Following a period of uncertainty and rapid change after the Pandemic, 2022 is set to offer the hope of stability and opportunity to evolve. From a technological standpoint, we’ve had to adjust and implement new procedures at such a rate that we’ve accelerated the way in which we use technology in day-to-day life.
Augmented Reality (AR) is the layering of digital information and objects over our view of the real world. This technology is already changing many industries, enabling people to do their jobs with increased efficiency and reduced costs. AR technology is currently supporting companies through the visualisation of information, providing interactive instructions, remote guidance, knowledge sharing and training.
AR has become the training solution for a disparate workforce. AR technologies offer a dynamic alternative to traditional training, creating a risk-free environment and scenarios that allow employees to develop their skills needed for the job.
Whilst the gaming industry will remain the highest driver for AR, we believe AR has scope to provide huge benefits within the design, healthcare and engineering industries in 2022. Plus with the announcement of ‘The Metaverse’ from Facebook parent company, Meta, it is likely that AR will play an influential role outside of the business world.
Video collaboration software has all but cemented itself as a key component in the workplace following its huge surge of demand during 2020 and subsequent evolution in 2021. In 2020 alone, Microsoft Teams experience a 3,891% growth rate between February and December. The technological advancements across all the big players such as Zoom, Webex, Slack have enabled us to communicate effectively and deliver results from remote locations across the globe.
With hybrid working set to be the future of the workplace, it is unsurprising that tech companies are focusing efforts on advancing their video collaboration software. The global video conferencing market is projected to grow from $6.28 billion in 2021 to $12.99 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 10.9% during forecast period. While the office will still play a significant role for businesses, remote working will drive the requirement for digital communications to be more efficient and more dependable.
Meta and Microsoft are leading the way with technology to support “immersive meetings” will allow people to meet in the virtual space, with or without a virtual reality headset. Microsoft 3D avatars will represent a person in a remote Teams meeting without a webcam, it will use AI to imitate movements and gestures to bring your physical presence into the meeting. These features are due to be released early 2022.
Hyperautomation represents the shift towards bringing together multiple technologies and solutions that help improve decision making and processes within businesses. The Pandemic served as a catalyst for many things and the digitalisation of business was driven by automation.
On the face of it, video communication tools evolved superfast and there was a reliance on online services that meant businesses could continue. The reality however is that for these things to happen, companies had to upgrade their technology, data management, payment systems and IT infrastructures and automate many other parts of their businesses.
Gartner defines automation as “a business-driven, disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business and IT processes as possible. Hyperautomation involves the orchestrated use of multiple technologies, tools or platforms.”
With the world shifting to a more digital landscape in 2021, the outlook for 2022 is that people and companies will remain distributed and there will still be a need for tech and new software demands an enhanced process to unite and combine the multiple solutions being used. AI, machine learning, enhanced robotic processes and process-based technology will continue to be the route for businesses seeking to cut costs and improve efficiency.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides us with the option to find information and conduct a range of tasks in a cost-efficient manner, but AI is more than chatbots and self-driving cars. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said that “Artificial Intelligence will affect humanity more than fire, electricity, and the internet.“
AI will start to be more integrated into business processes and not only be used to replace human tasks but to provide information and allow humans to make better decisions. IDC have shown in their research that more companies are using AI in their business practices.
30% of organizations using forms of behavioural economics and AI and/or machine learning-driven insights to nudge employees’ actions, leading to a 60% increase in desired outcomes by 2026.
AI will continue to play an integral role in the sales process and marketing by helping to reach audiences and optimise strategies. AI is also being used to prevent data breaches and improve cybersecurity. AI provides much needed analysis and threat identification, spotting malware on a network, guide incident response and detect intrusions before they start. Other areas such as supply chain management and people analytics in HR, AI is likely to continue to shape the business landscape.
Digital Transformation has already proven to be significant across multiple industries and as more businesses rely on technology to unite their hybrid and distributed teams in the future, we will see more companies reimaging their ways of working and transforming their workflows.
Whether this means more digital communication for workers, better security to match our demand for digital or new task-management solutions, businesses will become more data driven. In a study by Accenture, it shows that even though data‑driven organizations experience annual growth of over 30%, over 80% of businesses don’t have a solid data strategy to maximize the potential of their data. One of the outcomes of the Pandemic was the need for greater flexibility and the integration of digital technology has helped businesses innovate their ways of working and reimagine their products and processes as a result.
One of the big developments within the architecture and construction industry in recent years is Building information modelling (BIM) and this is really driving digital transformation forwards in these sectors.
BIM is the guidance, or the set of rules that are set out to be followed during the construction process to improve efficiencies and make the entire project easier to coordinate. It means every moving part within that project is working to the same standards so that drawings, measurements and other essential information all lines up.
BIM enables this information to be brought together from multiple sources, stored in the cloud and ensure that it is accurate, detailed and functional. Plus, with a more digitally-focused workflow with teams based across multiple locations, a shift towards these towards these standards remove the complications of needing to be in the same room or physically on-site.
While it is already happening within the construction industry, digital transformation will continue to evolve and push boundaries even further. Products like Matterport, Revit, Oculus and BIM 360 are just the tip of the technological iceberg.
These trends are a cross-section of what we expect to happen in 2022, particularly as there are greater developments with hybrid working, new products may emerge but the principle for the trends will remain. The demand flexibility requires innovative solutions, and with fresh solutions comes the need for greater infrastructure and unification across different platforms and technology.