The results of a study of global technology leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, and Brazil were revealed by IEEE. The survey, which included 350 CTOs, CIOs, and IT directors, looks at the most essential technologies in 2022, as well as the industries that will be most impacted by technology in the coming year and technology trends over the following ten years.
AI and machine learning are predicted to be the most significant technology in the coming year by 21% of respondents, followed by cloud computing (20%) and 5G (17%). As a result of the global pandemic, technology leaders surveyed stated they will accelerate the use of cloud computing (60 per cent), AI and machine learning (51 per cent), and 5G (46 per cent) in 2021. It’s not surprising, however, that 95% of respondents agree that AI will drive the majority of innovation in practically every industry sector over the next 1-5 years, with 66% strongly agreeing.
When asked which of the following areas 5G will most benefit in the next year, technology leaders surveyed said:
- telemedicine, including remote surgery and health record transmissions (24%)
- remote learning and education (20%)
- personal and professional day-to-day communications (15%)
- entertainment, sports and live event streaming (14%)
- manufacturing and assembly (13%)
- transportation and traffic control (7%)
- carbon footprint reduction and energy efficiency (5%)
- farming and agriculture (2%)
Manufacturing (25%) was selected by technology executives as the industry sector most impacted by technology in 2022, followed by financial services (19%), healthcare (16%), and energy (16%). (13 per cent). 92 per cent of respondents agree, with 60 per cent strongly agreeing, that deploying smart building technologies that enhance sustainability, decarbonization, and energy savings have become a key priority for their firm in comparison to the beginning of 2021.
Workplace technologies, Human Resources collaboration and COVID-19
As the implications of COVID-19 varies across the globe and hybrid work remains, technology leaders almost unanimously agree (97 per cent agree, with 69 per cent strongly agreeing) that their team is working more intimately than ever with Human Resources leaders to incorporate workplace technologies and apps for office check-in, space usage data and analytics, COVID and health protocols, employee productivity, interactions, and mental health.
Sustaining solid cybersecurity for a hybrid workforce of remote and in-office workers is seen as challenging by 83 per cent of respondents (40 per cent very challenging, 43 per cent somewhat challenging), while the ability to manage return-to-office health and safety protocols, software, apps, and data is seen as challenging by 73 per cent of those surveyed (29 per cent very, 44 per cent somewhat). For 68 per cent of technology executives, establishing what technologies are required for their organisation in the post-pandemic future will be difficult (29 per cent very, 39 per cent somewhat). 73 per cent of respondents believe that finding technologists and filling available tech roles will be difficult in the coming year.
Robots rise over the next decade
Looking ahead, 81 per cent believe that robots will improve one-quarter of what they do in the next five years, and 77 per cent believe that robots will be deployed across their organisation to improve nearly every business function from sales and human resources to marketing and IT in the same time frame. Robots will enhance half or more of what people do in the next ten years, according to 78 per cent of respondents. Manufacturing and assembly (33 per cent), hospital and patient care (26 per cent), and earth and space exploration (26 per cent) are the robot deployments that will most help humanity, according to the survey (13 per cent).
Connected devices continue to proliferate
As a result of the shift to hybrid work and the pandemic, 51 per cent of technology leaders surveyed believe the number of connected devices they need to track and manage –– such as smartphones, tablets, sensors, robots, vehicles, drones, and so on –– has increased by up to 1.5 times, while 42 per cent believe the number has increased by more than 1.5 times.
When questioned about managing even more connected devices in 2022, however, the attitudes of technology leaders around the world disagree. When asked if the number of gadgets connected to their company’s operations will become so large and quickly in 2022 that it will be unmanageable, 51 per cent disagree, while 49 per cent agree. Those discrepancies may be found across regions as well: 78 per cent of Indians, 64 per cent of Brazilians, and 63 per cent of Americans believe gadget growth will be unmanageable, whereas 87 per cent of Chinese and 52 per cent of British people disagree.
Cyber and physical security, preparedness and deployment of technologies
Issues relating to the mobile and hybrid workforce, including employees utilising their own devices (39 per cent), and cloud vulnerability are the two most common cybersecurity worries among technology leaders (35 per cent). A data centre vulnerability (27 per cent), a coordinated attack on their network (26 per cent), and a ransomware attack are among the other concerns (25 per cent).
Notably, 59 per cent of all IT executives polled presently use or plan to use drones for security, surveillance, or threat prevention as part of their business model in the next five years. However, there are geographical differences. Drone use for security is highest in Brazil (78 per cent), China (71 per cent), India (60 per cent), and the United States (52 per cent) compared to only (32 per cent) in the United Kingdom, where 48 per cent of respondents claim they have no intentions to employ drones in their business in the next five years.
Blockchain is an open-source distributed database that employs cryptography to establish trust between individuals and third parties via a distributed ledger. The four uses that respondents were most likely to list in their top three most important uses for blockchain technology in the coming year are as follows:
- In the Internet of Things (IoT), secure machine-to-machine contact is essential (61 per cent)
- Tracking shipments and making contactless digital transactions (51 per cent)
- Keeping your medical and health records safe in the cloud (47 per cent)
- Securing the interconnection of parties within a given ecosystem (47 per cent)
92 per cent of those polled say their firm is better prepared to respond to a potentially catastrophic disruption, such as a data leak or natural disaster than it was a year ago. COVID-19 accelerated their preparedness, according to 65 per cent of those surveyed.