As technology continues to take center stage as a key differentiator for companies, new tech trends for 2022 are beginning to emerge. These trends are largely reflective of the changing realities around us. Successive global lockdowns have opened up a world of possibilities around virtual experiences and digital interactions. The increased urgency around resource scarcity, both human and natural, has also led to the introduction of technology geared towards efficiency and sustainability. These growing trends are part of a larger directional shift of the world wide web to Web 3.0.
What is Web 3.0?
To understand the concept of Web 3.0, we need to take a step back and understand the larger evolution of the internet that brought us to this point.
Web 1.0, the original conception of the internet, was a largely static, one-to-many format where users could view web pages but do little beyond that.
Web 2.0 introduced the concept of a worldwide community of internet users, encouraging them to form social media groups, interact with each other and create virtual experiences. Web 2.0, the current form of the internet, is still by large the most influential, but Web 3.0 is now slowly coming into its own.
Web 3.0 takes the notion of the ‘community and expands it to include community ownership and regulation of the internet as a whole. Three key philosophies are involved in web 3.0 definition:
- The internet is ‘open’ and is built with open-source software that anyone can create, utilize and modify.
- Interactions between users are not governed by a trusted third-party regulatory body.
- Anyone can participate, without requiring permission from governments or regulatory bodies.
We can already see many manifestations of web 3.0 all around us. Cloud technology and artificial intelligence are some of the most prevalent forms of web 3.0 today.
In 2022, we will become increasingly familiar with the concept of a “metaverse” – persistent digital worlds that exist in parallel with the physical world we live in – Forbes
Here are a few of the top technological trends of 2022 that web 3.0 has given rise to.
1. Advanced applications of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence has arguably been one of the biggest technological innovations of our time. As AI begins to get more sophisticated and closely mimic human intelligence, a new form will gain popularity in 2022: generative AI. Unlike traditional AI models that simply understand repetitive patterns and recreate them, generative AI is capable of producing completely new material. It uses the underlying principle of AI, learning patterns, to identify how input is linked together and uses it to create new content from code, images, text or video inputs.
One of the biggest applications of generative AI is in customer service. Chatbots of 2022 could be so human-like that it would be practically impossible to differentiate between an AI chatbot and a human rep. AI could also change the way we consume content. Social media algorithms could get a lot smarter with AI and offer more accurate content recommendations. This could deliver even more personalized experiences for customers.
2. Low-code application building software
Creating a strong digital presence has become increasingly important for businesses, especially in the wake of the lockdowns. Mobile applications are one of the most important virtual assets a business can have because it’s the closest way to mimic an in-store experience. Historically, however, applications have been expensive to develop. Businesses needed to either have an in-house software development team or enough financial budgets to outsource the project to a vendor. These have acted as strong barriers to entry and have meant that small businesses could not afford to launch a mobile app. But with web 3.0, a number of low-code or no-code app development platforms have begun to sprout. These platforms make it extremely easy to develop an app with little to no coding knowledge required. Usually, they come with preset templates and features and users have to simply drag and drop them to build their app. These services will undoubtedly democratize the development of mobile applications and help businesses engage with their customers online.
3. Dominance of cloud technology trends
The cloud was one of the biggest game-changing technologies of 2021 as it enabled businesses to work remotely, from any part of the world. But even as offices begin to re-open, it’s unlikely that we’re ever going to see a shift to old on-premise models again. Global scenarios are unpredictable and businesses need to remain agile. As companies plan for this volatile future, they are more likely to move away from hastily implemented cloud setups to cloud-native platforms.
The ‘lift and shift’ approach involved using the same organizational processes and simply moving them to the cloud. This approach might have worked as a time-sensitive solution, but they don’t deliver the full benefits of the cloud in the long term. A major focus for CIOs in the coming year will be implementing more sustainable cloud structures that are scalable and flexible.
One study by Gartner estimates that as much as 95% of new digital initiatives in 2022 will be built upon cloud-native platforms. This underscores the importance of cloud technology in the coming year.
4. Secure data fabric
In line with creating flexible and accessible platforms, data fabric is a type of data architecture that ties together different platforms and users. It’s the antidote to data silos of the past that would often result in a loss of critical insights and make access extremely restricted. A data fabric promises greater efficiency and security because data is stored on a secure cloud platform. This minimizes the cost of storing data and ensures the highest level of encryption.
Think of a data fabric like a self-driving car. When the driver is active then the autonomous mode takes a back seat. If the driver gets lazy and is not too alert then the semi-autonomous mode kicks in and makes course corrections, This is similar to how a data fabric works. It will monitor all data pipelines as a passive observer and once it understands, it will start to suggest more productive alternatives. For instance, a supply chain organization that uses data fabric can keep adding newly encountered data information that can improve decisions based on the newly integrated data.
To implement data fabric design, new technologies like semantic knowledge graphs, embedded machine learning etc. will be needed.
5. Growth of 5G technology
5G technology will ultimately be the backbone that drives all of the above technology trends. 5G networks have a much wider reach than 4G, offer faster internet speeds and even enable heavy code to download seamlessly. 2022 will most likely see 5G enter the mainstream market and become the most widespread form of mobile broadband connectivity. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses. As the new year quickly approaches, CIOs should brainstorm new ways to present their business digitally and new channels that they can open up, powered by 5G technology.
Technology is constantly evolving and these 5 tech trends are just a few of the many we expect to see develop over the next year. As the very form of the internet evolves with the introduction of web 3.0, there’s only one thing that’s for certain: businesses need to respond positively to change and leverage the latest technological advances if they want to maintain their competitive edge.