The last two years have proven the importance of rapid adaptability in the face of uncertainty. In a lot of ways, tech trends in 2022 will mirror those of 2021. Businesses and individuals needed to leverage technology to continue to work, shop and socialise effectively, maintaining the feeling of a ‘virtual world’.
Alongside the adaptation to virtual living, shopping, and working, 2021 has seen a number of ground-breaking technical milestones, including the introduction and establishment of the ‘Metaverse’, NFTs, and mainstream use of 5G connectivity.
It’s likely that, in 2022, technological advancements will continue to support a virtual way of living and working. Businesses will likely accelerate their digital transformation initiatives and further improve how they do virtual business.
In this article, we’ll reminisce on some of the major technological highlights from 2021, as well as covering our predictions for the tech trends of 2022.
Technological highlights from 2021
With technology continuing to develop rapidly, we saw a variety of advancements made over the course of 2021. Here’s some of 2021’s major technological highlights:
1. The Metaverse
In October 2021, the Facebook umbrella brand, that owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, changed its name to Meta and in doing so, introduced us to the ‘Metaverse’. Defined by Mark Zuckerberg as ‘the future of the internet’, the ‘Metaverse’ will be a new virtual world where people can socialise, work, and play.
Currently, no one really knows what the ‘Metaverse’ will look like, similarly to how no one could predict what the internet would look like before it was established. Instead, we know that the ‘Metaverse’ will provide the building blocks of a new form of communication that will better enable people to connect virtually, whether that’s to do business or to go shopping.
2. Digital contact tracing
Digital contract tracing became prominent in 2021 with the dawn of the NHS test and trace app, designed to minimise the spread of Covid-19. Digital contact tracing uses GPS or Bluetooth via a smartphone app to track when and where people come into contact with one another.
Although digital contact tracing largely failed to minimise the spread of the virus, the lessons we’ve learnt will certainly help inform us about how technology can aid future pandemics and other areas of health care.
3. Chip shortages
Early signs of a semiconductor chip shortage began in 2020 and in 2021 it became a global crisis. Semiconductor chips are used in the manufacture of a variety of products, including computers, laptops, video game consoles, cars, and smartphones. The shortage has led to price increases and longer waiting times for products. In fact, Apple had to divert chips for less popular iPads to ensure the successful launch of the iPhone 13.
Intel CEO predicts the chip shortage could continue throughout 2022 until 2023. With that in mind, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure you order devices, laptops, and monitors in advance for the people you intend to recruit. Ordering IT equipment early will prevent disruption caused by delays and ensure any new employees can get up and running as quickly as possible.
In 2021, many tech companies released mobile phones with 5G connectivity capabilities. The second quarter of 2021, therefore, saw rapidly increasing numbers of people using 5G for quicker internet connection whilst they’re on the go. Network providers will now continue to drive improvements in coverage and performance to optimise 5G connectivity. It’s predicted that 6G, which doesn’t technically exist yet, won’t become commonplace until between 2030-2035.
5. Foldable phones
Flip phones made a comeback in 2021, with foldable phones now mainstream once again. Brands like Samsung, Microsoft, and Huawei have all brought out touch screen phones that fold across the middle, with Samsung’s Galaxy Flip 3 and Galaxy Fold 3 dominating the market. When the phones aren’t folded, they operate like a standard smartphone, and when they are folded, they operate more like a small tablet. Conveniently, they have tablet capabilities but are also small enough to fit in your pocket.
NFTs, also known as non-fungible tokens, are the latest in blockchain. ‘Non-fungible’ refers to something that is irreplaceable. For example, whereas a bitcoin is fungible, because it can be traded like for like with another bitcoin, NFTs are totally unique.
NFTs can be anything digital, such as drawings or music, but most commonly NFTs are digital art. In the same way that people buy and sell original and unique pieces of physical art, people are now beginning to trade with digital art. Whilst everyone can easily download or copy digital art once it’s made available online, only one person can own that piece of digital art. In the same way that everyone can buy a Van Gough print, but only one person can own the original painting.
NFTs became increasingly popular in 2021, with a variety of celebrities purchasing and displaying digital art via their Instagram accounts, and this popularity is set to rise over the coming years.
Technological predictions for 2022
In light of 2021’s technological highlights, we predict that 2022 will continue to see improvements in technology that facilitates successful hybrid working and productivity.
1. An increased uptake in cloud computing
With most UK businesses committing to some form of hybrid working, leaders will have to prioritise technology that maximises flexibility, security, and productivity. Now two years into the pandemic, businesses cannot rely on outdated systems for data storage, file sharing, and collaboration.
Instead, those businesses who haven’t already adopted cloud computing technology should do. This will enable them to ensure that their team can access the data and applications they need from anywhere, at any time, providing they have a stable internet connection. Thus, they’ll be able to work effectively, whether they’re at home, in the office, or on the go. Cloud computing also helps maximise data security and fuel business continuity to prevent productivity loss in the event of a crisis.
2. New tools emerge to support hybrid working
Collaboration tools, like Microsoft Teams, have been essential to the success of businesses and schools across the UK over the last two years. Improvements to existing technology and the introduction of new hybrid working tools is expected in 2022.
For example, Microsoft have confirmed that they will be implementing enhancements to Microsoft Teams over the next year. This includes role assignments in meetings and the ability to see the order that hands were raised in. Direct Guest Join will also allow Teams users to join a third-party meeting, such as Zoom or Cisco, and vice versa. They will also continue to optimise their existing collaboration features to support hybrid working in line with the latest technology.
New tools are expected to leverage AI and machine learning to facilitate effective hybrid working. Improved capabilities include a reduction in IT issues and disruption, as well as improved collaboration and connectivity features.
3. No-code or low-code solutions
No-code or low-code software refers to programs that avoid complex code and instead allow you to build programs and apps with basic logic and visual elements, like drag-and-drop menus. No-code and low-code development allows companies to adapt quickly to industry requirements, without the need for complex technical intervention. Improved efficiency, reduced development costs, and enhanced security will make no-code and low-code solutions an excellent tool to drive company growth.
4. More sophisticated security threats
Cyber criminals are continuing to devise targeted and sophisticated scams designed to catch employees and individuals out, gaining access to confidential data and information. In December 2021, the cyber security world saw the appearance of the Log4j vulnerability, one of the most prominent cyber security threats to date. Threats like this are only set to continue in the coming years, meaning businesses need to be prepared with the very best cyber security solutions in order to protect their business. Basic security tools, like antivirus and firewalls, are no longer enough to ensure maximum protection. Advanced tools and technologies, such as penetration testing, dark web monitoring, and cyber security training are key to safeguard your data from increasing risk.
We hope you found this article useful and look forward to helping our clients succeed through technology that is ever evolving in the coming years.
For more information on how we can help your business enhance productivity, security and efficiency in 2022, please contact us.
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