It’s an understatement to say that 2021 was a year of evolution for all sectors, due to the ever-changing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 and onwards, the mass majority of tech leaders had to pivot their strategies by shifting to a largely remote-work model and assessing new markets that were impacted by unforeseen economic impacts.
Despite that, worldwide IT spending is expected to $4.47 trillion in 2022, according to new data from Gartner. With tech investments on the rise, digital transformation and innovation are expected to follow.
Below tech experts discuss trends and predictions for the tech industry in the new year.
James Winebrenner, CEO, Elisity:
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need to secure a permanently distributed and hybrid workforce. As we look to the future, organizations are realizing that while trendy approaches like SASE are useful for protecting remote workplaces, they cannot account for east-west traffic across managed or unmanaged devices. The goal now is to integrate multiple sources of identity across systems, legacy and new, and to assimilate them into a unified policy whether on-prem or in the cloud. In 2022 and beyond, we will see more and more enterprises move beyond cloud-only SASE models and point products to holistic solutions that protect data, apps and assets wherever they are being used.”
Rafael Sweary, President and Co-Founder, WalkMe:
“In 2022, we will see organizations analyzing and measuring those investments they made to their technology stack. What’s working? What’s not? It’s time to reap the benefits. It’s no longer going to be ok to have shelfware. For years, organizations have been running analytics on their websites but not doing the same for their other tech platforms, software, and apps. The shift to the need, and mandate, for analytics on all tech investments is coming, if not already here. No one can justify spending millions without proving its worth through strong analytics.”
Patrick Harr, CEO, SlashNext:
“Multi-channel spear phishing attacks will continue to be the number one cybersecurity challenge that organizations face in 2022. Such attacks increased by 51 percent this year over 2020 – an already record-breaking year – and we’ll see a similar jump next year. Since 95 percent of all cyber breaches start with spear phishing, we’ll experience more data theft, ransomware attacks, and financial fraud in 2022. Any one of those attacks has the potential to be as chaotic and disruptive as attacks like the Colonial Pipeline one was this year. There are several reasons these attacks are so dangerous. Attacks are arriving on all digital channels – including SMS/text, Slack, LinkedIn, Zoom, and much more – and from legitimate infrastructure – like AWS, Azure, outlook.com, Google workspaces, and more.
Moving completely to the cloud, using apps and browsers to increase productivity combined with the new reality of a hybrid remote/office working environment, means cybercriminals are targeting the most vulnerable and least protected parts of organizations – humans using apps and browsers. The same bad actors have become very sophisticated with access to easy-to-obtain and affordable automation technology. That enables them to deliver targeted spear-phishing attacks on a massive scale, through unprotected channels and move faster than many traditional phishing detection services. Protecting users from multi-channel phishing and human hacking will be an important trend in 2022. as phishing continues to move beyond email to include collaboration tools such as SMS/text, Slack, LinkedIn, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.”
Sven Müller, IP Product Director, Colt Technology Services:
“Future SD-WAN solutions will offer incredible scale, all of which will be done in near real-time and deliver on-demand connectivity. Think about adding a branch or multiple access circuits to one branch site and managing how this is load-balanced in split seconds. And, when it comes to enterprise functionality, SD-WAN solutions will need to sharpen themselves up in the ‘looks’ department and become visually easier to navigate, with dashboards being physically easier to use. Added intelligence will include layering in tools like AI and machine learning to help get a better handle on the expanding intelligent edge. It won’t be long before these networks become smarter, applications start fulfilling their own SLAs, and the networks have better control on understanding where packet loss emanates and how it can be curbed dynamically.
Sure, the future of SD-WAN is not black and white, but it is inevitable. Agility is critical, so is on-demand and fluid bandwidth, cloud-native is key, and security is the next steppingstone in its evolution while SD-WAN solutions build more agile networks.”
Simon Taylor, CEO and Co-founder, HYCU:
“The entire COVID and pandemic experience has become in some ways a giant social experiment. We were able to brute force test many things. For example, how flexible work really works, how efficient is it for businesses to be in a flexible working model. Because of this, I don’t think any of this is going away anytime soon.
I see the future of work as supporting an increasingly flexible workforce inside of an increasingly flexible workspace. What I mean by that is that I think people will now feel almost every employer will have a heightened sense of comfort. Comfort with hiring people in relatively remote areas. At the same time, I think there is going to be a working expectation that regular office visits will need to take place, again for that important face-to-face time and collaboration time.”
Yinglian Xie, CEO and co-founder, Datavisor
“Like other areas of cybercrime, we’re seeing increasingly sophisticated fraud operations. As fraud prevention technologies evolve, so do the fraudsters’, and the cycle will inevitably continue. The financial gain is immense and the dollar loss from the industry as a whole is rising rapidly, with no signs of slowing. Fraud operations are incredibly organized and efficient, and the digitization of everything is only making things easier. Massive banks of stolen information are readily available and allow precise targeting of systems around the world.
With a deep understanding of the latest defense mechanisms, fraudsters are leveraging real user behavior to hijack sessions and exploit weak points like first-time logins. Using GPS simulation and device emulators, fraudsters can appear to be from any device anywhere in the world or hundreds simultaneously. Moving forward, fraudsters will continue innovating in response to advanced detection systems, and vice versa.”
Rob Deal, Senior Vice President, Healthcare, Everise:
“Healthcare providers will wrestle with how to maintain patient loyalty and will need to meet the expectations for their patient experiences to be successful. People have become accustomed to the seamless and easy experience that organizations like Doordash and Amazon provide – and expect it to be that easy to interact with any organization. Today, it can be easier to book a dog’s grooming than their own doctor’s appointments – and consumers will ultimately turn to easier interactions. Providers who make even incremental patient experience improvements in 2022 – say, improving timely responses to most asked questions, or launching friendly and seamless follow-ups with patients for wellness checks after procedures and checking medication adherence – will quickly stand out as the ‘easy to work with’ choice in healthcare providers.”
Steve Schmidt, General Partner, Telstra Ventures:
“Strategic vectors of faster software development, more collaboration, and lower costs will be increasingly intertwined with a level of marketing and customer personalization / customer experiences like never seen before – largely through the use of Customer Data Infrastructure platforms. 2022 will be a great opportunity for companies to make game changing technology advances. Tremendous value is being created by a thriving ecosystem of fast-growing start-ups – perhaps this is why there’s now over 800 unicorns – many of which will be decacorns before too long.”
Rahul Pradhan, Head of Product and Engineering, Cloud Databases, Couchbase:
“Leveraging software defined components, composability removes the need to manage the underlying infrastructure and eliminates the need to reconfigure physical assets like servers, storage and connectivity based on changes in the workload. With composable IT, enterprises are able to manage their applications or services through a single unified control plane that can span multiple clouds, on-premises and all the way to the edge. That’s why today’s globally distributed enterprises will embrace the concept of composability – not just for their on-premises infrastructures but also for their multi-cloud and edge deployments.
Looking at architectures and how they’re evolving, enterprises will move away from monolithic architectures, toward building applications and infrastructures from component parts with well-defined interfaces. Businesses will continue to think about agility and simplicity when it comes to composing the infrastructure of technology stacks to achieve business goals – so the notion of composable businesses and applications will be a key trend.”
Matt Groves, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Couchbase:
“Developer Relations is still a very young field, so who knows what the future might bring. I think there’s a tremendous amount of value in leaning on DevRel to provide a developer’s perspective to product and marketing decisions. Developers have a large amount of influence on decision making, because they are the ones who ultimately have to live with the decisions being made. Many people see DevRel as a type of developer marketing, and there’s plenty of truth in that. But I see it as an opportunity for communication to go both ways: to listen to developers and to use their feedback as a guide. I think many DevRel teams are lacking in that area, and are often too focused on outbound communication, instead of inbound. That’s where I’d like to see DevRel lean more towards in the future.”
Eric Bishard, Senior Developer Advocate, Couchbase:
“More organizations will incorporate graph databases into their technology stacks, especially those that handle multiple types of data and need to closely manage relationships between users, while leveraging AI with decision making and targeting capabilities. There are solutions out there that incorporate graphs on top of JSON databases and then others that do JSON document databases while Neo4J handles the graph component. While some enterprises will enjoy the benefits of having a solution that rolls these capabilities into one product, many others will prefer to leverage two separate solutions that offer more in-depth functionality. This will be highly dependent on the system that the enterprise wants to build and the problems that need solving. In 2022 and beyond, it’ll be more important to let the problem an organization is trying to solve dictate the technology that it deploys.”
Alexis Richardson, Co-Founder and CEO, Weaveworks:
“Enterprises have missed the “app store moment” largely because each organization has been running their own infrastructure for the past decades. While the adoption of Containers is providing the next level of abstraction to encapsulate applications and brings us closer to the app store ideal, it’s really Kubernetes that adds the security and management that will finally turn enterprise software into an asset. Companies want to use the same core platform everywhere so they can focus on the same skill set, the same tools, the same way of thinking, but not the same data centers. In 2022, we’ll see GitOps increasingly deemed essential for product management-oriented DevOps teams to deliver standardization for enterprises’ core platforms so that people, their most important asset, can truly focus on delivering applications.”
Brad LaPorte, former Gartner analyst and Ordr advisor:
“Ransomware attacks will continue to increase. The impacts of double extortion and crimeware-as-a-service will continue to plague businesses worldwide. The number of victims will triple – up from 20% to 50%. The number of companies that pay a ransom to recover their data will increase from 10% to 30%. Cybercriminals will achieve this through more aggressive tactics including destroying data, leaking sensitive information, targeting high value targets, and disrupting business operations to force enterprises to pay. Third party and supply chain attacks will continue to increase. 2022 will be the Year of the Supply Chain Attack. Already up 430% since 2019, the growth of these types of attacks will increase exponentially to be the #1 global attack vector. As more enterprises are adopting more mature cybersecurity practices, criminals are going upstream to weaker targets that can maximize their blast radius that allows them to have an impactful one-to-many attack ratio. Historically, attacks have been spray and pray and will now become more surgical as supply chain attacks become weapons of mass destruction.”
Ron Williams, analyst, GigaOm:
“2022 will be a massive consolidation and acquisition year of technical and security solutions in the public/private and hybrid cloud space. Multiple vendors that provide specific solutions for migration, monitoring, deployment, and development will either be acquired, consolidated, or made redundant. At present, there are too many players for the average IT organization to sift through to find what they need. Larger companies have too much organic growth to use some of the solutions available unless they come from an entrenched vendor. Those vendors will move the quiet the nose.”
Michael Delzer, analyst, GigaOm:
“Electrical consumption to protect against ransomware will consume 10% of global energy by the end of 2022. Triggering corporate pressure on politicians to address ransomware with actual solutions that reduce them. While the cost of other aspects of ransomware protection will be higher the global impact is harder to measure. The measure is KW/unit of measure of GDP, like Kilowatt of power / US Dollar. This will show the rise in electric consumption is not linear to the increase in GDP. The new ultra-scale data centers built in 2022 will change local weather patterns as the density of heat generated will equal large cities in a fraction of the footprint. This can result in creating thunderstorms east of the data center triggered by the heat updraft created by these Gigawatt/hr sized data centers. This level of growth is not regulated, and the impacts can span state lines. Heat becomes the new pollution resulting in changes in regulations later in the decade.”