Technology Outlook For 2022 IBA Group Experts

January 19, 2022  |  Irina Kiptikova

SERGEY BEGANSKI

Department Head
IBA Group

The pandemic highlighted the importance of technology for people, and enterprises had to focus their efforts on cloud. In my opinion, the trend of moving mainframes to a private cloud will continue in 2022. This can be seen in how top players, such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and IBM are actively promoting their solutions that migrate mainframes to a cloud.

Well, I think that tools and applications that allow working with the mainframe legacy code will continue to evolve. Mainframes soon will become a part of cloud ecosystem and it will not make much difference what language you use PR1 and Cabal, or Javascript and Python.

 

ELENA ROMANOVA

Lead Software Engineer
IBA Group

Natural Language Processing is a technique of Artificial Intelligence. This technique is used to establish easier communication between a computer and a human. NLP has already become a part of our life. No one is surprised talking to «Ok, Google» or Siri. We are used to chatbots for mobile operators or banks. We use machine translators and text search, and we don’t even notice the work of spam filters. These uses of NLP prove that it’s a technology that improves the quality of our life.

With the available information constantly growing in size, NLP is surely going to grow in popularity in 2022. As much as 80% of the information that surrounds us is unstructured. For this reason, NLP is one of the largest fields of data science. Its market is at a relatively nascent stage but is fast expanding. Continuous advancements are being made in the area of NLP, and we can expect it to affect more and more aspects of our lives in 2022.

 

STUART McMILLAN

IBA Group Partner
UK

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to share my thoughts, forecasting what we might expect from digitalization and automation in 2022. I’ll briefly touch on a few themes, such as industry growth strategy, hyper-automation of business process management systems (BPMS), the trend towards citizen developers, and the ever-hyped Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Let’s begin with industry growth adoption. We expect we’ll still be increasing that double-digit compound annual growth rates in terms of the mixed software versus consulting services, typically been skewed towards services. And we expect this skew to increase further with the rise of licensed software models.

Automation has either been adopted on mass, accelerated as a result of COVID, or organizations are adopting a wait-and-see approach. From what we’re gathering, it’s not so black and white. It’s more of a question of size. Larger organizations have maintained and in some cases accelerated their adoption of automation technologies, but many others, especially SMEs are hesitating and preferring a fast-follow strategy.

A fast-follow strategy typically works well when adopting new technologies, but the exponential advantage of automation and Machine Learning technologies creates an insurmountable gulf and will have disastrous consequences for those who fail to act.

Stuart McMillanIBA Group Partner, UK

However, acting alone is not sufficient. These technologies used in isolation without process diligence will continue to create false starts and failed implementations that we’ve seen so far. A technology-push approach may achieve modest gains, but without BPMS and an end-to-end focus, the full value will never be realized. Regardless, these technologies will of course continue to unlock unprecedented levels of value in the workplace with RPA continuing to be the centerpiece of the show.

Now Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) should always be the preferred approach and more enterprise software vendors are paying attention to this required integration by creating and providing these more frequently. As a result, APIs may start to surpass RPA, as the darling of the automation industry gives its robust nature and increased speed. Automation software vendors who neglect API capability may well start to see their commanding position suffer, especially when coupled with their expensive software license fees.

As we mentioned, automation will continue to be the start of the show, but this will be increasingly supplemented with hyper-automation technologies that digitally replicate an entire worker along with the BPMS process diligence to discover valuable opportunities. Clearly, organizations that have neglected process diligence will start to feel against plateau, and having hit the quick wins, they will struggle to find suitable candidates returning the ROI that leadership has become accustomed to. Those who have successfully industrialized their processes and have started to successfully scale automation will seek opportunities further up the value chain.

One of the more obvious trends we are seeing, which is certain to continue is the cloud-first approach. On-prem solutions make little sense, given the vast accessible cloud infrastructure now available and the potential cyber security risks, and maintenance costs of hosting one’s own infrastructure. A hybrid traditional workforce makes it all the more necessary for a cloud-first digital workforce and with that, we can expect to move towards more unattended RPA. As a result, we’ll start to see more always-on enterprises that are able to continue doing business and operating even when their people are not – not quite a decentralized autonomous organization, but more partially autonomous organization.

This move will become the first choice for those less mature organizations, making their first forays into the arena, but more mature organizations, already operating with attended RPA, will suffer ROI erosion and increase costs from the upgrade to unattended and will seek to mitigate these already hundreds of thousands of pounds in license fees with even modest installation commands.

Here we’ll give rise to a switch and save opportunity, as organizations move to a license-free model. The move to a digital-first cloud-first organization may impact the current citizen developer localhost trend. Citizen developers may have their moment in the spotlight with some organizations delegating task automation capability, but end-to-end process automation is where the real returns of efficiencies and competitive advantage are, are really supercharged by these technologies, and those organizations that continue to operate in silos will only achieve modest gains.

Not only that citizen developers will increase key person risk and tribal knowledge, therefore I suspect this is a trend that will be short-lived. And again, with trends that may be short-lived, AI is feeling once again overhyped in the marketplace, which may start to lead to another drop of disillusionment.

Of course, this technology is improving at a rapid rate. Don’t get me wrong, but the delta between what the public believes AI to be and the actual capability of AI may become more pronounced as a result of overzealous marketing. I suspect we are at least a few years away from any major developments and true AI. Yet, the marketers are applying it to everything.

So I would suggest that caveat empty sage advice here when considering software that is touted as having AI capability, buyer beware. Do your due diligence, ask the right questions, be sure what it is you’re buying because it’s not AI at the minute.

So in summary more of the same in terms of automation adoption but with the move to cloud-first digital-first license-free models, hyper-automation will be huge, creating powerful virtual workforces that have the potential to create “winner takes all” results. And this will seriously undermine those with a fast-follow strategy. Although we could all do with tempering the AI and citizen developer hype, as I believe it to be currently unsustainable.

 

Read more predictions and trends for 2022 in our recent blog post Which Are The Gartner Top Strategic IT Trends For 2022?  Watch or read our industry experts’ forecasts: Mark Hillary’s  2021 Results And Outlook For 2022, and Peter Ryan’s 2021 Results And Outlook For 2022. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

We would love to discuss more or if you’re ready to start, refresh or pivot your digitalization initiatives, get in touch today for your free consultation or proof concept.

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