What’s next? A two-part series exploring the inevitable impact of tech in 2022

Part One: First Step? Keeping Tech in Check

You are not alone if you feel that when you read about what the next big ‘thing’ is, you come to realize it’s already here. The Covid-19 pandemic was the catalyst for the accelerated digitization and virtualization of both business and society that we’ve witnessed over the past two years. It set a new precedent for the foreseeable future. If the last two years has taught us anything, it’s that transformational change is possible when the incentive is there. The crisis-driven swell has given way to longer-term trends centered around human centricity and artificial intelligence (AI).

Spearheading change for the greater good of society

Collectively, the advances in machine-driven outcomes for people span education, our health and much more, impacting multiple areas of our lives making us feel overwhelmed. While the rise of the personal computer and the internet, now commonplace, gave us an early taste of how access to an augmented intelligence (basic computational power) can benefit us, this is different. Preparing for change in growth areas that we will never physically touch — space and the metaverse — is unsettling at best.

Like it or not, there is no stopping this trajectory, so here are some ‘things’ coming down the pike that we predict will substantially impact 2022 and beyond.

The convergence of tech trends hinges on AI

The phrase AI is not new, but its current capabilities hardly exemplify its full potential. As of recent, there have been many advances of AI. The introduction of OpenAI (a programming model derived from spoken human language), Web 3.0 and low-code development tools allow non-technical entrepreneurs to more quickly scale up without having to learn vast technology stacks. In the end, this will allow for greater contributions, perspectives and collaboration among technical and non-technical stakeholders alike.

However, the average consumer may be confused by skewed AI references (think Terminator) or leery of its ties to government and military funding making it hard for them to accept AI backed initiatives. Taking this into consideration, the challenge for brands is twofold. They will need to not only keep abreast of technological trends and ensure their processes and infrastructure can scale accordingly, but also seamlessly deploy new technologies to their consumers who may have reservations about the encroachment upon the use of their data.

Advocating for consumer privacy

Consumers are now hyperaware of the amount of data that organizations collect in large part due to increased media coverage. Recent reports highlighting Apple and Facebook’s data exploitations, increased data breaches, undermining of the FTC, and stalled privacy laws in the House have consumers appropriately worried. In an effort to avoid becoming “the product,” there is increasing evidence that consumers are actively trying to devalue and manipulate data being collected by increasingly using tactics like VPNs, false information, or opting out of data collection altogether. In this time of uncertainty, their desire for control is paramount.

No more cookies

In response to these privacy concerns, consumers are looking for clarity, transparency and flexibility. With talk of Google eliminating third-party cookies, many brands will be forced to explore alternate means to collect first-party consumer data with a long-range perspective. As synthetic data, which is generated using AI techniques, grows in popularity, it can serve as a proxy for real data, reducing or eliminating the risks of exposing private consumer information or sensitive data. Since it’s not real data, it lessens regulatory concerns and can provide more precise insights by better modeling often-unpredictable customer behavior.

John and Jane Doe

Organizations often make the costly mistake — in both time and money — of funneling customers into their sales and marketing pipelines that are a poor fit. This compromises the brand, profits and employee morale. By applying behavioral intelligence and related technology to analyze, understand and influence human behavior at scale, organizations will gain a deeper understanding of consumers. This will drive better customer relationships and elevate employee engagement. As neuroscience continues to evolve, this technique will grow increasingly sophisticated and precise. Synthetic data can be used to train and test AI models to handle unplanned disruptions, unexpected events, and scenario planning — ultimately creating a more resilient organization. Semantic AI will become a self-optimizing machine.

Not so fast

As the number of IoT devices grow, so will the number of vulnerabilities for bug hunters to track. Since these devices are connected, it provides a broader unified surface increasing the likelihood for attacks. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough emphasis on security in fundamental IoT device design to fix these issues, so the situation will only get worse in the years to come. It begs the questions: how many of us are at risk and who’s taking point on battling this sleeping giant?

As we leave with that food for thought, follow us for part 2 of our What’s Next series as we discover the true drivers of these digital transformations and how we all should get on for the ride.

We are here to help! Our team at SSi People is prepared to support our clients as they plan for 2022. Let us know how we can support your team.

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