2021 has been an extraordinary year for the technology sector. As the pandemic continues to affect business models and the future trajectory of the industry, we have seen advancements in innovation across digital infrastructure, cloud services and investment into the metaverse.
Below, senior technology executives give their predictions for the new year, offering insight into what will define the technology sector in 2022.
- John Morrison – Senior Vice President EMEA, Extreme Networks
- Nick Reid – Regional Vice President of Northern Europe, DoubleVerify
- Ethan McMahon – Economist at Chainalysis
- Michele Romanow – Co-Founder & President at Clearco
- Andrew Watson – VP of Artificial Intelligence, Healx
- Benji Vaughan – CEO of Disciple
John Morrison, Senior Vice President EMEA, Extreme Networks
“Traditionally, most businesses have considered networks to only consist of two separate layers: software and hardware. In 2022, organisations will begin to discover the value of viewing their networks holistically and will come to appreciate how their networks are in fact multi-layered.
Going forward, networks will only continue to become more intricate and complex, with many more parts now comprising the whole. Thus, companies must reflect on their infrastructure in the same way – as a whole. They can do this by finding ways to combine the power of cloud management with next-generation switches and access points, utilising the likes of AI and ML and deciding whether public cloud, private cloud, and/or on-premises solutions best cater to them. This approach allows them to achieve both diverse business connectivity and their commercial needs.
These actions are vital for firms to future-proof themselves and become what we call ‘infinite enterprises’ – enterprises which are capable of scaling, meeting users wherever they are and delivering a consumer-centric experience where technology revolves around the user’s needs. Making possible networks that can meet these goals reliably and securely will keep people connected, engaged and productive in the more distributed environment that is coming to shape our reality.
Breaking out of this binary perspective and realising that networking technology is much more powerful and nuanced will be the key to success for firms in 2022 and beyond.”
Nick Reid, Regional Vice President of Northern Europe, DoubleVerify
“There are two key reasons 2022 will be the year attention becomes the dominant advertising currency.
Firstly, disruption, from tighter privacy controls to cookie deprecation, is impacting how brands target consumers and measure performance in their digital campaigns. More than ever, brands in 2022 will be looking for other measures they can take to gauge performance in an accurate, privacy-friendly way. Rather than buying inventory blind, adding attention to the media measurement mix can help ensure accountability over spend.
Secondly, brands will continue to want to drive outcomes from spend. Putting it another way, if you’re advertising a new product, the goal isn’t to drive a specific number of impressions, ultimately it’s to drive an outcome, like a sale. Attention metrics – such as audibility, quartile completion, screen touches, screen real estate and more, provide powerful new sets of data that are more predictive of an outcome – which brands can use to optimise their campaigns. Likewise, brands can achieve this without tracking consumers or requiring personal information.
The shift in focus to attention metrics, alongside advancements in areas such as contextual targeting, is the natural next step in providing advertisers with better quality inventory and stronger results. Privacy regulations and the deprecation of cookies are undoubtedly accelerating this change. However, the shift to attention as the industry’s new currency isn’t only reactive, but grows out of verification solutions. Advances in verification in recent years have continually improved the baseline quality for ads by tackling fraudsters, boosting safety, and providing brands with clarity over their ad performance – the attention ecosystem is the next stage in its evolution.”
Ethan McMahon, Economist at Chainalysis
“The NFT marketplace has truly boomed in 2021. So much so that the word NFT has become Collins Dictionary’s word of the year. Our research has shown that users have sent at least $26.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency to Ethereum smart contracts associated with NFT marketplaces and collections. And NFTs have achieved popularity all over the world, with no specific region making up more than 40% of monthly web visits since March 2021.
We’ve also identified that only a tiny group of highly-sophisticated investors rake in most of the profits from NFT collecting. This is especially true in minting, where the whitelisting process gives early supporters of collection access to lower prices that result in greater profits. In 2022, we predict investment techniques, such as the use of bots by investors looking to purchase during minting events, will continue to develop and could potentially shut out less sophisticated users.
We also anticipate the NFT market will continue to evolve over the next year, as more artists, creators, celebrities, and even video game makers launch collections catering to their fans, along with many other use cases that haven’t even been invented yet.”
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Michele Romanow, Co-Founder & President at Clearco
“In 2022, the face of entrepreneurship has to change. Why? Because before the pandemic, 2.8% of funding went to women-led startups, and that figure dropped to 2.3% in 2020.
Traditional funding has failed this generation of founders, particularly women and those from minority communities. There is incredible entrepreneurial talent out there that just needs to be unlocked.
The good news is that power is shifting away from the venture capital industry and into the hands of entrepreneurs. It is now possible to get fair and unbiased capital in a matter of hours rather than months based on the strength of your business, not who you know or where you’re from.”
Andrew Watson, VP of Artificial Intelligence, Healx
“COVID-19 has irreversibly changed healthcare systems around the world, ushering in a wave of technology adoption across all spheres of the sector – from bench to bedside and back again. It has been promising to see patients, clinicians and regulators become more comfortable with technology being a more regular feature of healthcare, especially as it shows no signs of going away.
Indeed, as we start to look beyond COVID-19, healthcare systems will have to come to terms with a backlog of elective surgeries, rare disease treatments and mental health care. There is a growing realisation that to address this challenge effectively, technology must play a big role.
With that in mind, 2022 is shaping up to be a breakthrough year for AI in healthcare. The EU recently completed its consultation process on proposed AI legislation while the UK has also recently revealed its own National AI strategy, both of which could help deliver trusted frameworks for technology companies to better work with healthcare delivery bodies. We are moving into an era of greater collaboration and cohesion between healthcare administration, clinicians and technology companies, and the first results of that will start to be seen on the frontline soon.”
Benji Vaughan, CEO of Disciple
“It’s been another transformative year in the digital sphere, from the rise of the NFTs to the metaverse. What’s remained true for many businesses is the challenge of cultivating the attention of consumers, and retaining it. This has been even more competitive as society has opened up.
People are used to mindlessly scrolling on social media and consuming content with little to no engagement. Businesses must bring their audience together in one place, connecting them to each other and the content they truly value.
The creative industry has paved the way here by building online communities of like-minded individuals. I anticipate that more entrepreneurs will take advantage of online communities in 2022.
Unlike centralised social media platforms, creators and entrepreneurs can own all aspects of their community platform, allowing them to analyse engagement data as well as monetise and engage with their audience as they please.”