Industry Trends of 2022: Keys to Corporate Success
Technological innovations make us live in a constantly changing world. The industrial sector must be aware of all these developments in order to remain competitive. Discovering new markets and making profits go hand in hand with new trends that show that 2022 is likely to open up new paths for companies. In this article, we explore the trends towards which the industry is heading.
Top Trends in Industry 4.0
These future industry trends are part of the development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0, i.e. the integration of Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, or Cloud Computing in industrial processes to obtain smart factories.
The concept of Industry 4.0 began to spread in 2011 at the Hannover Messe or Hannover Fair, the largest industrial fair in the world. It was one of the key ideas of the federal government at the time. More than ten years later, the concept and its vision of the future have become popular.
Industrial Cloud and Public Cloud
The consulting firm KPMG predicted the industrial cloud as one of the technology trends of 2022. These data and cloud platforms adapt to each sector and become popular at the same time (a keynote at the Mobile World Congress 2022 was about it) as the public cloud, which allows companies to reduce the cost of cloud services by contracting only the minimum CPU, bandwidth or storage consumption they need. They are also more scalable and easier to deploy than private clouds. According to KPMG, industrial clouds will help industries scale digitization and make them more agile.
They have been talked about for several years now, but the current furor over cryptocurrencies means that they still take center stage in any article on future trends. And not because new digital currencies are emerging (which is also the case), but because this may be the year to date in which they are most popular as a source of payment: large companies as diverse as Etsy, Rakuten or Starbucks have accepted bitcoins; and in Spain, even several hotels already accept them, which shows that even the tourism industry can take advantage of them.
KPMG points out how 2022 is the year in which “more responsible mechanisms” are emerging to trust artificial intelligence (AI) that has been criticized for its biases and lack of transparency in technologies such as facial recognition. These mechanisms would help the industry, fearful of violating people’s privacy or increasing the advance of discrimination and prejudice, to bet more on these algorithms.
2022 will be a big year for the AI and cognitive systems market: according to the consulting firm IDC, global spending will reach the in these months, when the forecast for 2018 was only $24 billion (more than 21.7 billion euros).
AI helps automate processes that until now were done by humans. Thus, we will continue to see the popularization of chatbots in e-commerce; thanks to this, companies reduce costs while offering 24-hour customer service.
Mixed Reality and Metaverse
More and more companies are building virtual worlds in which to sell their products or interact with their community. Clothing brands such as Nike and Zara have found in it a vein, and even city councils such as Zaragoza and Valencia have made experiments to promote their cities.
The metaverse and the expansion of Mixed Reality (Augmented and Virtual) will serve the industry in order to find new markets for its products or to perfect the current ones with new technologies.
This 2022, for example, may be the year in which the union of the video game industry and the metaverse becomes clear: for example, Microsoft has announced the purchase of Activision Blizzard, responsible for Call of Duty and Candy Crush, and the developer of Grand Theft Auto, Take-Two, has taken over Zynga, which is behind Farmville or Cityville. These moves demonstrate the interest in games when the metaverse proposes an ideal setting for virtual environments.
Microsoft Corporation Vice President Çağlayan Arkan explained in an article on the top technology trends of 2022 that digital twins help eliminate the time and cost of complex product development, as well as predict and adapt instantly to changes.
In that regard, the construction industry is one of the sectors that can benefit the most from digital twins. Using intelligent sensors and databases, they can predict the strength of a structure or building, maintenance needs or how to dismantle them in the future. Even how to arrange a shopping mall according to consumer preferences.
This network, which enables higher data transmission speeds and lower latency, continues and will continue to provide very good news this year. According to the GSMA, there will be more than 1 billion 5G connections this year, and by 2025 it is expected to be 2 billion.
By 2030, also according to the GSMA, 5G services would contribute more than $610 billion (more than 550 billion euros) to global GDP. It will be the manufacturing industry that would generate the most money, with an estimated $227 billion (over €204.9 billion).
The expansion of 5G helps industries to create mixed-reality products and services, in the metaverse or not. By supporting higher bandwidth, the entertainment industry can grow to broadcast quality live concerts or create more immersive video game experiences and 360° images.
The magazine MIT Technology Review considered this technology as one of the emerging technologies of 2022. In a world increasingly concerned about climate change, industry should look more closely at tools like this to combat the climate emergency.
Carbon capture technology is taking its first steps in factories like Orca, a structure in Reykjavik, Iceland, that absorbs 4,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. It does this with electricity coming mainly from a geothermal power plant. At the same time, other installations are being set up in the United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
Major companies such as Microsoft and Stripe have announced in the last year and a half the use of these technologies to cut their carbon emissions. Now is the time for more companies to join in so that the industry can continue to contribute to curbing climate change.
Recruiting and Retaining Talent
In recent weeks, we have heard a lot about The Big Quit: in the United States, since the return to the office after the first year of the pandemic began, many U.S. workers are leaving their jobs. Some 12 million employees did so between March and July 2021 alone. And according to Microsoft, 40% of the global workforce planned to do so in the past year.
Work flexibility, training opportunities, or D&I policies are some of the options that the industry will have to keep in mind over these months to retain talent or acquire it. The goal is to stop The Big Quit, and not just in the U.S., but in every other country.
Remote and Hybrid Work
The industry should not only look at new technologies, products or markets. In 2022, human resources departments will continue to place great importance on telecommuting or hybrid work models, which Forbes and the consulting firm KPMG highlighted as one of this year’s technology trends.
For the new remote work formulas, companies will continue to implement technological solutions that favor remote collaboration, such as Microsoft Teams, while redesigning their physical spaces.
Ultimately, throughout 2022, companies can look to any of these numerous trends to inspire new and continued corporate successes.