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The world of tech continues to accelerate at an extraordinary pace, helping businesses to overcome challenges, operate more efficiently and opening the door to new opportunities.
This was never more evident than during the pandemic, when teams were suddenly reliant on their tech like never before and those who had already embraced all things digital, were at an instant advantage.
So, with the UK business world finally returning to some level of normality, what are the top technology trends we’re likely to see in 2022? And how might they impact on businesses?
Pre-2020, working from home was something most people did on the odd occasion and with special permission from the boss. Few employers offered a remote or hybrid working policy and workplaces were packed with employees who commuted in and out of the office each day.
Flash forward two years and the workplace landscape couldn’t be more different. Some companies have decided not to reopen their offices at all, shifting entirely to remote working, while others have introduced hybrid models that allow employees to split their time as they choose.
Before the pandemic, people followed technology. Nowadays, technology follows people — to where, and when, they want to work. As society opens up once again, the next big trend we see could well be ‘anywhere working’, with employees moving out of the home environment and taking full advantage of the freedom to work wherever there’s Wi-Fi.
So in 2022, there remains a clear demand for organisations to offer greater flexibility and to make it happen effectively through the use of tech, delivering on employee expectations around connectivity, talent mobility and wellbeing.
If you read the papers or use social media, then you’ve probably been hearing people talk about the metaverse. Indeed, Facebook’s owners have even taken the name ‘meta’ as their own and it’s likely you’ll hear a lot more about it in 2022.
In simple terms, the metaverse is a place made of virtual worlds where people come together as their avatars and can even own virtual assets that can be traded publicly as non-fungible tokens (NFT’s). Now this may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but forward-looking businesses are already creating their own spaces within the metaverse.
Given the concept of the metaverse has only recently gained traction in the mainstream, most businesses leaders don’t yet know how to engage with it. But the technology is set to result in radical transformation and organisation who don’t (or can’t) keep up and experiment, may quickly fall behind. There are also some security implications that clearly need to be addressed in the process, such as the potential for theft, cyber fraud and sexual harassment.
It may not be a new trend but cybercrime is likely to cause even more problems in 2022, with ever more sophisticated and calculated attacks emerging every day.
Covid-19 has caused the perfect storm with organisations who weren’t already working in the cloud and set up for remote access, needing to push out technology at pace. Often without the time and due care they’d usually warrant to such a task. With cybersecurity threats evolving at an even faster pace, business who took shortcuts may now feel the consequences.
Long gone are the days of lone, unsophisticated hobby hackers in a hoodie; businesses and government are facing organised “industrialists” that offer “hacking as a service,” delivered by dedicated teams, rate cards and support hotlines!
Another emerging issue is software assurance, where hackers infiltrate third-party software providers and use trusted connections to place malware undetected directly into your environment.
So in 2022, expect cyberattacks to come thick and fast. Organisations will need to get comfortable with cyber risk, just as they are market risk, and to develop actionable strategies.
The use of strong passwords remains a vital tool in the fight against hackers, who would just love an opportunity to steal and sell peoples’ personal data, or to block access and demand a ransom for its return.
Thanks to the ever-increasing sophistication of social engineering scams and the relentless efforts of cybercriminals to hack business IT systems and other online platforms, keeping things secure is a constant battle for organisations of all sizes.
While introducing two factor or multi factor authentication is helping (and is something we’d always recommend) another strategy we are likely to see grow in popularity in 2022 is the use of biometrics.
Alongside traditional passwords containing numbers, letters and symbols, we may see a greater integration of biometric logins, of the variety already used by some smartphone operating systems and laptops. For example, users may need to scan a fingerprint or even an eye to gain access, along with a password or one-time passcode sent to their connected devices.
Hardware is also changing. As employees continue to work away from the office environment, one of the biggest screen trends we are seeing is the use of folding screens, with some analysts even going so far as to predict a whopping 500% surge in flexible display demand over the next few years.
Alongside this, keyboards could soon be a distant memory thanks to advancements in AI. Voice-to-text technology and pens with haptic feedback being two of the most promising keyboard alternatives.
Along with machine learning these innovations are set to transform the way we communicate, paving the way for a future where we can put ideas onto a page faster and more fluidly than we might type it.
Relaxing on the sofa after a hard day’s work is when you are most likely to come across the final tech trend in our round-up – experiential entertainment.
In December 2018, Netflix screened an interactive episode of the popular TV series Black Mirror in which the audience controlled the narrative by selecting different outcomes at key points in the story. Set in 1984, the episode, called Bandersnatch, blurred the lines between fantasy and reality, allowing the home viewer to effectively determine the main character’s outcome.
While three years have passed since the episode aired, a greater-than-ever appetite for digitally streamed content is expected to see experiential programming of this nature come to the fore in 2022.
Much like viewers experienced with Black Mirror – and taking inspiration from the lucrative gaming industry that inspired the episode – this year, we could see a shift towards programming and technology that empowers viewers to dictate precisely how the plot unfolds, or even invites them inside the action. (Remember that metaverse we talked about…).
Right to Repair
Last year, new laws were passed in the UK around the “right to repair”, meaning spare parts must now be made available for a number of household items including washing machines and TVs, and stay available for up to 10 years, depending on the part. This should see waste reduced, as tech stays in use for longer.
Climate change and a bid by the UK government for the country to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 is driving the use and creation of cleaner tech, resources and energy. And as the cost of cleantech falls, so the adoption rates rise.
The ability to produce meat without animals and to cure diseases by editing an individual’s genetic fabric, are just some of the possibilities presented by what has been coined the ‘bio revolution’. It something that’s being propelled by advances in AI and DNA sequencing.
We’re increasingly going to be going digital and connecting the dots when it comes to health. Covid has helped propel a shift to electronic records and services in some cases. Alongside this wearable smart tech, such as Apple watches and fitness trackers, are helping keep health on track.
The Smart Home will continue to get smarter and better connected through the Internet of Things, including by household devices being used to help balance the national energy grid.
Electric vehicles will continue to dominate the vehicle market and so will charging solutions, with autonomous driving also continuing to get better and sharper.
That concludes our tech predictions for 2022. Will your business be embracing any of the above? Leave us a comment below and let us know.
If you’re looking to drive forward your digital transformation in 2022, then speak to our expert team at Dragon IS for guidance and support. Call us on 0330 363 0055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.