2022 data predictions: what can the tech industry expect?

Every day, businesses of all sizes, sectors and locations are learning more about the data they hold and the opportunities it can unlock. Data is now at the core of nearly every business decision made

As organisations once again look ahead to a new year, what are the major data trends the tech industry can expect in 2022? Four experts in the data field share their thoughts for the year ahead.

The rise of application automation Dan Sommer, Senior Director, Global Market Intelligence Lead at Qlik, believes 2022 will be the year application automation will trigger actions. He explains, “the API economy opens up entirely new ways for businesses, partners, customers, and even competitors to unite for joint initiatives while reducing the relevancy of buy-versus-build. With an opportunity to assemble and orchestrate, application automation is a strongly emerging area that removes the need to code these integrations, making the opportunity much more accessible to a wider variety of actors.”

Sommer continues, “this is important, but it’s equally important that applications – within any ecosystem – talk to each other, alerting and notifying users with in-the-moment insights. Triggered directly by data-driven milestones in the workflow, with or without human involvement, automation ensures you never miss an opportunity in a fleeting business moment.”

Greater emphasis on managing our green footprint Jonathan Bridges, Chief Innovation Officer at Exponential-e, explains that businesses are feeling a greater need to control their green footprints, which he anticipates, “will have a big impact on how they outsource to third parties, including cloud providers, in 2022.”

However, Bridges points out that “data is growing exponentially”, and new platforms can be more energy consuming. “Take digital pathology processes in healthcare, for example. They can generate data growth of multiple petabytes per year, which is highly energy consuming. Yet the industry must digitise to keep up with the new world, so it’s vital that healthcare organisations work with partners to do so sustainably.”

As a result of this, Bridges predicts that “some businesses will look to re-patronise their data from public cloud platforms back into owned data centres, as a way of taking back control over their data and green footprints,” and says that it will be vital for cloud providers “to prioritise delivering data projects in a more sustainable fashion” in the year ahead.

Adhering to new regulations According to Ursula Morgenstern, President, Global Growth Markets, Cognizant, the EU’s AI Act proposed earlier this year will mean “AI ethics – similarly to data privacy in recent years – will become a top priority for companies in 2022, forcing them to explore what it will take to adhere to one of the first major policy initiatives focused on harmful AI.”

The good news, as Morgenstern explains, is that “many of the processes that companies implemented as part of GDPR compliance can serve as the foundation for adopting responsible AI, though there are some differences. For example, often overlooked is that the proposed regulations apply not just to personal details but also to the datasets, modelling and algorithms which are used in business decisions.”

Morgenstern continues, “the coverage of nonpersonal data has huge ramifications for businesses. For example, the data used by data banks to assess the level of risk for commercial loans typically relates to the type of business, location and other details such as local crime rates. No personal data is involved, yet as an AI-driven business decision, the risk assessment falls under the act’s efforts to avoid the unintended AI bias and real-world harm seen in home mortgages.

Morgenstern concludes that, “adhering to the proposed regulations will therefore require change in mindset and operations. However, more prescriptive regulations will be needed in 2022 and beyond to help companies understand how to safely implement AI and show where there will be opportunities and ROI.”

Data providers and sales professionals will see increased trust Chris Whife, Managing Director Global, Demand Science, believes we will see a greater emphasis on trust between data providers and marketing and sales professionals than ever before. “Until recently, organisations rushed to adopt digital technology to keep their business running. Now, business leaders have the opportunity to properly assess and choose a technology partner they can trust to provide them with the right information and the right insights.”

Whife also predicts that this will become a gateway for accelerated growth, “better data will be the Swiss army knife that helps marketers open new opportunities with greater opportunity for intelligent personalisation. It will enable B2B sales and marketing professionals to interact with an organisation in a more relevant, timely and meaningful way. The use of artificial intelligence enables businesses to better understand their customers’ unique needs and where they are in the buyer journey, and adapt the communications strategy in line with their changing circumstances.”