The Top Business Technology Trends for 2021-202211 min read
With the new year just around the corner, the world of business is set to see great change. From 5G and the Internet of Things to the blockchain, new technology trends are creating a digital transformation for companies on a global level. In this article, we’ll take a look at the latest trends in technology to keep an eye out for in 2022 and beyond.
Top Technology Trends for Businesses in 2022
2022 Updates to ISO 27002
In 2022 there will be an update to the ISO 27002 supplementary standard (ISO 27002:2022). ISO 27002 is a reference guide for implementing the optional security controls listed in Annex A of ISO 27001. These controls help companies create an ISMS (information security management system) that complies with the Standard.
Examples of Proposed Changes
- New controls including data leakage prevention and web filtering.
- Re-structuring/consolidations/removal of existing controls
While these updates will not have an immediate impact on the ISO 27001:2013 framework, they will provide added context and clarity for those seeking ISO/IEC 27001 certification in 2022, particularly as it relates to modern data security practices such as cloud security.
5G and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Learn more about the security impacts of IoT in our infographic
5G’s future rests on software-defined networking (SDN), whose main concept is to decouple the infrastructure of wireless networks from expensive, closed hardware and shift it to an intelligent software layer running on commodity hardware.
Tom Canning, NetworkComputing.com
The 5G network represents the next generation of mobile communication. Its speed improvements alone are a revolution; 5G will take roughly one millisecond to respond to commands, whereas 4G can take up to 200 milliseconds.
The improved efficiencies offered by the 5G network will benefit businesses that rely on IoT (physical things connected to the internet). Self-driving vehicles, for example, rely heavily on IoT devices to navigate roadways and traffic. Property management and leasing companies are now using IoT devices to build and maintain smarter buildings that utilize connected HVAC infrastructure and automated door locks, thermostats, smoke detectors, and more.
Investing in the 5G network and expanding the use of IoT in business will also help to reduce a company’s carbon footprint. The reputation of a business is now, more than ever, heavily predicated on the practices and technology put in place to help reduce the harm that the operation inflicts on the environment and the climate.
With digital technology systems such as 5G and IoT, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint by up to 15% by 2030, according to an article published by Jens Malmodin and Pernilla Bergmark for the Atlantis Press.
AI has become integral in our daily lives as smartphones and their various applications, including artificial intelligence software such as Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. McKinsey estimates that by 2024 AI-generated speech will be behind more than 50% of people’s interactions with computers.
With AI, your smartphone can be used to measure distances and to simulate the way that a piece of furniture will look in your living room. Voice and object recognition are two features of AI that are now common in tablets and smartphones and are used to sell these new smart devices to intrigued consumers.
Artificial Intelligence is also being adopted by businesses to improve efficiencies, cut costs, and to help automate processes. Industries that can expect to see an increasing amount of AI support include:
AI is used to create and sort a variety of audiences used by online advertisers to target users who are most likely to purchase their product. By capturing a user’s online behavior, including search and browsing history, AI can determine which online ads will be most relevant and effective for a marketing company’s target audiences.
AI in the world of eCommerce and online shopping comes in many different forms, including online chatbots, intelligent product recommendations, and sophisticated inventory management.
Although sales will certainly remain a very personable and uniquely human role, AI helps sales teams to improve forecasting, predict market trends, and improve customer communications. Advanced CRM software is able to assist a salesperson by reminding them which customers to follow up with, and can even help to identify customers that are most likely to convert.
Research and Development
The ways in which AI can collect, sort, and analyze data and information is beyond human capability. Given their strong processing capabilities, AI machines are heavily used in research and development within the healthcare, automotive, web development, and financial industries.
As an industry that has long embraced the role of machinery, it is no surprise that manufacturing companies have welcomed artificial intelligence with open arms. Capable of anticipating demand increases and ramping up production through robotic process automation, AI is widely utilized to help improve efficiencies across all stages of a manufacturing cycle.
Overall, the role of artificial intelligence in business will continue to expand. A 2020 survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that 86% of the 52 companies included in the study said that AI is becoming a “mainstream technology” at their company in 2021 and beyond.
Privacy and Data Regulations for Advertisers
Conversely to the many technological advances that will help improve businesses, the privacy and data regulations imposed on advertisers will restrict the ways in which ads are served to users online, and will create problems for advertisers who have relied heavily on the data of their customers.
Specifically, adtech standards that expand on local privacy laws are limiting the ways in which third-party data can be used for retargeting audience pools.
Across the United States and the rest of the world, lawmakers are creating policies that aim to limit the volume and types of data that flow into the adtech environment. This means that advertisers will have less customer data to work with when developing and executing advertising campaigns. The California Privacy Rights Act is a first of its kind to make data restriction official at the state level, going into effect on January 1st of 2023.
In the spring of 2021, Apple positioned itself as an industry leader in protecting the privacy of its user base. With the rollout of iOS 14.5, app developers are required to provide users with the option to opt in or out before apps are able to track the user’s behavior and data. By asking for consent before their data is tracked, users now have more control over the collection of their data and the ways in which it can be used.
Google announced in January of 2020 that its popular web browser, Google Chrome, would be eliminating third-party cookies by 2022. If you’re not familiar with cookies, they are used to collect and retain information about your visit to a website. Cookies are used to make a user’s visit more seamless by remembering login information, for example.
Third-party cookies, however, are configured by a website other than the one directly interacted with by the user. Third-party cookies are used by advertisers to determine a user’s interests by tracking their behavior on a website. A user who visits a how-to clean shoe guide on one site will likely be served with ads featuring new shoes on other websites, for example.
Hybrid Workforces Become the New Norm
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, workers grew accustomed to working from home, make-shifting office spaces in their living rooms, and familiarizing themselves with the mute and unmute buttons of their laptops. Working from home definitely has its upside, as employees save time from their regular commutes and companies save money from the overhead of traditional office space.
Businesses quickly realized that a traditional office environment would be hard to return to even once the pandemic subsides, given the many benefits that the workers and the businesses themselves realized during the pandemic.
That said, we’re not all ready to transition to a fully remote workforce.
The desire for in-person communication, collaboration, and meetings is growing, but emplyoees are not ready to give up remote work just yet: Almost one-third of remote workers (30%) say they would consider looking for other jobs if their companies took away the existing remote work policy.
That’s where hybrid working comes in. In 2022 and beyond we can expect to see companies allowing for more flexibility to work from home more often while incentivizing in-office time for more collaborative work.
Collaborative and Communication Applications
Applications such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams saw their daily usage increase drastically as businesses adopted work-from-home strategies, with the former seeing a 151% increase in use year over year. These apps are being used to simulate collaborative office environments and to streamline collaboration for remote workers.
Employees who work from home are learning how to use these new pieces of technology to improve their work efficiency.
WFH Cybersecurity Risks
With remote workers spread across cities, states, and even other countries, IT professionals have had to adjust their services and technology in order to properly serve their customers. The challenges that IT businesses face when managing remote work teams include the difficulties in ensuring devices are up-to-date, keeping devices secure, and resolving issues quickly. With these challenges at hand, the IT industry has leaned heavily into the adoption of VPN services, as well as remote services and real-time monitoring to troubleshoot equipment.
One of the biggest deterrents that businesses have long pondered when considering allowing employees to work from home is the potential slow down in productivity. From household chores to television and video games, the distractions at home are plentiful. And without clear supervision of the workforce, it is hard to determine which workers are effectively working while at home.
Business owners are now leaning more and more into productivity and computer tracking software to identify employees who are abusing their work from home privileges, while also recognizing the workers that are going above and beyond. With this technology in place, companies can determine those who are being productive and those who are not.
Malware, phishing, and DoS attacks are becoming more and more common, with various ransomware attacks occurring every 2 seconds around the world. With the ever-increasing threats to cybersecurity, businesses are investing heavily in the protection of their networks and company data. Companies that fall victim to these attacks are facing major consequences, with the average data breach costing a company $4.24M USD. To prevent cyberattacks, companies are looking for innovative technology to protect major financial and reputational losses.
Will 2022 See the Death of Passwords?
MFA has become widespread throughout the tech landscape as a means to prevent cyberattacks. The effectiveness of MFA tech is well documented, with Google claiming that an SMS MFA system can stop 100% of all automated attacks, 96% of bulk phishing scams, and 75% of targeted attacks. MFA is also easy to use, so employees are able to adapt to the tech quickly.
That said, SMS-based MFA is on the decline. Unfortunately, SMS really wasn’t designed with security and authentication in mind. Messages sent to cell phones can be intercepted through SIM card swapping and rerouting text messages, allowing attackers to bypass the added layer of security normally provided by this MFA measure.
As authentication security continues to evolve we can expect the decline of passwords to continue and alternative forms of MFA to rise in popularity. As YubiKeys and promising passwordless standards such as FIDO2 offer greater security than SMS-based MFA and user-generated passwords we can expect security-conscious and forward-thinking businesses to rely less on passwords for their authentication security.
As companies continue to roll out multi-factor authentication measures, ReportLinker projects that the MFA market size will grow from $11.1 billion USD in 2021 to $23.6 billion USD by 2026.
Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology through which they operate are looking to make a major impact on the world of business. Many have heard these terms, but few understand what they mean and the potential of these new technologies. Even major corporations are scrambling to see how this new technology could fit into their business model and systems for years to come.
In its most simple form, blockchain technology can be understood as a decentralized ledger across a peer-to-peer network. This new technology system can be used in the development of applications used for transferring funds, settling stock trades, voting, and many other issues that are in need of advancement in regards to their processes.
Let’s take a look at how blockchain and crypto technology will impact businesses involved in global supply chain systems, financial institutions, and for business in general.
Given its transparent nature, Deloitte believes that the blockchain can provide participants of a supply chain with an increased line of sight towards the traceability of materials, lowered loss from counterfeit and gray market items,as well as improved visibility and compliance over outsourced manufacturing. Overall, blockchain technology can help to position a supply chain business as a leader in responsible manufacturing, and can improve the efficiencies in which a supply chain business operates.
Considering its broad application potential, businesses in the financial industries are also eager to explore the tech’s possibilities. In fact, 90% of US and European banks have started exploring the new technology and the ways in which it can benefit their operations and their customers’ experience. The benefits that blockchain technology provides for banks and other financial institutions include instant settlements, reduced counterparty risks, and increased transparency, amongst others.
Cryptocurrency is a protocol built on a blockchain and is developed to take the form of a virtual currency secured by cryptography, making it nearly impossible to counterfeit. Bitcoin is said to be the world’s first cryptocurrency, and it remains to be the most valuable and most popular virtual currency in the world. In fact, El Salvador became the first country to adopt cryptocurrency as legal tender when it began recognizing Bitcoin as an official currency in September of 2021. Businesses in El Salvador are now required under law to accept Bitcoin as a payment type.
The adoption of Bitcoin will negatively impact companies such as Western Union that drive revenue through remittance fees. With 23% of El Salvador’s gross domestic product being remittances, Western Union and similar business models will lose an estimated $400M a year from the commission of remittances. With Bitcoin, there are no third party fees and the average cost per transaction is much lower than that of Western Union and its competitors.
Outside of El Salvador, major businesses such as Overstock, PayPal, and even the Dallas Mavericks are now accepting Bitcoins as an acceptable payment type for their goods and services. As the Dallas Mavericks are now accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for tickets and team merchandise, the use of cryptocurrencies throughout the sports business will become more widespread in the years to come. In September of 2021, the NFL announced an NFT (non-fungible token) deal with Dapper Labs to create exclusive digital video highlights that can be purchased with cryptocurrency.
Which Technology Trend Will Impact Your Business?
Business owners and company executives are constantly on the lookout for innovative technology that can help improve the organization’s efficiencies and maximize revenue. Depending on the industry in which your company operates, developing and adopting new technology is a critical step in keeping your business on the cutting edge.
Whether your online shop is considering accepting cryptocurrency as a payment or your accounting firm is in need of advanced cybersecurity systems, 2022 will bring forth new technology trends that can provide you with the solutions you need to optimize your operation. With all of the new tech available, decision making can be tough. But don’t be the last one to the party, as your competitors will surely jump ahead if you’re not there with them.