Originally published by Top Business Tech. Technology experts share their experiences from this past year and what they expect to see for the new year. With an increase in hybrid work, connecting virtually, and a growing need for cybersecurity. The technology sector has more opportunities, and gaps to fill, more than ever. See what five experts and our very own CEO, Marc Vontobel have to say.
We get insights from experts from throughout the technology industry, who offer their thoughts on what they expect to see in 2022.
2021 has been an extraordinary year for the technology sector, with investment reaching record levels in certain parts of the world. Although we have witnessed a huge acceleration in the technological development of certain areas of the industry, such as hybrid working tools, cloud services, and artificial intelligence. However, some businesses have suffered. Many are being hindered by problems with supply chain difficulties and other challenges caused by the pandemic. Looking ahead, 2022 will hopefully mark the start of a post-pandemic era in which technology will have a more predictable, long-term influence on how businesses operate.
Jonathan Anguelov, COO and Co-Founder, Aircall
“Businesses are embracing a more fluid approach to communication, in which emails, chats, videos, and calls co-exist to meet their need for flexibility. In 2022, we can expect this trend to continue, with an increasing number of employees switching back to phone calls to maintain strong, deliberate connections.
Voice feels human, intimate, and more meaningful, and yet, it maintains a level of efficiency in terms of how we communicate, saving us time and energy. What’s more, with the power of intelligent cloud-based software, voice can be woven into modern workflows. Businesses recognize that quality connection is integral to good customer experience, and through analytics and integration, that experience can be enriched.
If conversations feel more purposeful, then customers can hang up the phone filled with a sense of unexpected joy; this is hopefully what 2022 will be all about.”
Peggy de Lange, VP International Expansion, Fiverr
“Macroeconomics will continue to impact business operations, beyond a global pandemic, and businesses need to plan for the fallout of Brexit and ongoing supply chain issues. Fiverr’s research found that 63% of UK businesses believe Brexit has created problems, and 60% say that supply chain issues have negatively impacted their businesses in 2021. We can expect the future of work to encourage agility; this will also be extended to the way that businesses look to hire talent.
As 2021 proved that people really can work from anywhere and at any time, we can expect more diverse tech teams made up of all different types of workers. In 2022, we’ll continue to see the trend of hiring freelance specialists as an effective alternative solution to filling the skills gap, meeting added demand, and coping with unexpected challenges that Brexit and COVID may bring. We’ll see businesses learn to fully grasp the benefits of hiring freelancers to plug any shortages that they may have in their immediate teams, creating an on-demand and agile workforce.
Marc Vontobel, CEO and Co-Founder, Starmind
“As we continue to create more and more data, it’s becoming harder to find what we need at work. Business productivity and employee satisfaction are being damaged by endless searches for information.
We must rethink knowledge management to highlight these blind spots and make it easier for employees to access and share essential knowledge. This will benefit the entire organization if we get it right. If we don’t, productivity and the bottom line will suffer as we move into 2022.
AI is set to transform the way we work and our expectations around it. AI can identify relevant information or experts in real-time, continuously refining or even ‘recycling’ elements of this knowledge network based on the latest information. Next year, having a centralized source of the expertise and knowledge of the entire organization will be vital. This will help businesses to promote human centricity, connect employees and retain their competitive advantage through an agile and productive market presence.”
John Morrison, SVP of International Markets, Extreme Networks
“Ordinarily, businesses consider networks to consist of two separate layers: software and hardware. As we move into the year ahead, organizations will realize that their networks are in fact multi-layered and as a result, have the potential to become even more powerful.
To take advantage of their networks, companies in 2022 must utilize their infrastructure as a whole. This can be achieved by exploring ways to combine the power of cloud management with next-generation switches and access points, using the likes of AI and ML, and deciding whether public cloud, private cloud, and/or on-premises solutions best suit them.
This will enable firms to experience diverse business connectivity and help them to meet their commercial needs. In addition, they will future-proof themselves and become ‘infinite enterprises’ that are capable of scaling, meeting users wherever they are, and delivering a consumer-centric experience.
Networks which can meet these goals reliably and securely will keep people connected, engaged, and productive in the more distributed environment we now live in.”
Andrew Watson, VP of Artificial Intelligence, Healx
“From supporting the rise of virtual consultations to modeling the spread of disease, technology has played a huge role in reducing COVID-19 transmission in recent months.
Over the next few years, we can expect technology to have an even greater influence on how patients are treated, and one of the most exciting ways in which we hope to see healthcare advance is through the wider adoption of AI-powered solutions. National and international bodies alike are recognizing the role that AI will play in 2022 and beyond, with both the EU and the UK developing frameworks to accommodate the recent boom in technological innovation.
Among the many ways in which AI could help, we expect AI to transform the drug discovery industry, enabling faster and more accurate disease detection and diagnosis, and automating many laborious administrative tasks throughout the development process.
AI is set to make a huge difference for patients and medical staff around the world, and 2022 will be the year in which it takes full flight.”
Nick Reid, Regional VP of Northern Europe, DoubleVerify
“There are two key reasons 2022 will be the year attention becomes the dominant advertising currency.
Firstly, brands will continue to want to drive outcomes from their ad spend, and attention metrics provide vital sets of data that are more predictive of an outcome. With such, data brands can optimize their campaigns – all while avoiding tracking consumers or requiring their personal information.
Secondly, tighter privacy controls and cookie deprecation are impacting how brands target consumers and measure performance in their digital campaigns. Brands in 2022 will therefore be exploring alternative measures they can take to gauge performance. Rather than buying inventory blind, adding attention to the media measurement mix can help ensure accountability overspending.
To gain greater quality inventory and better results, brands must focus on attention metrics, alongside advancements in areas such as contextual targeting. It’s not only privacy regulations and the deprecation of cookies driving this change, but advancements in verification solutions improving the baseline quality for ads, by tackling fraudsters, boosting safety, and providing brands with clarity over their ad performance – the attention ecosystem is the next stage in its evolution.”
Ian McShane, Field CTO, Arctic Wolf
“Words matter, the way we use and update the use of even the most well-known terms can have a distinct impact on how humans think and act. Looking ahead to 2022, the cybersecurity and wider tech industry must start moving away from using the word ‘password’, and instead switch to “passphrase” to encourage better security behavior with end-users.
There is a famous ‘person on the street’ video where a vendor attempted to extract, through casual conversation, passwords from the public on camera. Concerningly, they were very successful – largely given the number of ‘name of dog’ and ‘high school graduation year’ passwords people default to.
As more people develop better security habits and are encouraged to take their security more seriously, passphrases will start to be a term we hear more heading into next year. Just as security training requires a new approach to truly engage users, a simple switch of wording has the potential to reinvent credential hygiene.”