Happy New Year! 2021 had its challenges and its highlights, bringing us now to a new year that many have been looking forward to. And when it comes to looking forward, technology is the realm where you can always expect new innovation and possibilities. What will we hear about in the tech world in 2022? Here are some trends and tech terms for 2022 that you’re likely to become more familiar with this year.
Organizations are seeing the benefits of combining multiple emerging technologies to really boost their capabilities. When they do this according to the needs of their industry, they can see exponential improvements. These combinations of newer capabilities are what we call tech “mashups.” When the intelligence of AI mashes up with the technical capabilities of robotics, for example, companies can see major transformations in their workflows. The term “mashup” can also refer to a device that combines two or more innovations, or an application that runs various actions from multiple web sources. (The word originally came from the music practice of combining two contrasting songs, and it can even be found referring to language, as in the words “webinar” and “netiquette.”)
You’re probably familiar with SaaS (Software as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), which have been around and growing for years. Providers are increasingly offering services over single-purchase products, to the point where we’re now talking about XaaS (Anything or Everything as a Service). This business model may be one that your own company decides to embrace; or, you may notice that you’re a customer to these service-oriented offerings. If you’re the service provider, the subscription model keeps your customers close and assures continued business. For customers, it may provide additional convenience and less to worry about internally. Knowing the trend can give you something to consider as you make your business decisions moving forward into 2022.
It made interesting news when Facebook changed its name to Meta, both in an attempt to distance itself from its own bad reputation and to stake its claim in the budding concept of the Metaverse. With Microsoft and Nvidia also working on it, the Metaverse may just become the next big transformation following the internet and smartphones. This realm of combined physical and virtual space could bring new kinds of physically distanced social interaction, and it may offer the most in work environments.
One of the features of the Metaverse is the ability to create and utilize digital twins. These are virtual representations of physical entities which allow for training, inspections, design, and more. Digital twins can give engineers a better visualization of the detailed objects they’re building. Assembly line workers can test or arrange parts without having to move heavy or bulky equipment. In medicine, doctors can plan for surgery or conduct research on elements they may not otherwise have access to, like a team that’s using digital twins to study fetal heart disease. So while you may be reluctant to trust Mark Zuckerberg with your social future, there’s a lot of exciting possibility with this technology in industrial applications.
This decentralized record-keeping method is becoming more well known, and its potential is expanding. Blockchain is an aptly labeled term that refers to its structure: “blocks” of limited data are continually added to a ledger, creating a “chain” of records. A blockchain is cryptographically protected and cannot be destroyed, and its decentralized environment does not rely on one particular hosting authority. For these reasons, it allows for a trusted network of records and transactions. This technology first began as a way to manage Bitcoin activity, and it’s still best known for its application in cryptocurrency. But another developing use case is in Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI), a way for individuals to exercise control over their identifying documents online. Together with decentralized identifiers (DIDs) and verifiable credentials, blockchain can provide this more secure and controllable option.
What Tech Terms for 2022 Will You be Talking About?
Of course, these are only a few of the trends and highlights happening in technology right now. Where do your own interests and priorities lie? If you’re curious about new innovations and how they might transform your business, we’d love to chat with you. We can’t wait to see what new mashups we encounter in 2022.