Tech trends for 2022

Clarity and understanding, quantum computing and securing the supply chain will be at the heart of business success in 2022, according to Moneypenny’s Chief Technology Officer

Embracing the right technology has been instrumental for sustained business success this year. Pete Hanlon, Chief Technology Officer for Moneypenny makes six predications for emerging technologies in the workplace that are set to change the digital business landscape in 2022.

1: Computers will better understand us

Over the past few years, technology companies such as Google, Facebook and OpenAI have been releasing increasingly complex natural language models to power Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. These language models are the foundation for much of the improvement we see today, allowing computers to extract meaning from written text.

To give some idea of the rate of innovation, language models such as ELMo released in 2018 had approximately 94 million parameters. Think of a parameter as a neurone in the human brain. Today we are seeing models such as Megatron from NVIDIA with 530 billion parameters and we expect the upcoming GPT-4 model from OpenAI to have 100 trillion parameters. To put that into context, the human brain has an estimated 86 billion neurones.

As these models increase in size, they pick up more information about how we structure language, the relationship and meaning of words and the intent of sentences. The result being that computers will be better at understanding us.

2: AI will become explainable

As AI systems and Deep Learning models become ever more complex, it becomes increasingly challenging to explain how systems make predictions. Deep learning models are often trained on billions of data items. However, if we want to understand why a complex model gave a particular prediction it’s almost impossible to do in a way that is understandable to humans.

In order to trust AI’s that drive our cars and help run our lives, we need to be able to understand the processes they went through to make a prediction. This is a big area of research by all of the large tech companies and many research groups and this field of research is expected to improve significantly over the next twelve months.

3: Mass adoption of no-code / low-code platforms

For decades we’ve been talking about tools that allow people with no formal programming background to write computer programs. The idea was first raised in the 1970s, but the systems back then were just too complex. However more recent low-code, no-code platforms are making it significantly easier to write programs to automate processes within a business.

‘New tools are democratising the ability to automate business processes…’

If you can work with an Excel spreadsheet, there’s a good chance you can develop complex solutions using these new platforms. We are starting to see the mass adoption of this technology and it is expected to continue to rise in popularity over the following year, effectively democratising the ability to automate business processes.

4: Securing the supply chain

Most companies have been doubling down over the past few years to improve security and reduce the threat of cyber-attack but an area that has been largely forgotten is securing the supply chain. Every piece of software we install within a business has the potential to become a cyber threat.

For example, the SolarWinds attack in 2021 impacted up to 18,000 companies including Fortune 500 companies and multiple agencies in the US government, all from the fact that the SolarWinds software had been compromised by cyber criminals. The impact of cyber threats coming from trusted companies in our supply chain is enormous. Ensuring trust in the supply chain will be a huge area of focus in 2022.

5: Quantum computing research will continue to break new ground

Quantum computing is an exciting field within technology at the moment. These computers are capable of solving certain classes of problems significantly faster than conventional computers and the potential for this technology is vast.

In 2019, Google announced in the Nature journal that it has achieved Quantum Supremacy. This means it has solved a problem on a Quantum Computer that would have taken a state-of-the-art super-computer years to complete. Since then, there has been some challenge around the validity of this claim however, the field of quantum computing is a hot topic and will be a game-changing technology that will start to creep into our lives over the next few years.

6: Outsourcing will increase

The pandemic has taught us to focus on what we do best and bring in experts when we need specific solutions. Businesses that adopt this model can grow, innovate and pivot faster which makes them more competitive in the constantly changing and evolving business environment we all operate in. Business Process Outsourcing is a trend that will definitely continue to grow.

Pete Hanlon is CTO at Moneypenny, the leading outsourced communication company that answers calls, live chat and digital comms for thousands of companies globally. Under Pete’s leadership, Moneypenny has developed innovative products to improve and scale the services provided to clients. It’s this passion for technology that has resulted in him being accepted into Forbes Technology Council - an invitation-only community for world-class CTOs. Moneypenny is a Global Partner of WORKTECH Academy.
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