As 2021 draws to a close, what will the tech landscape look like next year? Silicon UK spoke to a range of tech experts and business leaders to give their thoughts on how their industries and sectors will evolve throughout 2022.
Brett Davis, Executive Vice President of iXsystems.
“The consumption of scale-out storage with both file and object capabilities will increase as more applications require. The flexibility of scale-out storage will underpin a growing number of storage deployments in 2022. First proven in larger environments, small and medium size enterprises have proven choices in scale-out storage that are both affordable and easier to manage. It’s important that file or object workloads can be easily supported together as the needs of applications often change more quickly than the infrastructure.
“Also, the harmony of Kubernetes, GPUs, and scale-out storage will be a long-term trend to support AI applications. New workloads like AI require massive datasets, a high degree of parallelization, and high-performance compute and storage. The global enterprise Artificial Intelligence (AI) market is anticipated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 39.7% to $309.6 billion by 2026. This requires scale-out computing and storage performance, GPUs, and much more storage capacity. No single vendor provides all the pieces today.”
Patrick Jean, CTO, OutSystems.
“Increased demand for DevSecOps raises the adoption of app dev platforms. The main concern for executives leading IT and software engineering teams will continue to be whether their organisation’s security is able to resist the explosive increase of business risk. Between an uptick in ransomware attacks, lack of clear boundaries for organisational data, and increased risk with collaborative citizen developments, the data privacy and regulatory requirements are threatened more than ever before. CISOs and CIOs are gradually preferring to create new digital experiences based on platforms that systematically manage all stages of app development & delivery for each new app, instead of depending on the non-systematic nature of different teams with different maturity of secure software development.”
Mikko Hyppönen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure.
“It is now a reality that cybercrime gangs are as valuable as unicorn companies. Our enemy is becoming more powerful and wealthier. There are two reasons why organised crime gangs are now becoming unicorns: Firstly, the amount of money being made with BEC scams, denial of service blackmail and ransomware has skyrocketed over the last 12 months. Secondly, organised cybercrime gangs don’t like to keep their wealth in real-world currencies but prefer to keep it in cryptocurrencies.
“No cybercrime unicorns existed five years ago when I coined the term, but they were controlling around $10m or so in wealth. Over these 5 years, the value of bitcoin has increased from $500 to $50k so that age of cybercrime unicorn gangs has arrived. However, unicorn hunting season is well underway, and we are seeing law enforcement take more action, bringing down organised crime gangs globally. The US State Department is also offering a $10m bounty for information leading to the arrest of at least two different ransomware gangs – so it will be interesting to see how many cybercrime unicorns there will be throughout 2022.”
Raj Gossain, Chief Product Officer, Alation.
“Data catalogs will evolve as a necessity for competitive advantage. Data intelligence has drastically improved in recent years and organizations are recognizing the value of their data. As a result, companies are taking steps to reinforce data-driven decision making. Many of today’s leading enterprises understand the value of data catalogs and how they help organizations remain competitive by enabling confident data-driven decision making. Next, data catalogs will become increasingly popular among mainstream enterprises who are just starting to realize the benefits. In 2022, leadership executives, such as CFOs, will understand that data catalogs are a non-negotiable – and a ‘must have.’ It is then that even more enterprises will reap the benefits of streamlined analytics and productivity to generate more sales or meet superior margins compared to market rivals.”
Ashvin Kamaraju, CTO, Thales.
“2022 will see more tech giants build localized data centres to circumnavigate geographical barriers to business. Data sovereignty is not just about localisation; it’s ensuring that nation states have the ability to store their data in their own country and control access to it. On a global scale, there are now more than 1,800 data compliance laws companies must comply with. This surge in regulation is creating a shift towards the containment and localization of data and we will see this more and more in the years to come. The public will become increasingly aware of these challenges too, with individual data sovereignty on the horizon. This will allow individuals to control where their data is and how it is used, strengthening the correlation between identity and data protection.
“In 2022, we predict more tech giants will build localized data centres to circumnavigate geographical barriers to business. This in turn will lead to an increasing level of investment from global cloud providers in the cloud infrastructure of nation states, driving forward their ongoing digital transformation journey.”
Mike Campfield, VP of Global Security Programs at ExtraHop.
“The security problem isn’t going to go away. As long as there’s money at the end of it, whether it is someone stealing IP or money, they will always find a way to get it. Ransomware will continue to be the largest security issue in 2022. APT actors are the next major threat and that is because they are not as financially motivated. These types of attacks are more multifaceted than ransomware, as it’s not just about financial protection, but also about IP and data protection. Supply chain attacks are the third major concern given the advanced techniques that are now being deployed to easily deliver these types of attacks. They no longer rely on phishing. Attackers can infiltrate the entire supply chain without having to go through the front door.”
Ofir Chakon, co-founder and CEO of Datagen.
“The synthetic data revolution will create a new ‘Synthetic Data Engineer’ vocation to become of the most in-demand jobs. In 2022, a new position will surface — the ‘synthetic data engineer’ — data scientists who handle the creation, processing, and analysis of large synthetic datasets in an effort to support the automation of prescriptive decision-making through visuals. This new vocation, a natural evolution of the computer vision engineer, is already emerging in larger companies, where synthetic data teams have sprouted. The synthetic data engineer will become one of the most sought-after professionals in the AI market as more enterprises and startups alike will need the skills to support their simulated data initiatives.
“Expect to see such job postings soar and more training courses to become available, to fill the 22% rise in computer and information research scientist jobs over the next 10 years ( US Bureau of Labor statistics ), of which CV (and synthetic data) engineers are a subset. In addition, we will see other data-related professionals reposition themselves as synthetic data engineers to take advantage of expanding opportunities.”
Stuart Dobbie, SVP of Innovation at Callsign.
“Businesses will attach value to data in 2022 as a way of building public trust.
As the hybrid world continues to be the new norm and everything around us becomes increasingly digitalised, public consciousness of digital identity has become more prevalent than ever. With this awareness, there has also been an increase in mistrust towards technology, due to factors such as misinformation and fake news. Consumers are becoming aware of their privacy and want to understand what companies are doing with their data.
“This can lead to individuals intentionally providing bad data, for example using a spam email address to sign-up for a service. This becomes a problem as suddenly our digital identities lose value and synthetic identities are created.
“To combat this, in 2022 we can expect to see discussions around how users could be incentivised to share their real data. The way for organisations to do this is by treating data as a proper commodity and attaching value to it. This will enable them to open an honest dialogue with consumers about the importance of their data and start to build public trust.”
Ashutosh Sharma, VP & Research Director, Forrester.
“Leading tech executives will leap from digital to human-centered transformation. In 2022, future fit firms will think beyond digital transformation to implement initiatives that tightly fuse CX and EX. Additionally, 10% of tech leaders will also prioritise investments in strategic partnerships and innovation practices at 3x the rate of competitors.
“A tech talent panic will create broad gaps until new sourcing models go mainstream. IT firms face a 13.8% rate of attrition, reflecting a slow move to “future fit” talent strategies. Frustrated traditional firms will resort to boosting wages to attract talent, while future fit firms will use cloud-first and platform-based architectures and adopting low-code/no-code solutions to reduce their need for the most advanced technical skills.
“Forced, rapid acceleration of technology will worsen tech debt for 60% of firms. In the rush to serve customers and become more resilient, firms are deploying new digital capabilities that power hybrid customer experiences. For 55% of firms globally, prioritising speed over maintainability will result in inflated tech debt, further jeopardising their ability to modernise their IT organisation. ”
Sascha Giese, Head Geek, SolarWinds.
“The rise of AI/ML services: The explosion in data available to a company has made the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) a critical competitive advantage, but the talent and resources required to build solutions in-house is still prohibitive. Ultimately, a machine is faster than a human—or even a group of humans—which means shifting to AI/ML services also allows for cost savings. Yes, purchasing or subscribing to an AI service and integrating it doesn’t come cheap, but it’s still far more efficient than a team of 20 data analysts.
“In 2022, we’ll start to see AI and ML featured more prominently in organizations’ IT environments through the adoption of off-the-shelf AI/ML services. As businesses look to strengthen their security postures in response to the evolving threat landscape, for example, they may look for security tools leveraging AI/ML to perform tasks. Meanwhile, offerings from cloud service providers, like Amazon SageMaker or Google TensorFlow, will similarly see widespread growth by reducing the barrier to adoption and implementation for tech pros. We may also see companies become proficient at building AI algorithms and start to monetize them through licensing, data streaming ingress, or even by renting those algorithms out to other businesses.”
Kelly Ahuja, CEO, Versa Networks.
“Multi-Cloud Interoperability and Consistency. The rapid rise of Cloud and Secure SD-WAN has ushered in an era where on-demand services are accessed, and operational simplicity is table stakes. When branch and corporate offices connect to multiple clouds, IT needs cloud-intelligent, dynamic multi-path connectivity and robust security. In 2022, it is critical that organizations simplify their broad range of multi-cloud networking and security functions that include routing, SD-WAN, carrier-grade NAT, DOS, IP address management, stateful firewall, NGFW, IPS, IDS, antivirus, and malware in a single view that is interoperable and consistent.
“To integrate these necessary functions across multiple clouds requires the WAN infrastructure to be an enabler for accessing clouds without consuming too much bandwidth. In addition, digital transformation initiatives to connect multiple clouds need to be extended consistently to all branch locations. To achieve consistency in security, policy, and networking across the multi-cloud, 2022 will shift focus to implementing a strategy that is cloud agnostic and will greatly improve the application intent across multiple clouds and SaaS services.”
In the tech space, 2021 was challenging on several fronts. As businesses look towards 2022 and their post-pandemic futures, a multifaceted approach will be needed that includes key components such as the continued support of mass remote working with high levels of network security, to changes that will be more fundamental to the IT infrastructures enterprises will build their new products and services onto.