the employer as well as the workforce owing to its promises of better upskilling opportunities and optimized costs and time management. This is also a good news for internal mobility programs where the talent resources would get to work on a wider domain for technologies while the organizations get to leverage their skills in a much productive way.
13. Quantum Computing and RPA
13.1 Quantum Computing to the Rescue
In 2022, we predict that several organizations making quantum computers will double their QCs’ quantum volume—the number and reliability of the quantum bits available for computation—from what it was in 2021. Restrained only by the laws of physics, quantum computing will potentially extend Moore’s Law into the next decade. As the commercialized version of quantum computing comes within our range, breakthroughs will occur at a speedy rate. More and more enterprises will utilize these larger quantum computers to resolve real-world issues. They will unite experts, choose exciting and valuable use cases, survey the academic literature, and pick problems they want to tackle. The quantum model is expected to evolve more in terms of size and performance as per the scale of these use cases.
13.2 Data Safety Paramount for RPA
RPA will move ahead of the initiation phase, which it has been lurking in all this while now. In 2022, RPA will explore more use cases that would help augment overall business operations. With better optimization through RPA, enterprises will have rich data sets to get critical insights. But, the focus will largely remain in ensuring that security architecture surrounding the operations meets the most rigorous industry standards. This is to safeguard data from hackers and identity thieves for sectors like FinTech and healthcare and consumer.
14. Cybersecurity and Blockchain
14.1 Proactive prevention of threats will change in regards to the present data
Data on threats was always available previously, just that the proactive prevention methods weren’t workable earlier. However, this will change in 2022 due to the implementation of cybersecurity threats all over the world. More businesses are increasingly adopting analytical techniques like machine learning to deal with cybercrimes and threats to prevent from further damage. Most of these organizations will opt to hire professionals.
14.2 Blockchain Technology For Secure Interactions
2022 is going to be the year when blockchain is accepted with open arms even by the traditional and more sceptical players in industries like Fintech. Its vast compatibility with IoT (internet of Things) and secure interaction among different systems makes it just the right contender for existing security and accessibility challenges. A lot of Blockcahin pilot project will be initiated owing to its promise of helping resolve issues around security and scalability due to its encrypted, automated, and stable nature. We might need to travel a little further before it starts impacting our day-to-day lives, but 2022 will be the year when we’ll look back to see where it all started.
15. Virtual and augmented reality
15.1 Use of artificial intelligence (AI) into the AR/VR environment
Global Enterprises and ISVs are already impressed by the little offering from AI and Virtual Reality that they got to enjoy so far. The gateways to more disruptive AR/VR solutions in the market are now open with a red carpet. They’ll look at how progressive machine learning algorithms and other AI approaches can assist computers and other gadgets to observe and understand things efficiently. As a result, highly engaging workplaces and improved picture recognition abilities will develop.
The 20’s are going to be an important decade in deciding the relationship between the man and the machine. While Storage, Networking and Cloud are all concerned about security before anything else but the promises or AI/ML and Blockchain are lucrative enough to allow them some space for exploring new industrial innovation and digital transformation opportunities. Moreover, with the Metaverse turning heads, it’s only a matter of time before our on-demand talent for Data Analytics, DevOps, UI/UX etc. is pushed to re-skill for some completely unheard of avenues in the digital industry. With the world coming back to track after a big halt, 2022 will catalyze a lot of long term chain reactions that would go on to entirely change the face of IT and business for the coming decades.