The new year always brings a flurry of articles about what we can expect to see from a technology perspective looking forward. What are the big analyst firms like Gartner, Forrester, IDC, and others predicting will be big in technology and infrastructure spending in 2022?
The 2022 Technology Landscape
Automation is a big part of many articles looking forward to 2022, with business process automation being a focus for organizations this year. The Forbes Technology Council tech trends predictions for 2022 placed automation at the top of their 2022 list. Gartner also included it in their Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2022 under two categories: hyper automation and autonomic systems. Forrester sees the market for automation systems hitting an annual spend of €3.3 Billion in Europe, as outlined in their report Forrester European Predictions for 2022.
Reducing the level of human input needed to perform business processes due to staff shortages and general productivity and efficiency will drive automation. Using automated natural language-backed customer support systems and intelligent document processing to automate as many interactions as possible will reduce the staff needed for this business function.
The extraction of business insights from data will also be a key driver for automated systems using machine learning (ML). The spread of AI & ML-based systems to automate processes is a common prediction across all analyst’s reports. This will drive demand for people with these skills and worsen the STEM skills shortage in the job market.
This uptake in automation using ML-based data analytics and other infrastructure improvements will drive increased spending across all IT areas except for endpoint devices. The pandemic fueled a spending increase on devices for remote work, and the devices purchased have a few years before they need replacing.
In addition to the €3.3 Billion spend prediction on automation systems by Forrester, the Gartner IT Spending in EMEA report predicts that IT system spending in EMEA will increase. IDC also expects a spending uptick in 2022. Their Worldwide Digital Transformation Spending Guide predicts that digital transformation spending will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4% over 2021 to 2025. The monetary figures that IDC expects digital infrastructure to consume are €2.5 trillion ($2.8 trillion) by 2025, with a total global spend of €8.8 trillion ($10 trillion) in the five years from 2021 to 2025.
Clearly, the market for IT infrastructure and associated services will be significant as organizations invest in their core digital assets to remain competitive with their peers. Organizations will spread their spending via hybrid deployments across cloud services and on-premises IT infrastructure. Networking will be core to this, and 2022 infrastructure spending will see networking and connectivity investments supporting the hybrid model for remote work that’s emerging as a normal part of business operations.
The new working models with people working from multiple locations means that the concept of a traditional network perimeter is obsolete. The idea was on the wane before the pandemic, but as we enter 2022 it’s gone for many organizations. The new working models will need a security model to protect people and their data. Cybersecurity mesh architecture (CSMA) will become more important in 2022 and beyond, according to Gartner. They say that “organizations adopting a CSMA to integrate security tools to work as a cooperative ecosystem will reduce the financial impact of individual security incidents by an average of 90%.”
The cybersecurity threats that we’ve become all too aware of over the last few years will continue in 2022. Plus, we can expect new high-impact vulnerabilities to appear, such as the recent Java Log4j issue that occurred towards the end of 2021. Threats against people and IT systems will continue, and organizations will need to invest significant portions of their IT budgets to build and maintain cybersecurity defenses.
CIOs, and the C-suite in general, will have to make important decisions on resource allocation in 2022 and beyond to position their organizations for the digital economy they will be operating within. Remote working, automation, the skills shortage, and the ever-present cybersecurity threats will require careful and targeted infrastructure spending.
Hopefully, the predictions from industry surveys and analysis linked in this post will allow decision-makers to spend their budgets in a way that helps their organizations compete with their industry peers.