05 Jan Exploring the Gartner Tech Trends for 2022
For technology buyers, business leaders, and industry innovators alike, Gartner’s reports represent some of the most important resources in the industry. From the Magic Quadrants defining the movers and shakers in the UC and contact centre space, to the annual technology reports, Gartner has an eye for innovation.
Perhaps one of the most exciting documents delivered by Gartner each year is the one listing “Tech Trends” predictions for the year ahead. As we look forward into 2022, Gartner believes three significant themes will define the investments made by modern brands:
- Engineering trust
- Sculpting change
- Accelerating growth
Within these three themes, Gartner highlighted a series of “tech trends” for 2022 (12 to be exact). Today, we’re going to discuss these trends in greater detail, and consider how they might impact the purchasing behaviours of business leaders going forward.
1. Data Fabric
Data has been a consistently important part of most technology purchases in the last few years – particularly in the communication and customer experience landscape. According to Gartner, as the number of tools teams rely on in the modern landscape increases, application and software silos are growing. Companies are going to need to ensure they have a scalable architecture where data can align and grow in any environment.
Gartner notes that a “data fabric”, will be crucial to improving data usage within the modern business – cutting data management demands by up to 70%. In the UC and Contact Centre worlds, this will mean companies will need to invest more into integrations which can align the data landscape for both customer experience, and internal communications.
2. The Cybersecurity Mesh
As the number of tools and applications in the modern landscapes evolves, so too does the number of cyber security threats today’s businesses face. Gartner says when assets and users can be anywhere, traditional security perimeters are disappearing. A cybersecurity mesh architecture will provide companies with an integrated security strategy to protect all assets, regardless of where they are.
In the communication landscape, this will mean thinking carefully about how interconnected tools and applications collect data, and how teams share information in day-to-day conversations. How will your business ensure it remains secure in the age of hybrid and remote work?
3. Privacy-Enhancing Computation
Otherwise known as “PEC”, privacy-enhancing computation isn’t exactly a new concept in the list of things team members need to consider moving into the future of work. Privacy, like security, is a critical part of maintaining compliance in the modern world. Privacy Enhancing Computation means finding ways to protect personal and sensitive information at a software, hardware, and data level.
This is a concept many companies investing in communication technology have already begun to explore since the implementation of GDPR and similar regulations. Gartner predicts 60% of large organisations will be using at least one or more computation technique for privacy management by 2025.
4. Cloud Native Platforms
Cloud-Native platforms are another aspect of communication technology many companies have been considering for some time. Most brands have already made the transition to CCaaS or UCaaS technology for the purpose of business continuity since the pandemic hit. Garner’s predictions highlight companies will need to continue focusing on cloud-native opportunities going forward.
Cloud-Native Platforms will be essential to creating scalable and elastic IT experiences in the future of work. Gartner also suggests more companies will be looking into containers, microservices, immutable infrastructure and more in the years ahead. Although we could argue that cloud native platform adoption is already well-underway, Gartner now suggests that these platforms will form the foundation of 95% digital initiatives by 2025.
5. Composable Applications
Composable applications build on the concept of CPaaS and the rising demand for integrations we’ve seen in the UCaaS and CCaaS worlds. Gartner notes that a constantly-changing business environment means demands for business adaptability are greater than ever. Companies are concentrating more of their attention on flexible, composable applications.
Gartner believes “composable”, and agile applications will help companies outpace their competition by 80% when it comes to ensuring ongoing growth and adaptability.
6. Generative Artificial Intelligence
Generative artificial intelligence is defined by Gartner as one of the most “powerful” techniques in the rapidly-evolving intelligent landscape. Generative machine learning methods essentially learn about objects and content from their data and use it to generate completely new and original artefacts.
Generative AI can be essential for a range of activities, such as creating software code, facilitating drug development, and even improving the way companies market their solutions. By 2025, Gartner also says generative AI will account for about 10% of all the data produced. However, the analyst also notes that a strong data fabric will be critical to Generative AI success.
7. AI Engineering
Another aspect of AI highlighted by Gartner in the trends for 2022 focuses on the concept of “AI engineering”. We’ve seen plenty of companies in the UC and contact centre space looking for new ways to bring AI into their applications. Unfortunately, not all businesses have implemented AI opportunities as effectively as they might have hoped. Gartner notes that going forward, companies will need to ensure they’re not wasting time and money on under-planned projects.
AI engineering is essentially an integrated strategy for creating and leveraging AI models. Going forward, we’re likely to see a lot more companies in the UC, contact centre, and wider technology spaces bringing more artificial intelligence and machine learning into their tools. The key to success will be ensuring those AI systems are genuinely delivering value and driving adoption.
8. Decision Intelligence
Alongside the concept of higher artificial intelligence adoption, Gartner is also introducing another level of intelligence required by the modern business: Decision Intelligence. Notably, this does seem like another reference to analytics and the importance of being able to manage your own data in the tech-savvy business landscape. Gartner says the decision-making abilities of a business will be a source of competitive advantage going forward. However, the analyst also warns that making the right decisions is becoming more complex.
The increasing focus on “decision” intelligence in the communication, collaboration and contact centre spaces is likely to push more vendors towards a greater focus on unified analytics. We may see a larger number of companies investing more of their R&D budget into ways to make reporting more accessible and actionable for teams.
The term “hyperautomation” isn’t a new one for Gartner. For a while now, the analyst has been championing automation as one of the most disruptive tools in the business landscape – and an essential system for the future of business. Hyper automation apparently builds on the benefits of standard automation strategies, by pushing teams to automate more. With hyperautomation, companies can access accelerated business growth, by rapidly identifying and automating as many simple processes as possible.
For a while now, companies in the UC and CC environment have been implementing more automation workflows into their technology. In the contact centre, hyperautomation may make it easier for companies to automate more of the self-service aspects of customer service. In the UC space, this level of automation could assist in processing and storing a lot of useful information from communications.
10. Autonomic Systems
The idea of “Autonomic Systems” comes almost hand-in-hand with the concept of hyperautomation. Gartner says that as companies continue to grow, simple automation and programming solutions won’t scale to the level required. To ensure continued productivity and efficiency, companies will need to shift into a future of autonomic systems, which can learn from and adapt to their environments.
Unlike automated or autonomous systems in general, autonomic systems can dynamically modify their algorithms without external software patches, allowing them to adapt more consistently to an environment changing at a rapid pace. It’s easy to see how something like this could be useful in today’s world, particularly as communication and collaboration trends continue to evolve at such a rapid place. Autonomic behavior could also have a positive impact on the future of security, data management, and even fraud protection.
11. Distributed Enterprises
This is perhaps the most obvious of all the trends listed by Gartner for this year’s report. The rise in remote and hybrid working platforms created by the pandemic in 2020 has changed the way we work on a fundamental. Gartner, like many other analysts note how traditional office-centric companies are becoming rapidly more digitized and distributed enterprises.
The rise of the distributed company means IT managers and business leaders need to make significant changes to their technology and service stack. If companies hope to remain consistently productive and innovative in a world where teams aren’t always located in the same space, they need to be willing to invest in new work models.
The successful distributed enterprise will need to consider both the needs of the employees in a remote and hybrid landscape and the demands of the customers they’re going to serve.
12. Total Experience
Finally, Gartner believes the conversation about experience will see a major change in 2022. For years, we’ve been talking about the importance of customer experience and user experience. Recently, the rise of new remote and hybrid workers has given way to discussions about “employee experience” too. However, Gartner thinks that many of these views are too simplistic, hence the introduction of “Total Experience.”
The “TX” or “Total Experience” approach combines the disciplines of customer experience, user experience, and employee experience with “multi-experience” to provide a more complete strategy for success. The goal of total experience is, according to Gartner, to encourage better employee and customer confidence, loyalty, satisfaction, and advocacy. Organisations will need to work on strategies for TX to increase their profit and stay agile in the current world.
What Can We Learn from Gartner’s Trends?
Gartner’s technology trend predictions for 2022 are sure to insight a range of different thoughts and opinions from countless teams. Perhaps the most obvious point you’ll notice when reading through the report yourself is that technology continues to be the most essential engine for business transformation and resilience as we move into a new year.
Research VP for Gartner, David Groombridge, said CEOs moving into 2022 should be prioritizing strategies to scale digitization. At the same time, CIOs will need to ensure they have the right plans and budget in place to rapidly scale and grow the technology landscape.
As we move forward into an era defined by new customer journeys and distributed enterprise environments, there’s no doubt many companies will have some significant changes ahead of them. Organisations that still haven’t implemented long-term solutions for remote and hybrid work will need to act fast or risk crumbling, even in a pre-pandemic world.
Businesses hoping to stay ahead of the curve with their technology investments will need to consider the experiences of everyone influenced by their purchases. It’s likely we’ll also see more vendors across the tech landscape investing in analytics, data management tools, and artificial intelligence as we go forward. AI, automation, and the secure use of data were common themes in a lot of Gartner’s predicted trends.
What Do These Trends Mean for UC and CC Tech?
As we explored above, many of the trends discussed by Gartner also have a direct connection to the changing UCaaS and CCaaS landscape. We’ve already seen a significant shift to the cloud-focused platform for communication technology. Data and analytics are now a fundamental part of both unified communications and the contact centre. Plus, AI is making its way into everything we do, from virtual assistants for team members to self-service solutions for customers.
Most of the changes predicted to take place by Gartner in 2022 are already underway. We’re even seeing a lot of UC and contact centre companies invest in new strategies for securing the conversations we have in a hybrid environment in the future. At the same time, the quest for better all-around experiences is evident as vendors create more convenient, plug-and-play tools for the modern workforce.
Gartner’s report is an interesting observation of where the world is likely to be heading now that we’re starting to imagine a post-pandemic technology landscape. It’s up to you to decide which trends you’re going to embrace to stay ahead of the digital transformation curve.
Contact us to find out how UC Advisor can help you find the right partner for your transition into 2022.