As the world is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, companies large and small try new approaches. Digital transformation is the hottest trend that took off in 2020. It continues to reshape different industries and offers new opportunities. Companies that have learned to use bleeding-edge technology to benefit their customers and shareholders have bright prospects in 2022 and beyond.
Lockdowns and other anti-Covid measures have forced most people to shop for products and services online. Businesses today have to offer a seamless customer experience just to stay afloat. From enhancing productivity to improving sales, digital transformation can provide both startups and established corporations with a set of tools that can influence any business metric. Which technology trends will dominate 2022? Let's take a look.
5G is one of the tech trends that constantly faces backlash from marginal groups worldwide. Despite that, 79 developed and developing nations have adopted 5G by the end of 2021. In some of these countries, the commercial infrastructure is already being built. Others are in the late stage of their 5G trials.
Since millions of people are working remotely, users need more bandwidth. Video conferences, online collaboration, and streaming became daily needs for many remote workers. Even in some developed parts of the world, speed and 24/7 availability of the Internet connection is an issue. 5G is going to solve most of these problems. It will provide users with high-speed, stable Internet access. People will be able to set up large networks of home and office devices. Imagine dozens of smartphones, computers, tablets, mini-servers running at once, without overloading the bandwidth.
5G will also speed up the digital transformation of everyday items, and the wide adoption of the Internet of Things. Smart appliances with IoT sensors installed will operate seamlessly using a "multi-lane" connection that will allow them to be online all the time.
Whether it's studying, work, or business activities that need to be performed remotely, 5G will provide enough speed and bandwidth even for the most demanding customers. Smartphone manufacturers have already implemented the 5G network option in their flagship models. Apples, Samsung, and Xiaomi are working on introducing this feature in low-priced devices as well. 5G smartphones will be cheap and ubiquitous.
According to industry experts, the 5G market will increase more than 700% in the next 10 years.
Sub-6 GHz will remain the main 5G frequency in 2022 and beyond.
The dynamics of the US-China relationship will have a huge impact on commercial 5G applications.
The mmWave network is a promising technology that is still under development. Researchers have to solve the problem of cost, performance, and thermal management to make digital transformation accessible.
5G requires advanced semiconductors. Next-generation chips are already being developed by the tech giants, including Intel and Qualcomm.
Businesses are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data their customers generate. Most clients are already "spoiled" by interactive marketing. The request personalized offers as the default option. Companies that lack resources to analyze and target certain parts of their audience with relevant promos are going to lose in the long run. That's where Customer Data Platforms or CDPs come in.
CDPs can analyze tons of data that comes from different sources, including messengers, social networks, search engines, and e-commerce stores. These platforms can build accurate profiles of prospective clients and feed all that data into a CRM. This process of digital transformation provides the sales team with everything they need to create a compelling offer for every customer. CDPs can also be integrated with chatbots and AI algorithms to improve the quality of customer support.
This year has seen a rapid increase in the CDP market. Total revenues have already exceeded 1,5 billion by the end of 2021. The market is expected to continue growing in the following year at a steady pace.
Attempting to manually organize and analyze fragmented data from different sources will become a thing of the past even for smaller companies. Developers including Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, and SAP have presented enterprise solutions that can scale up or down according to business needs. There are also a lot of smaller vendors in the niche that provide customizable, affordable CDP software that can be integrated with most CRMs.
Buyers use dozens of media channels to interact with your brand. Gathering this interaction data in one place helps you understand their browsing patterns and spending habits.
IBM estimates annual losses due to customer data mismanagement at $3 trillion in the US alone.
When choosing a Customer Relationship Management system for your company's digital transformation, look for an option that is easy to integrate with a CDP. For example, Bitrix24 is a widely used CRM that offers robust analytics and can be used with popular CDP products.
CDPs are not just for big businesses. Startups and "mom-and-pop" shops have to rely on customer data analytics, especially if they operate an online business.
Being able to connect their on-premises data center to a cloud is the option that most large companies choose in 2021 and beyond. Having a healthy mix of physical and cloud architecture provides enterprises with more control over their data. In addition to that, it gives them enhanced security and scalability of the cloud.
Companies avoid relying on one cloud solution provider, fearing vendor lock-in. If larger businesses can attempt digital transformation by investing in their own data centers, startups often choose the option of distributing their infrastructure between several cloud vendors. This approach allows creating enough redundancy, making the system more stable and less prone to attacks or technical mishaps.
For example, you can host your e-commerce website on a cloud hosting that is cheaper and offers great scalability. Your CRM can be placed on a physical server. Popular CRM systems like Bitrix24 can be used on a cloud server or as an on-premise edition. All features, security, and performance metrics remain consistent across platforms. Additionally, you get access to the source code if you need to further customize your CRM according to business needs. Your mailing program and other marketing channels can benefit from a third cloud provider that has special plans tailored for promotional activities. In this case, your CRM becomes the "brain" of the system, connecting different platforms and allowing you to manage resources and customer data with ease.
Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud have already become the technology trends of choice for businesses of all sizes.
Mixing public cloud and private storage options allows scaling fast and meeting the exponential growth of customer data. It can be done without compromising security.
Developers are creating solutions that will allow businesses to connect and merge different platforms without sacrificing productivity or creating unnecessary complexity.
Technical agility and adaptability have become two main factors that determine success during the Pandemic Era.
Quantum computing is one of the hottest areas of digital transformation that looks very promising but doesn't yet have a practical application. While it's not going to change in 2022, a lot of big companies are speeding up their R&D efforts. Google, for example, has announced that it will have a functioning commercial-grade quantum computing device in less than 10 years.
Quantum computing is still pretty much at the research and prototype stage, though some companies have come close to a breakthrough. Commercial grade quantum computers are one of the most talked-about technology trends. The industry continues to receive tons of media attention. Quantum computers have a sci-fi appeal that attracts the masses. But a lot needs to be done before this solution becomes practical. While such machines have already been built, prototypes suffer from the low number of qubits available from computation and far from stellar reliability. In short, they are expensive and not yet as productive or stable as they could be.
Venture investors have sunk more than $1 billion into the industry in 2021 alone. The investments are going to increase in 2022.
The governments are following suit, with countries, including China and the US investing more than $5 billion in 2021.
Despite that, fewer than a dozen large companies are going to use quantum computing for their needs in 2022.
The worldwide market for quantum computing services is currently less than $500 million. Compared with the size of investments it doesn't look impressive, but it's a solid beginning.
Quantum computing is one of the most promising tech trends that are slowly moving out of the labs and into the mainstream. It has the potential to bring the digital transformation of the economy to a whole new level.
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to become one of the most transformative technology trends. Some experts compare the impact of AI on human society with that of a steam engine or electricity. It is already being used to explore space, fight the Covid-19 Pandemic, speed up cancer research and address climate change, among other more mundane applications.
AI-enhanced decision-making will offer new opportunities for successful digital transformation for businesses of all sizes. Self-learning algorithms are faster, more predictable, and less prone to errors than their human counterparts. Still, they have to be properly trained. But AI is already a part of our daily lives. It impacts our social media interactions or entertainment choices on platforms like Netflix. It can offer us shopping suggestions on Amazon and other large e-commerce websites.
The rise of AI coincides with another digital transformation that is reshaping the economy as we know it. As computing power and cloud storage become cheaper, more businesses can benefit from using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. In addition to that, new high-performance hardware is being developed by the likes of Intel, Nvidia, and Qualcomm that can bring the costs of implementing powerful AI solutions further down.
Robots are not going to replace humans but will enhance their abilities instead. Office workers will find themselves "cooperating" with algorithms to boost their skills and achieve peak productivity.
Starting with GPT-3 that was recently released by OpenAI, language models will evolve and become even more powerful. We are getting closer to creating a program that will mimic speech, write texts, and even computer code like a human.
Cybercrime is a pressing global threat. The security industry will undergo rapid digital transformation, focusing on whole networks instead of single devices. AI can already recognize traffic patterns and detect attacks.
AI will help create immersive virtual experiences. AI-enhanced applications can also act as "NPCs" in metaverse environments, interacting with users and entertaining them.
An increasing number of no-code and low-code AI solutions will appear on the market starting in 2022. Even people with little to no engineering background will be able to create complex AI systems.
Self-driving cars, planes, and boats will slowly become the primary means of transportation, possibly reducing the number of traffic accidents.
AI will be used as a creative tool to produce art, music, and video games. 2022 will give us more AI-designed logos and infographics, AI-written headlines, and short news articles.
Enhance productivity, improve sales and achieve maximum efficiency. Manage all business processes in a unified space with Bitrix24.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the issue of cybersecurity back into the spotlight. Businesses around the world have become targets of increasingly sophisticated hacker attacks. In 2020 banks saw an increase of 238% in hacking attempts, and cloud servers were targeted 7 times more than in the previous year.
The rise of cybercrime is one of the tech trends that will impact businesses and ordinary people alike. While streets are getting safer, electronic devices are becoming more dangerous to their users. More and more people are working remotely using their personal devices. They can endanger not only their home networks but also the employer's infrastructure.
Companies will have to upgrade their security protocols, expanding them to home networks used by remote workers.
AI will be increasingly used to combat hacking and other threats, ushering in the digital transformation of the industry.
Companies developing firewalls and intrusion detection are creating new approaches to prevent cybercrime.
Hardware and cloud security will become major selling points that will influence the customer decision-making process.
People respond to the threat of hacking and data leaks by doubling down on privacy. Confidential computing is a technology that offers a lot of possibilities for the digital transformation of data processing and storage. It allows encrypting not just sensitive data but also entire computing processes. The multilayered defense will become the new norm according to many industry experts.
Another issue is how personal data is treated by large businesses. Users are demanding more control over their digital lives, and companies are willing to meet them halfway.
Tech giants will offer users new free tools to control their privacy settings, though they might be harder to use for less technically-savvy people.
Governments will continue clashing with the Big Tech companies over gathering and controlling the user data. People will become more aware of their right to digital privacy.
Users will demand more AI transparency. Companies will have to explain in simple terms how their algorithms work and how data is collected.
Employers will train their remote workers to be more privacy- and security-conscious. People will use this knowledge for other needs as well, furthering the digital transformation of their daily lives.
While most people associate blockchain with cryptocurrencies it has many more applications. Blockchain will remain one of the hottest technology trends of 2022. Due to its encrypted and distributed nature, blockchain can become a means of digital transformation for the security industry. It can be used to create "smart" contracts, enhance logistics and protect users from identity theft and other forms of fraud.
In addition to cryptocurrencies, cybersecurity and logistics are the two main spheres that will see the increased adoption of blockchain.
Blockchain proponents will continue "going green" in 2022 and beyond to make the technology more attractive. As of now, it's energy-intensive and creates a lot of carbon emissions.
NFTs (stored on blockchain) have gained popularity with digital art. They will expand into the music sphere, gaming, virtual reality and will even serve as proof of provenance for valuable collectibles.
Countries will continue adopting Bitcoin and creating national cryptocurrencies.
We will see the first integrations of blockchain and the Internet of Things.
Pharmaceutical companies will use blockchain to speed up vaccine tracking and distribution.
Headless tech means ditching a combined front-end and back-end in favor of APIs and delivering data across different devices and platforms. Businesses increasingly find themselves communicating with their customers through different channels. Due to fierce competition, client acquisition costs are rising through the roof.
Companies will have to undergo digital transformation to gain and retain new customers. Switching from a monolithic e-commerce solution to an API that can be integrated with various communication channels will allow businesses to reach more people.
APIs can help connect storefronts, messengers, IoT devices, warehouses to create a universal, streamlined shopping experience. It's more efficient than forcing customers to approach an e-store through a single channel, like a website.
APIs allow e-stores to integrate with popular CRMs like Bitrix24 that help entrepreneurs manage all their business processes in a unified space. Or you can start with the CRM and build a storefront around it. For example, Bitrix24 can be configured as an automated e-commerce platform out of the box.
Headless tech allows using IoT devices, including smart appliances, fitness bracelets, and voice assistants, to shop.
Headless e-commerce is expected to grow in 2022 and beyond as the number of smart devices that customers interact with will increase.
For the past two years, office workers have been working remotely. Even when the pandemic ends, most of them will not return to the office. Companies choose to accelerate digital transformation instead of going back to the old ways. It is more cost-effective and comfortable for both employees and employers.
Choosing the right collaboration platform can benefit businesses and workers in many ways. A platform like Bitrix24 offers all the tools that a modern company needs to achieve maximum efficiency. It is a complete solution that has everything from video conferences and chats to task management and data analytics. And like other 2022 trends, such services are expected to grow in popularity even more.