Across every industry, enterprises are embracing digital technologies as a means for driving meaningful and substantive change within their businesses. Executives are rethinking how they operate all along the value chain. They are finding ways to increase flexibility, modernize, strengthen cybersecurity, and reduce environmental impact each step of the way. 

The desire to fuel digital advantage accounts for the top prevailing trends in business today, driving investments in artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud and security. Technology is also poised to accelerate the transition to net zero carbon emissions and enable more transparency, collaboration, and overall accountability. So, what’s next in 2022? 

Companies will look to adopt these top five AI trends to increase competitiveness, drive efficiencies, and generate new revenue streams: 

  1. AI for customer care – Virtual assistants became a critical tool for large organizations and governments during the pandemic. In 2022, consumers will notice more personalized and fully realized interactions with their favourite retailers and service providers as AI assumes a bigger impact on the customer care journey. 
  2. AI enables sustainability gains Consumers, regulators and shareholders are putting greater pressure on companies to make tangible sustainability gains. Climate change and extreme weather events also put strain on supply chains and business operations. As these challenges continue to grow in 2022, AI will play a key role in helping businesses achieve sustainability benchmarks through greater measurement, data collection, and carbon accounting, as well as improved predictiveness and supply chain resiliency. Predictive maintenance will play a critical role in preparing companies and organizations for increasingly common adverse weather events.
  3. Delivering on the potential of 5G with AI – 5G connectivity has enormous potential to advance industries ranging from streaming and communications to advanced robotics and manufacturing. To advance the rollout of 5G connectivity worldwide, communications services providers (CSPs) are turning to AI-powered automation and network orchestration to improve the control and management of networking to deliver faster customer experiences.
  4. AI predicts IT issues, reducing downtime costsApplying AIOps allows an organization’s IT teams to proactively manage complex workplace environments, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have been lost. In 2022, AIOps will allow IT teams to diagnose problems quickly and confidently, freeing them from laborious, time-intensive tasks to focus on delivering higher-value work for the organization. AIOps will also enable these IT teams to identify patterns in data that could ultimately indicate a potential issue that might occur, getting ahead of IT problems before they happen.
  5. AI to help solve security threats – Finally, as companies and governments continue to invest in cybersecurity, AI will play an even more crucial role in helping identify and respond to threats more efficiently. AI decisions must be understandable and explainable and provide consumers with confidence that their personal data is being protected against cyberattacks.

When it comes to hybrid cloud, it will continue to play a fundamental role in driving the innovation needed to build resiliency and open new opportunities for business. Moving forward, some cloud trends we will likely see: 

  • Enterprises will strategically migrate workloads as they embrace modernization – As organizations move further into their hybrid and multicloud journeys, their focus will shift towards determining which workloads go where. Early on in cloud journeys, organizations often moved simple workloads to the cloud. Now, they are evaluating migrating more mission-critical, complex workloads as they embrace modernization. In the year ahead, they’ll need to take inventory of their IT environments to select which workloads and applications are best suited for the cloud, and which should remain on-premises.
  • Future of cloud computing: security will be front & center as cyberthreats grow – One of the many reasons why organizations are increasingly adopting a hybrid, multicloud approach is to mitigate vendor concentration risk as cyberthreats grow. With data protection top of mind, enterprises will also prioritize security designed with one single point of control so they can gain access to a holistic view of threats and mitigate complexity in the year ahead.
  • Preparing for data governance: the rise of industry clouds – As organizations grapple with security and compliance, 64 per cent of a recent IBM study’s C-Suite respondents agree industry-related regulatory compliance is a significant obstacle. Adhering to compliance and security requirements is especially important for highly regulated industries such as the financial services sector and government agencies for example. As they strive to meet the demands of today’s digital-first customers and constituents, cloud adoption is evolving towards specialized clouds. 

Whilst no one knows exactly how 2022 will play out, we can be sure the last two years have been a turning point for digital transformation. These trends have an enormous potential to improve people’s lives through better and more reliable access to goods, services and information.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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Frank Attaie
Frank Attaie is General Manager, Technology at IBM Canada, where he leads a team of technical, sales and delivery professionals that are passionate about client success and helping clients transform their businesses with innovative hybrid cloud and AI technologies.