Technology trends

Top Technology Trends for CIOs

Doug Woolley, managing director of Dell Technologies South Africa.

As we settle into 2022, big changes are expected with emerging technologies such as edge, 5G and data management expanding the technology ecosystem like never before. Data management will become a new class of workload, with the edge becoming the new frontier and serving as the battleground. Additionally, we will see the acceleration of private mobility, with more cloud and computing industries supporting the path to 5G and shaping the future of telecommunications. Cybersecurity will also have a significant impact, as the industry shifts from a discussion of emerging security issues to a penchant for action.

2022 presents an opportunity for CIOs and IT managers to benefit from the cautious optimism that is returning to the tech industry. As companies have finally adapted to the new business models put in place by the pandemic, now is the time for CIOs to focus on gaining a better understanding of recent technologies that have proven to support business operations. The adoption of newer technologies will determine the extent to which a company is able to innovate, develop its products and services, and keep pace with the industry in which it operates. It would therefore be beneficial for CIOs to invest in research and engage with their stakeholders to understand the technologies that will pave the way for organizational success.

Two technologies to prioritize are artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), where we will see more use cases as digital economies grow. According to a report by PwC, AI could bring up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, with an increase of up to 26% in GDP for local economies. Locally, the appropriate application of AI in business has the potential to double the South African economy, adding up to one percentage point to the gross domestic product (GDP) rate by 2035. (1)

With the acceleration of adoption and innovation in the field of AI, we are bound to see remarkable developments taking place across many industries. As AI becomes more intertwined with ML, it will have the potential to impact every aspect of our lives. Organizations that do not adopt AI strategically risk being left behind as increased adoption of AI will disrupt markets and change business models, creating innovative new services for consumers.

With the widespread deployment of 5G, we will also see an increased proliferation of IOT devices leading to increased task automation and better access to data and analytics, which will enable CIOs to hone their workforce to take on more complex tasks and make room for innovation. According to South African consultancy Africa Analysis, 5G subscribers in South Africa are expected to reach 11 million by 2025.(2)

Another technology that will be highly sought after in 2022 is edge computing. With a multitude of IOT-enabled applications and their requirements for low latency, autonomy and security, it becomes essential to physically bring the computing function closer to where the data is generated. The market sectors that will experience considerable changes are the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, transportation and logistics, gaming, and surveillance and surveillance industries. As these markets move towards AI and ML applications, they generate tons of data through devices and sensors, so real-time insights and insights become necessary. We will also see more use cases for implementing hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure as workloads increase and organizations need to be able to meet their business needs.

Over the past two years, remote work and security issues have been top of mind for CIOs. It is now clear that the hybrid working model is here to stay. When remote working was first introduced at the start of the pandemic, CIOs had to quickly restructure their workplace models through a mix of technology and workforce transformation.

As organizations have successfully transitioned from the traditional workplace to a digital environment, CIOs continue to face security challenges as cyber threats become more sophisticated. With growing cloud adoption, companies have also had to ensure that employees are wary of misconfigurations, unauthorized access, and migration issues by putting cloud security policies in place. As a result, organizations are turning to cybersecurity solutions that can detect security threats faster, respond smarter, and predict or even prevent threats altogether.

In addition to educating their employees about heightened security risks, CIOs need to look inward and identify opportunities to upskill their current workforce through training programs, certifications, and mentoring programs. At the same time, the talent shortage will encourage CIOs to get creative and look beyond the traditional demands of these jobs. This would be a step forward in encouraging diversity within the workforce while making room for innovation fueled by a diverse skill set.

From a broad perspective, technologies that are rapidly changing the way organizations need to operate to succeed in the hybrid and digital age include cloud, AI, ML, edge and IOT, storage, data analytics, security and workforce transformation. It is therefore imperative that organizations understand how to make the most of these technologies to keep up with the rapid pace of change and the digital future.