What emerging technologies are top business leaders exploring for 2022? Are augmented reality and virtual reality finding their place in business development? What about artificial intelligence and machine learning? Is everyone using cloud solutions yet? While the pandemic accelerated digital transformation, most organizations are still heavily investing in new technologies while that technology keeps evolving. So what’s essential? Check out these 20 technologies for business:
Marketing & Sales Technologies
Successful technology accelerates business development efforts. Marketing and sales are often on the cutting edge of emerging technologies. Both are looking for an edge to engage with customers and prospects along the customer journey. One common marketing strategy among top CMOs is to test multiple new technologies, to separate the winners from losers. Here are four technologies to consider exploring in 2022:
1. Virtual Reality
The consumer VR market worldwide in 2021 was expected to reach $3.7 billion. There are already 171 million VR users worldwide, and nearly 80% of Americans are now familiar with the technology.
The potential marketing integrations are endless. Some marketers succeed by integrating into existing VR experiences like Wendy’s did with Fortnite. Others take their customers and prospects on adventures with their brand ambassadors, like Adidas. Still, others simply create gamification experiences at trade shows and events to demonstrate key brand benefits.
2. Mobile Optimization
Mobile technology isn’t new, but many businesses still overlook its importance. For example, since 2019, more than half of the annual online website traffic has originated from mobile devices.
Businesses that don’t optimize their website for mobile are losing sales opportunities.
3. Interactive Video
Studies show that most people prefer to consume video instead of written content. As a result, top marketing leaders are now investing in video with interactive elements.
Many of these desired qualities relate to the personalization of the video, such as serving up specific content related to what the customer already owns or is location-based.
4. Voice Assistants
Voice search (asking Alexa or Siri for help, for instance) is finally growing to critical mass. Approximately 40% of US internet users use a voice assistant at least once a month. Further, 71% of people who own a smart speaker use it at least once a day.
Both B2B and B2C Marketers are now developing content for Alexa Voice Service to further expand their touchpoints with customers and prospects.
Accounting & Finance Technologies
Technology trends in accounting and finance focus on data integrity and analytics. Many technological advances give accounting and financial professionals the ability to secure and optimize processes while also eliminating time-consuming activities like audits.
While blockchain could be listed in any trending technology category, it’s here under accounting and finance technology trends because of the built-in security and structural integrity built into the blockchain technology.
Expect blockchain to continue to surge in emerging technology conversations in 2022, along with other web3 trends like cryptocurrency and DeFi (decentralized finance).
2. Collaborative Cloud Computing
According to Gartner, “Organizations are advancing their timelines…and racing to the cloud to modernize environments, improve system reliability, support hybrid work models.”
The new cloud computing services are collaborative, meaning its not just read-only. Teams can now edit and comment, final revisions traveling through workflows for approval.
3. Big Data Adoption
To glean insights, optimize processes and opportunities, and create a frictionless customer experience, data silos must continue to evolve into big data.
The process is daunting. The journey is long. But businesses cannot move to the next level unless these data centers are connected. Big data provides the real-time status necessary to be proactive and make strategic decisions.
4. Internet of Things (IoT)
Smart devices and sensors allow professionals to manage accounts, ledgers, and transactions in real-time.
Thanks to the sensors’ continuous monitoring of activities, IoT tools can now streamline time-intensive activities like audits.
HR & Training Technologies
The pandemic is continuing to accelerate digital transformation for HR professionals. Many workers remain remote, causing more processes to be digitized, secured, and set up for collaboration. From recruiting to evaluation, new technologies now allow HR departments to optimize operations and focus on strategies for improving work culture and policies.
1. AI Recruiting
Recruiters are successfully integrating artificial Intelligence technologies to speed up job recruitment and accelerate their evaluation of applicants.
AI algorithms provide richer insights into applicants based on their digital footprint, including social media.
2. Self-Service Automation
From onboarding to workflows, more and more traditional HR processes use evolving business technologies to manage their workforce.
These tools are now automated and self-service, allowing HR to analyze data usage to improve company culture.
3. Remote Work Tools
Remote work is here to stay. As a result, HR departments are tasked with integrating technologies that allow employees to work and collaborate from anywhere successfully.
While implementation is a cross-functional responsibility, HR professionals will continue to push for tools to digitize processes, schedules, requests, and ways to infuse culture.
4. Performance and Wellness Management
Emerging HR technology allows more employee reviews to be supplemented with real-time performance management technology.
These systems provide a more frequent structural approach to evaluation than the traditional annual review.
Operations & Management Technologies
Business technologies will continue to offer avenues to automate repetitive and time-consuming processes. In addition, pandemic disruptions to the workforce are accelerating their digital transformation to adapt to labor shortages.
1. Shift Scheduling Software
As staffing shortages continue to plague business leaders, frontline workers become more valuable. One request from the frontline is for more predictable shifts.
Shift scheduling software provides workers instant access to new shift schedules, making it easier to connect and switch shifts with the approval of team leads.
2. Disappearing Data Centers
IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) cloud solutions are now replacing on-premise data centers in most businesses.
This move to cloud solutions improves data integrity and computing power and creates an opportunity to leverage the value of new hybrid architectures.
3. Remote Device Management
Many organizations with remote sites manage those assets from a central location, such as IoT sensors.
However, even remote assets need tracking and occasional in-person management. Technology allows these assets to be more closely monitored so that teams can tend to remote needs, such as periodic battery replacement in sensors.
4. Just-in-time Infrastructure
Flexible infrastructure delivered as needed is a growing technology for business leaders who want to optimize assets.
By reducing deployment times, businesses can respond to operational needs anytime.
IT & Infrastructure Technologies
AI and Cybersecurity continue to lead the focus of business technologies for IT. As cybercrime continues to grow in quantity and cost, artificial intelligence is finally offering some hope for IT business professionals through tools that are helping to combat and prevent costly breaches and service interruptions.
1. Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps)
This mouthful is a critical emerging technology for modern IT infrastructure teams. Essentially, it allows teams to manage all IT operations and event data better.
Teams can use AI to proactively prevent outages, analyze real-time incidents, and eliminate redundant processes.
2. Cyber AI
Cybersecurity is still the biggest threat to IT, and data breaches climb. According to Deloitte, the average cost of a single data breach in 2021 was $4.24 million.
Artificial intelligence accelerates detection, containment, and response to data breaches, allowing security center analysts to be more proactive.
3. Faster Digital Connectivity
5G and IoT accelerate faster connections, allowing greater network availability and capabilities. Expect a positive impact in specific industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.
These technologies allow for wireless control of mobile tools and machines and decentralized delivery of services.
Combine AI, automation, and DNA sequencing, and you get a confluence of trends that result in huge advances in biological science.
Abbott Labs recently shared their insights on what to expect from this technological revolution at CES 2022
Room for Adoption
While the global pandemic accelerated digital transformation for many businesses, adoption is far from complete, and technology continues to evolve. Businesses that integrate new technologies will continue to widen the competitive gap over those that don’t. Few companies have the resources to transform completely. Instead, they prioritize and execute. Where will you start in 2022?