Tech trends to watch out for in 2022 – and beyond!

Feb 04, 2022
  • IT
  • artificial intelligence & RPA

If we’ve learned anything from the past two years, it’s that you need to keep innovating your technology – because you never know what’s round the corner!
 

For many clients, technology facilitating remote working became an overnight ‘must-have’. And gaps in their digital and real-world networks became glaringly obvious.

 

Now there is a real urgency in figuring out the future challenges (and solutions to them) which lie ahead. The choices available - and figuring out if they will add real value - can sometimes seem overwhelming. Our experts will help you see the wood from the trees.

 

We have identified nine key technologies which are already reshaping the business landscape. Whatever your current or future business pain points – the solution is probably already here.

1. Edge Artificial (AI) and The Internet of Things (IoT)

AI refers to processing data collected and/or created on a device at the edge of a network using AI algorithms. Together, Edge AI and IoT help organisations better understand and control your processes. For example:


  • Improving operational efficiency by enabling devices to share data and setting up operational dashboards and alerts.

 

  • Making better key decisions by combining data from connected devices and subjecting it to AI algorithms to reveal new insights, and useful quality or maintenance predictions.

 

  • Enabling connected devices to make autonomous decisions based on AI predictions.

2. Converting text and audio to structured data

“Unstructured” data is a treasure trove of useful information - such as customer and employee satisfaction, risk analysis or intelligence on potential hires. It is found either in written form (emails and social posts) or spoken (phone calls or podcasts).

 

Recent research revealed that unstructured data makes up 90% of all information in an organisation. By managing, structuring, and analysing this data, you could make better-informed business decisions and keep ahead of your competition.

 

Unlock its value using AI - such as automatic speech recognition (ASR), speech to text (STT) or natural language processing (NLP) - to help you overcome common pain points including:


  • Stop losing valuable expertise when experienced employees retire.
  • Reduce the incidence of bias in HR interviews.
  • Increase your ability to run hands-free operations.
Recent research revealed that unstructured data makes up 90% of all information in an organisation.

3. Operationalising machine learning

Only 11% of organisations are reaping the full financial benefits of your AI implementation with most businesses failing to successfully operationalise and/or scale-up. Helping you optimise the value of AI is a key area of focus for us:


  • Ensuring your model’s accuracy, retraining or re-evaluating it to adapt to changing data.
  • Achieving production-ready models which solve the right problems within an “acceptable” error rate.
  • Overcoming operational issues and helping operators deal with common scenarios.
  • Implementing an intelligent and future-proof data platform - along with long-term strategy and vision.
  • Applying lessons learned from the 11% of firms that are successfully implementing AI.

4. Extended reality (XR)

XR offers tremendous opportunities for businesses in any industry to improve efficiency and gain a competitive edge. We help clients consider which XR solutions will solve your unique business challenges, and how.

 

Six ways XR is driving ‘real-world’ value right now:


  • Capturing knowledge and converting it into procedures that can be executed using XR-technology.
  • Offering virtual training in simulated environments, employing infinite possible scenarios with zero risk and gaining an opportunity to glean valuable insights.
  • Allowing prospective customers to try different configurations of your products.
  • Examining how your products perform in myriad specific environments.
  • Building, testing and adapting entire virtual production environments and warehouses.
  • Enhancing virtual collaboration and create deeper levels of interaction through real-time sharing of information to overcome limitations in remote working and distance.

5. Quantum computing

Quantum computing is still in its infancy but already promises to solve some of our most complex challenges. Based on the rules of quantum mechanics, quantum computing approaches problem-solving in a fundamentally different way from traditional computing, harnessing unique behaviours of quantum physics and applying it to computing.

 

Researchers hope that quantum computers will be able to solve problems currently deemed “unsolvable”. These usually include complex machine-learning challenges requiring extraordinary computational speed or involving an inconceivable number of variables.

 

As an example, in a recent major traffic optimisation experiment, quantum algorithms running on traditional computers, reduced waiting time for drivers stopped at red lights by about 20% - saving an average of about 5 seconds per car.

 

Many quantum computers are already commercially viable today and can even be accessed via the cloud so companies like yours can already start experimenting and exploring how quantum computing could be adding value to your business.

6. Hyper-automation

Like many organisations, you may already be using robotic process automation (RPA) to undertake the most tedious processes, and increase efficiency and accuracy. But what about going beyond simple tasks and have end-to-end automation? Many business processes require more than a ‘simple’ RPA solution: they are either not simple, repetitive, or stable enough. Enter hyper-automation.

 

Hyper-automation brings together different technologies – RPA, but also AI and machine learning – in an orchestrated way to fulfil end-to-end workflows. Businesses that have scaled up to hyper-automation are reporting tenfold increases in efficiency gains and business agility, and a vastly improved employee experience.

 

On a strategic level, hyper-automation facilitates swifter responses to unforeseen and disruptive events. (Such as a global pandemic, for example…)

7. Intelligent data platforms

If you want to leverage your data to gain (real-time) business insights securely, cost-efficiently, and in a scalable way, you need a data platform.

 

Everyone understands that data is “super” important. Your IT landscape is brimming with solutions helping you extract, streamline, analyse and interpret it, but without a solid, scalable framework that connects all your data sources and centralises processing, you won’t leverage your data’s full value. That’s where (intelligent) data platforms come in.

 

A data platform is a portfolio of components that make efficient data management and processing possible. Implemented strategically, it allows you to move beyond traditional sales numbers and even rethink your entire business model, turning the data economy into reality.

 

The ability to leverage data in a structured, secure and scalable way also increases your organisation’s resilience in the face of disruptions. Companies who could accurately predict - and adapt to - the impact of the pandemic on their supply chains managed the disruption more successfully.

 

A data platform won’t built in a day but you can go a long way in as little as 30 days.

8. Cybersecurity

In 2021, 37% of organisations were victims of a ransomware attack with a cyberattack occurring every 39 seconds incurring an average downtime of 21 days. This is why 55% of technology and security executives plan to increase their cybersecurity budgets. If you aren’t already doing so – it’s time to take cybersecurity seriously.

 

In today’s hybrid IT landscape, the traditional approach to security (ie relying on firewalls alone) just won’t cut it. Make sure you build a solid resilience strategy, including company-wide cybersecurity awareness and implementing the most advanced technology available to you. Unsure how? We can help.

9. Mesh computing

The evolution of data architecture has so far been a story of increased centralisation. However, faced with a growing volume of different data sources, users and tools, the limits to data centralisation are increasingly obvious.

 

In most organisations, data is managed by a central team generally resulting in less ownership, less in-depth strategic understanding and poorer data quality. Faced with ever-increasing demand, a central team can also often become a bottleneck.

 

‘Data mesh’ offers a fresh, decentralised solution to data challenges, focusing on decentralising and democratising data. In a nutshell, putting data ownership back into the hands of the people closest to it: your individual business functions.

 

A single data catalogue is essential so overall governance would be handled centrally. Similarly, all data users will need to adhere to the same - centrally set - protocols and quality standards. However, your various functions would be responsible for their own data pipelines. For example, some teams who focus purely on operational processes can continue to rely on the central hub. Others, such marketing teams, may work best using their own solutions.

The most successful organisations are ones who spot opportunities where everyone else see hurdles. Be curious and start brainstorming ideas as to how innovation will help you to close the gap between ‘how things are’ and ‘where we want to be’.

 

There’s lots of exciting new tools to add to your toolkit. It’s time to explore!

 

Discover which tech innovations would boost your business right now: