Six tech predictions that will shape the industry in 2022

Russ Kennedy, Chief Product Officer at Nasuni shares his tech sector predictions for 2022.

Over two years of turbulence, organizations have rushed to find adequate solutions to respond to several challenges imposed by altered work patterns and business strategies. Cloud adoptions accelerated many organisations’ digital transformation plans; 2022 will continue to mandate flexibility as companies try to align budget expenditures and infrastructure resources to business demands in real time. The big challenge will be for enterprises to maintain, protect and provide access to the sheer volume of their data – growing quicker than ever before due to the pandemic. Businesses need to ensure their data is accessible, scalable, and above all, secure – in order to safe-proof their operations – while delivering the same level of experience to employees and customers alike, remotely.

As the year comes to an end, new challenges and trends continue to drive evolving business strategies. So, what are the main predictions shaping the agile company in 2022?

  1. Storage industry returns to pre-pandemic growth

After the months of upheaval, the storage industry is going to return to pre-pandemic growth rates, with cloud storage hitting double-digit annual growth rates. Generally, levels of data continue to grow, and companies need infrastructure and technology that can absorb, capture and utilise that data. However, areas such as on-premise storage hardware and traditional backup technologies will not grow quite as fast. Traditional storage and backup will not see higher growth rates due to “move to the cloud” initiatives in most organisations.

  1. Cloud and the Edge in 2022

Edge computing will continue to evolve, driven by the rise at scale of sensor-driven data generation, and the collection and analysis of that data at the edge, where it is being generated. This is going to drive things like autonomous vehicles and autonomous transportation. So, there will be more products and innovation for the edge as well as the cloud, but both will co-exist. I don’t think one will supplant the other – there’s need for both centralised analysis and in workload, hosting and those kinds of things – but there is a growing need for data gathering, data analysis, etc at the edge and I think there’ll be continued innovation in that space over the next several years.

  1. Companies will modernise, moving workloads to the cloud

A surprise in 2021 was companies’ reluctance to agree on strategies for moving workloads and data to the cloud. Despite teams being forced to work from home, many in the industry had predicted that IT teams would send workloads and data to the cloud more quickly. Cloud storage providers are breaking through ‘traditional’ thinking on data management and organisations are modernising with strategies like hybrid approaches – where certain critical assets stay on-premise while other assets/workloads move to the cloud. Perversely, increased supply chain disruption is likely to accelerate the adoption of cloud and managed services – companies facing longer lead times for their on-premise storage hardware orders are having to adapt to cloud service and managed services anyway.

  1. Competition intensifies for global hyper scalers in 2022

The main three hyper-scalers will continue to fight for mindshare and market share – they will gain further market share from on-premise vendors. However, as enterprises are moving more processing and operations to the public cloud, the big three providers know they will fight amongst themselves certainly for new capabilities and offerings – especially over price: organisations realise that a multi-cloud strategy is a good hedging against lock-in with one major cloud provider and vendors will have to become more competitive with new services and package options

  1. IT roles changing as more enterprises move their infrastructure to the cloud

Enterprises will need to be ‘cloud savvy’ and grasp how to leverage cloud to better deliver IT services to their end users. Organisations will become much more driven by virtual teams and how teams operate collectively. The pandemic has effectively forced organisations to become more virtual and collaborative.  The industry will need to grow talent and educate their workforces and especially, young people entering the workforce, on the skills, tools and knowledge needed to be team-oriented and productive in this connected technology driven world. A key skills trend is data engineering, ensuring that data is in the proper location and format to be useful from an AI, machine learning and other analytical viewpoints. So, the data scientist skill set will continue to be prominent and important in organisations, regardless of the industry sector.

  1. Technologies and real time data engines will address global challenges

In 2022, technology will lead the drive to solve critical global challenges like climate change, and societal issues such as research into genomics and cures for diseases. There will be lots of innovation and in terms of being human and what makes us who we are, and how we apply new insights to benefit future generations. To make this happen, we will need more effective ways to apply technology and specifically, to generate capture, analyse, utilise data for real-time analysis and automated decision making.  The dominant innovation trends will be around blockchain, cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence and machine learning – we will also see further automation of processes in areas such as transportation systems and consumer technologies for smart homes, cars, and devices, etc.