Director of Avenga Labs
Table of content
The year 2021 started with the great hope of solving the COVID-19 global pandemic problem due to the big news about vaccinations. The surge of hope unfroze many IT budgets and accelerated digital initiatives. It even seemed (summer 2021?) that the problem was gone forever, but unfortunately it is not and won’t be in the predictable future.
However, both businesses and people have learned a new normal, in which digital experiences are even more important than physical interactions. The current situation has created an even greater demand for accelerating innovation efforts all over the world and in all the business and public sectors.
So, let me share with you the top 10 Avenga Labs predictions for 2022.
What? Many of you, dear readers, expected there to be something about resilience, adaptability, or hyper-automation, and something probably about AI and Machine Learning.
Yet, the most prevailing conversation theme at the end of 2021 was that all the digital initiatives require a skilled technical workforce that is motivated and focused on the goals. I want to emphasise the importance of all these criteria, not just the availability of particular people with specific resumes.
2021 was the year of the big resignation. Never ever did so many people change their jobs in IT and never was there a hotter period in IT demand. This will continue throughout 2022.
There’s no time to make motivational mistakes and get stuck in the management habits of old.
>>> The Great Reverse Wave: Digital Disaster Instead of True Hybrid
Companies are willing to pay more, offer flexible working hours and remote work, plus provide a set of perks, which seems to no longer make any impression on anyone and simply raises expectations. What used to be extraordinary only a year ago is the standard now and the bottom line for next year.
Another viable alternative is to train new employees by converting different roles which enables newcomers to boost their careers and fill the tech demand quickly. This is what we also do at Avenga, in all our countries.
The other type of solution is the democratization of application development using low code platforms and more serverless cloud services, while also embracing NoOps instead of DevOps, citizen data scientists, and self-service data platforms.
Also, by adopting Software as a Service (SaaS) and using high level ecosystems such as Microsoft 365 and Salesforce.
→→Explore Avenga Salesforce services
The question used to be “if, what and how should business and IT processes be automated”. Now the question is about transforming business so that it becomes as digital as possible and as automated as possible, but also how can it be done as fast as possible, even faster than others. Traditional companies, no matter how solid their market presence and strengths are perceived now, are being challenged by startups and contenders. No one can rest on their laurels and no one is too big to fail. Business and IT lines are blurred and automation means everything is becoming a code.
Microsoft 365, Salesforce and other services that are entire ecosystems of cloud based API services are now the new foundations and building blocks for another wave of digital transformation.
Composable enterprises are all about combining both internal and external APIs so as to create entirely new products and services for their customers and employees.
Developers will fill the gaps in workflows and functionalities by combining various APIs from different internal products and services, and external API providers. Entire API marketplaces will be built or accelerated to provide a seamless developer experience.
The old saying “there’s an app for that” will fully be replaced with “there’s an API for that”.
The Hybrid Cloud infrastructure demands a lot of flexibility to enable the seamless integration of both on premises and multiple cloud providers. Kubernetes has become the de facto operating system equivalent for all the modern digital workloads, both applications and APIs, but also data and Machine Learning (Kubeflow for instance). Platforms on top of Kubernetes will continue to dominate in 2022 and their promise of flexibility and ease of use will attract new customers.
Cloud-native skills (CNCF) are and will be the most demanded skills on the market. DevOps often is considered synonymous with this set of skills, but soon it will mean even more.
Machine Learning is no longer an ad hoc experimental process, as it used to be in the recent past. The automation trend and everything as code trend also applies to data science and Machine Learning projects in particular. Automation of data ingestion, quality verification, augmentation, training, and the testing and deployment of the models will bring even more software development concepts to the data science world.
Kubeflow and related tools will continue to grow in 2022 and data scientists and engineers will have more in common with modern software developers than previous versions of themselves.
I used to call them Data Scientists 2.0; there’s a bright albeit challenging future for MLOps and DataOps.
Speaking of data projects, the new trends of data fabrics treating the entire data of the organization and its partners as products and more flexible data meshes are clearly gaining popularity and will continue to do so in 2022.
This is another wave of hope for difficult data projects and initiatives that can deliver better results faster as more and more companies are becoming data-driven.
User experience, customer experience, candidate experience, employee experience, developer experience, … and many more.
The time has come to embrace the total experience, from the individual employee through teams and organizations, to business partners, their products, services and, last but obviously not least, their current and future consumers.
Entire life cycles of customers, employees and business partners are blending together in a seamless flow of modern digital experience and interactions. This is the future and it’s going to be a hot trend in 2022 as well as in the years to come. Entire experience ecosystems and economies are to rule the business world and much sooner than many expect.
Huge language models dominated the media in 2020 and 2021, and there’s clearly a war for dominance waging for the huge language models which demonstrate near-human capabilities and are close to passing the Turing test.
We’ve addressed GPT-3 and GPT-J already, however it’s definitely not the end of things as we are about to see GPT-4 and its competitors in 2022.
And NLP in the cloud is a more and more natural way to deliver even better NLP experiences to business users.
In all of this tech complication that demands flexibility and resilience within the business and technology environments, there’s a growing demand for … simplicity.
And, there are many promises of such simplicity from various products and service vendors that are attempting to hide the complex underlying technologies behind digestible APIs and user interfaces.
However, as the old IT saying goes “you cannot reduce complexity, you can only distribute it differently”. Then I say “sorry” because it cannot be reduced, as it will only grow more complex each year.
Many will continue to enhance their internal platforms and embrace the inner source movement, so they can enable more effective collaboration between different departments and teams.
Many enterprises will also share more of their internal complexities with their product and services partners, including IT consulting and integration companies like Avenga. You cannot limit the complexity, but you can share it with others to make it more bearable and manageable.
2021, the year of the great resignation, has reminded many of us of the value of trust and how great it is to rely on long term relationships as well as build new ones.
The ability to deliver effective services and products is currently the most often quoted expectation from the IT partners. ‘Effective’ – meaning (above all) both time to market and quality of the services and solutions.
In the dream for at least a piece of stability, trusted and reliable partnerships are the key. Contrary to disruptive business models and technologies being thrown at us at a rapid pace, the very need for predictability requires great business partnerships.
Is the IT market overheated or not? The opinions are not consistent. No matter what, time will soon tell us and the trusted business and working relationships will thrive no matter what happens.
Let the lessons learned in 2021 make 2022 even better for us all!