We are now fully into the swing of 2022, and many of the top organisations, thought leaders and market research companies have had their say on what we should be paying attention to for the next year. However, with so many reports out there, it’s hard to find the time to read them all.
In this blog, Coforge’s Salesforce Business Unit has taken a closer look at what’s happening in the market and curated a list of technology trends that we believe are going to have the greatest impact in business and IT trasformation initiatives 2022.
Take a look below and find out how you can stay ahead of the demands and expectations that will likely rise over the next 12 months.
Trends that will impact all of us across the world
There are undoubtedly some significant changes underway:
Purpose and accountability
Having demonstratable environmental, social and corporate governance credentials are becoming increasingly important. This year companies are planning to grow their workforce. But many acknowledge the importance of showing greater care for their people, their customers, their communities and the environment if they are to attract the recruits they need. And as the competition for talent heats up, organisations need to be able to offer in-demand talent more than just a well-paid job.
The evolution of trust
CEOs are expecting to grow their workforce this year, and building trust will be critical in attracting or retaining talent. This need for talent sees CEOs becoming increasingly sensitive to issues which may harm recruitment and retention. Among UK CEOs who have made a carbon neutral, or net zero commitment, 71% say the decision was significantly influenced by the need to attract and retain talent. Trust between employer and employee is more multifaceted and complex than ever. It’s no longer just about honouring contractual obligations on pay and conditions. It’s about whether employees trust a company's efforts around equality, fairness and sustainability. Do employees trust in the culture and values of the organisation?
Rise of the ‘flexible employer’
A hot labour market means workers have more bargaining power. It will result in companies needing to look for new ways to attract and retain staff by making themselves more flexible and amenable to the demands of the workforce. What we expect is for employers to adapt to the high competition by experimenting with ways to attract and retain staff by making themselves ‘flexible employers’. For example, offering four day working weeks, hybrid working arrangements, and better non-financial benefits.
Economies will enter a monetary policy tightening cycle
Financial conditions are likely to get tighter in advanced economies as governments ease back on the various supports provided to combat the global pandemic. This process has already started in the US and the UK but effects of the Omicron variant might delay this by a few months. We expect that the Eurozone will continue its accommodative monetary stance as its core inflation rate but missing out on its 2% target in 2022.
Through the pandemic, many of the digital transformation programmes of the fourth industrial revolution across industries have been accelerated. This is a trend many predict will continue. Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, at the Davos Agenda 2022 explained how the pandemic increased the use of tech and the digital economy, with the country jumping "five years ahead in digital adoption in almost the blink of an eye." Followed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announcing a new European Chips Act, explaining "The European need for chips will double in the next decade."
Cutting across all sectors, the global community must come together to strengthen the trading system and be fit for the future of trade. The power of global collaboration will be essential in relation to pandemic resilience, climate action, and restoring trust in global trade and supply chains. This movement is going to involve stakeholders from every walk of life.
Trends in technology and data
Next-level process automation and virtualisation
More and more technologies are combining to streamline routine tasks, improve operational efficiency, and accelerate time to market, fuelling the trend towards next-level process automation and virtualisation. By 2025, more than 50 billion devices will be connected to the IIoT, generating 79.4 zettabytes of data yearly. For an idea of the broad implications of next-level process automation and virtualization, consider that 50 percent of today’s work activities could be automated in the next few decades, spurring powerful changes to the future of work, labor costs, and public policy.
Bringing together cloud and edge computing will help companies move computing power further towards the edge of their networks. This will allow companies to boost their agility, reduce complexity, save costs and strengthen cybersecurity. It's predicted that by the end of 2022, almost 70 percent of companies will employ hybrid or multicloud-management technologies, tools, and processes. This shift toward distributed IT infrastructure will be reflected by a rise in the software sourced by companies from cloud-service platforms, open repositories, and enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers—from today’s 23 percent to nearly 50 percent in 2025.
Integrating data across platforms and users will enable data to be made available everywhere it’s needed. Within inbuilt analytics reading metadata, data fabric is able to learn what data is being used. Its real value exists in its ability to make recommendations for more, different and better data, reducing data management by up to 70%. By 2024, data fabric deployments will quadruple efficiency in data use while cutting human-driven data management tasks in half.
Legacy workloads were not designed for the cloud, they require a lot of maintenance and do not take advantage of any of the benefits. So in comes Cloud-native platforms that use the core elasticity and scalability of cloud computing to deliver faster time to value. They will help reduce dependencies on infrastructure, freeing up time to focus on application functionality instead. By 2025, cloud-native platforms will serve as the foundation for more than 95% of new digital initiatives—up from less than 40% in 2021.
Organisations with high business composability came out of the pandemic ahead of their moderate and low composability peers. Offering an antidote to risk, composable applications are made up of packaged-business capabilities (PBCs) or software-defined business objects. Businesses that adopt this trend will be able to instantly deploy creative applications that align with broad-spectrum business goals.
Decision intelligence improves decision-making by modelling decisions through a framework. This offers the potential for fusion teams to manage, evaluate, and improve decisions based on what they have learnt and from feedback. By Integrating data, analytics, and AI, product-centric organisations can create a competitive edge in strategic product decisions by using decision intelligence to support, augment, and automate decisions and to analyse competitor strategies and evaluate historic decisions. By 2023, more than a third of large organisations will have analysts practising decision intelligence, including decision modelling.
Businesses seek to identify, vet, and automate as many operational and IT processes as possible. Expectations are high that expanding the core automation capabilities of an organisation will contribute towards improved business agility, employee engagement, team collaboration, accessibility to data, and organisational ROI. By 2024, diffuse hyperautomation spending will drive up the total cost of ownership 40-fold, making adaptive governance a differentiating factor in corporate performance.
The distributed enterprise is a virtual-first, remote-first architectural approach to digitise consumer touchpoints and build out experiences to support products. Those taking this approach can benefit from increased flexibility, cheaper maintenance, enhanced talent pools, and improved productivity. Especially as the other side of this trend is showing that consumers are increasingly not available via traditional, physical avenues. By 2023, 75% of organisations that exploit distributed enterprise benefits will realise revenue growth 25% faster than their competitors.
What do our partners say about the future?
1. Learnings from the new Digital Skills Readiness Index:
The survey across 19 countries identified three major skills gaps amongst workers who on average scored 33 out of a possible 100 points on the Digital Skills Readiness Index identifying three distinct gaps:
The everyday skills gap
Only one-third of respondents feel prepared for the workplace social media skills needed over the next five years. Despite respondents’ prowess with everyday collaboration techno logy like social media and digital communication, only 25% rated themselves “advanced” in collaboration technology skills needed specifically for the workplace.
The generational skills gap
Only 31% of Gen Z respondents feel “very equipped” for a digital-first job. With not many believing they have “advanced” digital skills in areas like coding (20%), data encryption & cybersecurity (18%), and AI (7%). And just 17% of Baby Boomers believe they are “very equipped now” for digital-first employment.
The leadership and workforce skills gap
Most senior leadership respondents (54%) said they are prepared with the digital skills necessary now. However, less than half of managers and individual contributors agree, signalling a disconnect within organisations.
Salesforce estimates that 14 G20 countries could miss out on $11.5 trillion cumulative GDP growth if the skills gap isn’t addressed. Emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, and the cloud are amplifying business demand for specific digital skills by up to 50% in Europe and the United States.
2. What about NFTs, the Metaverse, and Digital HQs?
Salesforce Execs Share their 2022 Predictions:
Employees will be the number one stakeholder for businesses
Those companies that create an environment for greater employee commitment and engagement will enjoy significantly improved top-line growth rates. – Tiffani Bova, Global Growth Evangelist, Salesforce
Digital-first work will break the 9-to-5
Companies that want to attract and retain top talent, and empower employees with the flexibility to do their best work, will shift to a digital-first approach. In 2022, more companies will build on this model by rethinking when, not just where, work happens. We are long overdue for a reinvention of the rigid 9-to-5 workday of back-to-back meetings. Future Forum research shows that 93% of workers want schedule flexibility, and that giving people more control over their calendars increases productivity and decreases stress. It also disproportionately improves the working lives of diverse groups, especially women with children. With a digital HQ, asynchronous collaboration tools and team-level agreements that limit the hours colleagues are expected to be on-call and “in sync,” we can cut back on meetings and give people more freedom to structure their days – unlocking greater productivity and deeper engagement in the process – Brian Elliott, SVP, Future Forum, Slack
Responsible organisations must prioritise data ethics
With the COVID-driven shift to digital spaces, there’s a greater sense of responsibility around data ethics, privacy, and security. Entire market sectors became first-time stewards of sensitive data due to the pandemic. From travel and transport to hospitality, companies will have adapted a thoughtful mindset with regard to data, shifting to collect and use the right data, not the most data. – Paula Goldman, Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer, Salesforce
With the rise of Ethics as a Service (EaaS), companies must hire AI ethicists
This year we saw a range of new AI regulations proposed and passed in the US and beyond. These regulations spawned several startups offering AI governance products and Ethics as a Service (EaaS) providers. Companies that are developing AI will increasingly spin-up their own EaaS offerings within their professional service organisations. We will see a race to hire AI ethicists to become compliant with the new regulations, making AI ethicists in even greater demand than AI developers. – Kathy Baxter, Principal Architect, Ethical AI Practice, Salesforce
Natural language generation (NLG) will transform business
Natural language generation (NLG) has already started appearing in consumer apps, such as ‘autocomplete’ in Gmail. In 2022, we will see the rise of NLG across business applications (e.g. Marketing and Commerce sectors will use NLG engines to generate marketing and website copy). We’ll also see different forms of NLG, like summarisation, being used in sales and service sectors, to write summaries of calls and Zoom meetings – sometimes citing action items. Question-answering will also be more widespread. As a result, creating chatbots will be less laborious because the chatbots will learn to “read” knowledge bases and auto-generate appropriate responses to questions. This will not only save a huge amount of time and resource, but will enable organizations across industries to have more meaningful and impactful customer experiences. – Marco Casalaina, GM Salesforce Einstein, Salesforce
Talk-to-text will become speech-to-code
We will continue to see growth in both AI that can write its own code in different programming languages, as well as AI that allows people to simply speak their instructions. These speech-to-code engines will generate images, video, and code using natural commands without worrying about syntax, formatting, or symbols. Say “I’d like an image of a purple giraffe with orange spots, wings, and wheels instead of legs” and watch what the AI gene rates. – Yoav Schlesinger, Principal, Ethical AI Practice, Salesforce
The future of work will be built on connected, hybrid experiences
The workplace has rapidly evolved, and with-it employee expectations. More than 20% of the global workforce can work most of the time away from the office without impacting productivity. This isn’t just about driving employee productivity but also retaining talent, as home workers come to expect the same level of connected experience they get in their personal lives at work.
The rise of the business technologist
With the increasing pressure of the digital imperative on organisations, business technologists — employees who report outside of IT departments — will become essential partners with IT departments. The potential for business technologists to drive their own digital innovation is immense. By 2024 it’s predicted that 80% of technology products and services will be built by non-technical professionals.
Security-by-default is a must-have
Organisations increasingly realise their applications and automations are only as secure as the composable blocks they are built on. If not managed effectively, this risk could expose organisations and their customers to major financial and reputational damage. As such, the platforms used to manage composable building blocks in 2022 will need to be secure by default.
The rise of hybrid, distributed ecosystems add complexity
As the digital world embraces hybrid ecosystems, the need for a universal way of integrating will become essential. However, the IT foundation underpinning this ambitious digital transformation is increasingly fragmented and complex. In 2022, universal API management will come to the fore as organisations seek answers to this challenge.
A single source of truth becomes key to the data-driven business
Data consumers need a place where they can get the right data in the right context at the right time. To be a successful data‑driven organisation in 2022, organisations must break down silos across the enterprise to create a single source of truth. Only when they have done this can business leaders look to machine learning and data analytics to make sense of all their data for enhanced decision making.
Data trends that will have the biggest impact in 2022
This is becoming an increasing requirement for the use of data and mitigating risk. History shows that smart, ethical data-use and do-no-harm policies lead to greater innovation. Now, more than ever, trust and transparency must drive innovation, growth, and customer relationships, reducing technology's potential for harming people. This year Tableau expects to see more corporate, and government commitment and accountability alongside a growing acceptance that writing ethical data and AI policies into an organisation's governance reduces risk.
There are barriers to achieving a data-literate workforce, most notably gaps in the availability of data literacy programmes—both academic and in-house initiatives—and the people who need it. Data literacy needs to become a required curriculum for classrooms and companies to meet the growing demand. At a minimum, people will need to acquire basic data fluency and analytical skills.
Early adopters who set up and embrace flexible data governance techniques will also enjoy the benefits of being compliant and competitive. Organisations adopting new data governance techniques drive business transformation, empower their workforce, and enable innovation. This creates a competitive advantage while staying ahead of new governance and security requirements and practices.
Many of these trends we have highlighted closely align with the value that we provide to your organisation. From composable businesses to hyperautomation, we aim to use each of the latest developments to accelerate business growth and improve the way people work. We will be exploring these trends and topics throughout the year.
If you're interested in exploring these trends, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to sharing our expertise with you so that we can help you to deliver.