We are living in a do-anything-from-anywhere economy enabled by an exponentially expanding data ecosystem. It’s estimated 65% of global GDP will be digital in the year 2022. This influx of data presents both opportunities and challenges. After all, success in our digital present and future relies on our ability to secure and maintain increasingly complex IT systems. Here I’ll examine both near-term and long-term predictions that address the way the IT industry will deliver the platforms and capabilities to harness this data to transform our experiences at home, in the classroom, and at work.

What to look for in 2022

The Edge discussion will separate into two focus areas – edge platforms that provide a stable pool of secure capacity for the diverse edge ecosystems and software defined edge workloads/software stacks that extend application and data systems into real world environments. We are already seeing this shift today. As we move into 2022, we expect edge platforms to become more capable and pervasive.

The opening of the private mobility ecosystem will accelerate with more cloud and IT industries involved on the path to 5G. Enterprise use of 5G is still early. In fact, today 5G is not significantly different or better than WiFi in most enterprise use cases. This will change in 2022 as more modern, capable versions of 5G become available to enterprises.

Edge will become the new battleground for data management as the latter becomes a new class of workload. Data management and the edge will increasingly converge and reinforce each other.

The cybersecurity industry is now moving from discussion of emerging security concerns to a bias toward action. Enterprises and governments are facing threats of greater sophistication and impact on revenue and services. As a result, the cybersecurity industry is responding with greater automation and integration. The industry is also pivoting from automated detection to prevention and response with a focus on applying AI and machine learning to speed remediation.

What to look for beyond 2022

Quantum computing – Hybrid quantum/classical compute will take center stage providing greater access to quantum. In 2022, we expect two major industry consensuses to emerge. First, we expect the industry will see the inevitable topology of a quantum system in the form of hybrid quantum computer. The second major consensus is that quantum simulation using conventional computing will be the most cost effective and accessible way to get quantum systems into the hands of our universities, data science teams and researchers.

Automotive – The automotive ecosystem will rapidly shift focus from a mechanical ecosystem to a data and compute industry. We are seeing a shift from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, resulting in radical simplification of the ecosystem in deep interaction with IT ecosystems.

Digital twins – Digital twins will become easier to create and consume as the technology is more clearly defined with dedicated tools. Over the next several years, we’ll see digital twins become easier to create and consume as we define standardised frameworks, solutions and platforms.

As a technology optimist, I increasingly see a world where humans and technology work together to deliver impactful outcomes at an unprecedented speed. These near-term and long-term perspectives are based on the strides we’re making today. If we see even incremental improvement, there is enormous opportunity to positively transform the way we live, learn and work, and 2022 will be another year of accelerated technology innovation and adoption.

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