Tech Trends 2022 (podcast) – Deloitte

We’re now in year two of the pandemic. Many of us are still remote—we’re still Zooming. We’re using apps and other technologies that we might not have even known about a few years ago.   COVID-19 has forced companies to get serious about their tech infrastructure. It’s escalated schedules and amplified the importance of innovation.  

And that’s why I asked Mike Bechtel plus Scott Buchholz to join me today.    

Mike is the chief futurist for Deloitte Consulting LLP. That means he’s responsible for looking at what’s new and next in tech.    

And Scott oversees Deloitte Talking to LLP’s emerging technology research, which includes the particular annual Technology Trends report. This year’s report starts with a letter from the editors where they make clear that these people think that, right now, technology has “the opportunity in order to engineer a better future—not just repave the old cow paths IT. ”   

We asked Scott to explain.  

Scott Buchholz:   There’s an apocryphal story that if you look in the city of Boston—the reason why the roads are so twisted will be because they were actually originally cow pathways that were eventually paved over. If you look at modern engineered cities—like those in the Midwest—what a person see is usually they’re laid out on grids, and they tend to be much more efficient to get to and easier to understand because they were not designed by nature, but [they were designed] simply by deliberate effort. What we’re trying to say is, as people look forward, the particular future of IT is more engineering, it’s more automation, it’s a lot more nimble plus agile. It is more reliable and secure. It’s more digital. It’s all of those things together. Plus the way to get there is not by doubling down on the things that have been successful with regard to the past 40 years, yet in a number of cases, simply by rethinking the design and the approach therefore that you can do things differently going forward.  

Tanya Ott:   So, this is the 13th year of Tech Trends . What’s the big picture for this year?  

Paul Bechtel:   Well, this year’s trends really break [down] into 2 . 1 groupings. The first we call “advancing the particular enterprise, ” which are actually ecosystem stories capturing the ways [in which] organizations are playing differently, acting in a different way, engaging in different ways with all those around them, [and] with those outside the four walls of the organization. The next three trends are regarding optimizing IT—those improvements that make the way we work inside the 4 walls associated with the organization more effective, more effective. Then our seventh trend—a mini-grouping if you will—[that] we contact field notes from your future. And it is really an opportunity in order to allow ourselves to not just chronicle what’s new, with crunchy case studies from organizations you’ve heard of, but to project a bit as to what’s next; to look over the horizon and see where’s it all going?

Tanya Ott:   Let’s just break this down—So, we start with ecosystems, and one of the major trends that you’re talking about is data-sharing made easy. Tell us a little bit about that one.

Scott Buchholz:   We’ve said data is the new oil now for probably a decade. If you look, however, in many organizations, what we see is that people collectively don’t feel like they have unlocked the value of that will digital essential oil. This idea of data-sharing made easy is that there is a combination associated with new cloud-based database technologies that are enabling sharing of information in real time across businesses. There are a variety of techniques that help preserve privacy—everything ranging from clean rooms to homomorphic encryption to all sorts of other techniques. These combinations put together are actually helping organizations get comfortable with the idea that these people can share information instantly and generate value that didn’t exist before. We’ve seen manufacturing organizations finding ways in order to sell sales-pipeline information to hedge funds. Nobody in that ecosystem expected in order to find value in those two matchups, and yet, the particular hedge money found tremendous value, plus the manufacturers found a new income stream.  

Tanya Ott:   One associated with the really timely examples of this kind of data-sharing has been during the pandemic because there was a lot of data-pooling in the early days, and that’s what allowed us to accelerate things like treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.  

Scott Buchholz:   That’s absolutely right, and one of our stories was from CVS, which has been on the front lines of pulling in information from dozens of different places to figure out where to get vaccines to the right places. Acknowledging that will the vaccines expired quickly, that they were complex to move around, that they had a finite supply, they had a really interesting challenge—to try to figure out how to make sure the supplies got to the right places at the perfect time. So ,   completely, the pandemic was a great example of this particular.  

Tanya Ott:   The next trend that you talk about within this ecosystem idea is cloud going vertical. What do a person mean by that?  

Mike Bechtel:   Ten years ago, cloud was a really interesting thing for your competitors to try first—that has evolved to the point where it’s become much more of the thing associated with, well, why wouldn’t I do it, as opposed to the reason why would We? Now, that said, it’s not a big binary flip, right? The original impair business cases were lift and shift—your-mess-for-less infrastructure moves [and] infrastructure-as-a-service. And then all of us saw the particular emergence of platform-as-a-service, the ability in order to run application layers plus virtual servers somewhere else. And then we all saw business-process-as-a-service—this idea that will we could run horizontal applications, things such as HR or customer relationship management ERP in the fog up. Well, along with cloud goes vertical, exactly what we’re seeing is the particular next act in that play. The idea is that as the business case and the abstraction elevate—as this moves up the proverbial stack—it can’t assist but become industry-specific, sector-specific, [and] verticalized. And so, we’ve spoken to hospitality organizations that will say, “Hey, we’re here to compete on luxurious rooms [and] beautiful grounds. Reservation capabilities are not exactly how we contend. They’re not how we win. And so, let’s outsource that. Let’s cloud-source that to any number of cloud-based reservations capabilities that will would be happy to take that off our plate. ” Insurance organizations [are] saying, “Yes, we’re in the insurance business, and yes, claims are part of what we do, but that’s not where we win. So , let us cloud-source claims management to an ERP hyperscaler plus open-source software provider who’re happy in order to manage that function. The real point is, as cloud goes up, it can’t help yet ladder up, specialize, and become evermore industry-focused.  

Tanya Ott:   In talking about laddering upward, you all project that the value associated with the cloud market could reach US$640 billion within the next five years. That’s substantial.  

Mike Bechtel:   Well, it’s where organizations are increasingly living. One of the things we’ve seen, Tanya, is that will if an organization wishes to get advantage of almost all of those wonderful toys available from open-source software program providers, ERPs, hyperscalers, etc., being cloud-native or at least cloud-centric is table stakes. That’s where the action is.  

Tanya Ott:   The particular third theme in ecosystems is blockchain ready for business, and I was just reading an article this week exactly where The Associated Press is going to start selling NFTs of its photojournalism. Cryptocurrency, NFTs—they’re everywhere, celebrities are doing it, news organizations doing it, politicians, athletes, you name it. There’s a lot of action in that sector right now.  

Mike Bechtel:   It is a frothy space. As hype cycles go, it’s not just towards the top of the page, it’s off the page. Plus it’s understandable because there’s a lot of innovation afoot. But in talking to our enterprise clients, all of us find that this enterprise-focused utility is less around NFTs, crypto, plus digital scarcity at the particular moment—the creator economy, Web3—less around that, [and] more around the emergence of merely very useful business cases anchored in what we have come to call business process reengineering across organizational boundaries. Let me make this clear as mud for you—There are company cases wherein a jointly held version of truth maintained by all of us is more trustworthy than a single edition of the truth brokered by any one of us. And so, examples: We spoke with a jeweler out associated with Hong Kong. They have a very interesting procedure wherein they laser-engrave the particular diamonds that they cut and save that will serial into a jointly managed blockchain between themselves and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Why? Because two months from now, 20 many years from right now, 200 yrs from today, when your great-great granddaughter finds that stone in a drawer, should she just trust the appraiser at the local strip mall or whatever the 200-years-from-now version of the strip shopping mall might become? Or, does she trust the original, immutable color-cut-clarity-carat as stored in that blockchain, which again lives across the web and is not maintained simply by any party with any kind of one profit motive? These are the sort of brass-tacks, lead-with-need, no-nonsense stories that will we’re seeing in the business space. Supply-chain stories that used to be hairy, record-keeping messes are becoming leaner, meaner, [and] cleaner thanks to blockchain becoming ready for prime time.  

Tanya Ott:   That’s a great example. Very, very easy to understand, even for those folks who, you know, think about this stuff and are a little bit confused by it. Let’s move through ecosystems in order to systems. Sort of the second big classification in this Tech Trends report [is] IT disrupt thyself. We’ve got automation at scale, and you talk about starting to see some CIOs radically reengineering their IT organizations to automate even more. I want to get a sense of what they’re doing and why they’re performing it.  

Scott Buchholz:   What we’re seeing leading CIOs do, Tanya, will be rethink the way IT businesses work. If you [had] walked into the typical IT organization in the 1980s, you would have seen a good army of people staring at screens along with blinking lights, furiously pounding away on keyboards when things went red. If you walk into many THIS organizations today, you see an army of people staring at screens beating on keyboards. The interesting thing that we’ve learned is [that] when the particular cloud providers came along, these people took a look in that model and they didn’t say, “Let’s figure out how to level that up. ” These people said, “New technology has emerged. Let us figure out how to reinvent IT. ” And what a lot of organizations are learning is that they can adopt the models the cloud providers have taken—which is small teams of engineers supported by a plethora of automation—can actually manage technology better than an army associated with humans reacting to events. This really has a number of virtues. It doesn’t just improve reliability and scalability plus repeatability, and all of the things we’re after—[but] security as well. But it also enables people to spend less time focusing down and in on the mechanics of it and spend more time focusing up plus out on what the business needs, what the mission will be after, and how to basically meet the business where it is. When we were talking with Capital One, they were actually saying that after years of hard work to transform the way that they operate, what they’re starting to see is usually [that] their developers are usually actually getting increasingly curious and motivated about exactly what they can do to help the business. Part of the reason for that is they have in order to spend less time checking boxes and filling out forms plus doing other things that will just waste time and sap energy. So , the future is that IT looks a lot more like what we’ve helped businesses do for the past 20 or 30 years, which is, use automation, reengineer processes, automate low-value tasks, and get humans into better jobs exactly where they have more interesting and more thoughtful work to do.  

Tanya Ott: One of the points that I’ve been thinking a lot about is the cyberthreats that we have away there. You know, I don’t have the skills anyway, but I’d sure hate to be on a cybersecurity team because it seems like there are these potential bad actors everywhere. And just the volume associated with the threat and the particular sophistication with which attacks are being launched right now could be completely overwhelming.  

Mike Bechtel:   Tanya, you’ve articulated the complication admirably. What we found in our research is that traditional four-year universities are not minting good guys nearly fast enough to keep up with the particular proliferation of baddies that will you mentioned. There are usually a couple of reasons here. One, in the heroic work that our clients and our own client leaders did in order to virtualize the digital workplace as a response to the pandemic, there was a trade-off. In that work-from-anywhere new normal, we’ve greatly expanded exactly what cyber pros called the attack surface. In plain English, there’s a lot a lot more ways to get at us compared to there used to be in a work-from-anywhere world. You throw 5G on top of that plus the proliferation of advanced networking technologies like it—and the baddies can not only find you in more places, but these people can find you with more speed and more gusto. Therefore , there’s this asymmetry. More poor actors. More incentives. More financial incentives inside a cryptocurrency world, inside a corporate espionage world, in the nation-state–meddling globe. The real takeaway here, Tanya, is the good guys have got decided that will, rather than lament their own momentary disadvantage, they could call on robot reinforcements, automatic robot backup in the form of unsupervised AI and ML—artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies—that can be deployed into an environment and trained on what’s normal, what does regular look like. Why? So that should Scott log in from Belgium at 3 a. m., and begin to download the ERP inventories, the particular system can react plus say, “Wait a minute, that’s not normal, that’s not really Scott, ” and clamp it down. Part of what is important here is that it can grip it straight down in a microsecond. A human analyst could arrive at the same set associated with insights, given a week’s time and reporting, yet the robotic reinforcements allow us to detect novelty, react in order to it, plus nip this within the bud super, super quickly. This paired up with zero trust postures, which were part of the trends last year, creates a sort of “guilty until proven innocent” defense mode, wherein those folks who try to do something unusual are detected quickly and stopped from obtaining anywhere else.  

Tanya Ott:   Scott, a person better tamp down that extracurricular activity of yours.  

Scott Buchholz:   I am just disappointed that Mike called me on it this time.  

Tanya Ott:   A person know, going on at the same time, we have so many more devices coming online. We’ve got smart factories. We’ve got automated cooking robots. We have inspection drones, a whole lot associated with data that will needs—in a very basic way—monitoring and oversight. So, the particular tech stack is really important.  

Scott Buchholz:   That’s right. And it’s not just french-fry-making robots and smart hospital devices plus smart manufacturing machines, but it’s also drones. We’re seeing autonomously driven forklifts in warehouses. We’re suddenly having far more technologies [in places] where the technology is definitely interacting along with humans—not within a digital way—but within a physical way. What that means is suddenly all of us have a new set of concerns. We have a brand new set associated with problems that we all have to manage; the new set of opportunities. You can’t afford to have a drone fall out of the sky because there’s a software glitch. You can’t afford in order to have items go offline when you’re in the particular middle of peak service hours in a restaurant. You can not afford to have the hospital monitor have a hiccup when it’s monitoring somebody’s health. What this means is that we get a new group of problems, a brand new set of challenges, a new set of reliability standards, and organizations are usually starting in order to rethink how they actually handle these issues. We’ve all of a sudden created a new group of computers, in essence, these types of smart devices that have to be managed, maintained, connected, secured, and so forth. And in most cases, who better to carry out that than the IT organization, which can be accustomed to doing this? And if you think about this, using the robot reinforcements for cybersecurity, using automation to clean upward some of the IT back office—suddenly, now, IT has the capacity to take on these new roles and missions as we start putting a lot more devices in our physical world and start making more digital products with which we interact every day. You can see all manner of examples, whether it is Southern California Edison replacing helicopters with regard to inspections with drones plus learning that sometimes you have in order to put company jackets on folks therefore that people aren’t asking whether you are checking the particular electrical pole or looking at out their particular swimming pool. We saw examples from hospitals where [with] the latest trends in machine learning and artificial intelligence, they project that within 20 or 30th years, most surgery will actually become automated by computers, plus that the particular surgeons will just end up being there regarding the tricky bits in the middle. All sorts of actually interesting factors [are] happening as we look forward to there is no benefits new and what’s next.  

Tanya Ott:   Well, speaking of what’s new plus what’s following, Mike, you are the futurist and you’ve got some field notes for the future for us.  

Mike Bechtel: Yeah. A person know, Tanya, every year over the [last] 13 that will we’ve done Tech Trends , there is been a recognition and a nod that while crunchy plus enterprise-relevant as these novel client case studies are, there is a natural human need and business need for our customers to look around the corner plus say, “Yeah, this is interesting, but where’s it going? ” Well, for the last couple of many years, we’ve begun researching and putting together the framework that we contact our macro-technology forces. Plus lest that will sound a little too nerdy, I would tell everybody that it’s a taxonomy for understanding where we’re headed by looking at exactly where we’ve been. And in doing so, one of the things all of us found was that, you know, the past 30 years—heck, the particular last 150 years—of information technology, innovations have been less a la carte revolutions and much more reasonably straightforward evolutions along three specific train tracks. Those are interaction, information, and computation. Think associated with it like the user interfaces with which we all connect to technology, the information plus data and knowledge, [and] the insights we seek to extract from it, plus then, under it all, the number crunching, [and] the computation that makes it go.  

Well, along with that frame in tow, we’re projecting that what is next in terms of the way we interact with machines is certainly something called ambient experience. MIT coined the term several years ago.   Exactly what we’re finding is that along with the quiet proliferation of everything from wise speakers to AR/VR systems to screens not simply getting smaller yet going away entirely, the way in which all of us interact with technology is much less about looking down from a glowing rectangle and more about reengaging with the particular world, requesting to get our needs met, gesturing in order to get our own needs met—better still, the technology proactively saying, “Hey, I have an intuition about what your needs might be. Let me personally help you get them met. ” 

On the info layer, exactly what really seems to be next is exponential cleverness, or let’s call it emotional artificial intelligence. The idea here with AI is that AI is not new. Larry Tesler, an engineer back with Xerox PARC years and years back, said AI is just whatever the heck computers can’t do yet. And so, in 1995, that was beating Garry Kasparov at chess, in 2005, it was defeating Ken Jennings at Jeopardy, and then, inside 2017, [it was beating] Lee Sedol at Go.    

Tanya Ott: Just breaking in here to say that Mike’s a little off upon the dates—Deep Blue beat Kasparov inside 1997, Watson beat Jennings in 2011, and AlphaGo beat Lee in 2016. Next time, we’ll ask an AI to weigh within on dates, and let Mike concentrate on the particular squishy concepts that people do best.  

Mike Bechtel: We doubt these milestones before they will happen. It’ll never happen! But then, we sort of brush them off when they do. Why? Because we all have this pride of place as people that will we want to create amazing stuff, but not so amazing mainly because us; and so, when we project there is no benefits next plus AI—gasp! It’s increasingly human being capabilities, the detection and emulation associated with human emotion, empathy, charm. A charismatic robot? It’ll never occur! Well, it is already beginning to happen in call centers. You just don’t find out it however. That’s how you know it’s working. You don’t know it’s there. Moving a step forward, we will see creative artificial cleverness, generative AI. I such as to say AI is moving from the math group to the particular theater club. And it is just getting started.  

Finally, within computation, what really seems to be next is this turn through digital in order to postdigital. Quantum computing represents an honest-to-goodness revolution in the way we go about solving difficult problems, turning the corner from math to physics and the wonky properties of subatomic particles, to solve issues not one on a time but in parallel. Massively seite an seite physical manners allow all of us to turn optimization problems, chemical modeling, [and] simulation difficulties from intractable 15-year slogs into reasonably straightforward 15-second solutions.  

Tanya Ott:   I got to express we’re having this conversation at the same period when I is watching the television series Foundation , which is based on Isaac Asimov’s book. And there’re simply so many thoughts going through my head right now. But Scott, why do not you bring us home with your final thoughts around the Tech Styles report and what we’re seeing there?  

Scott Buchholz:   What’s really interesting is that, mentioning Asimov, Tanya, we watch history repeat itself again plus again—and part of that will history will be [the fact that] we are all inspired by the particular imaginations associated with people, by the imaginations of writers, from the authors associated with science fiction. And, once we look around us, again and once again and again, the things that individuals have imagined are starting to become real. As we appear further out there, the imaginings of the holodeck in Star Trek and the musings of Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash become these types of really fascinating starting locations for the metaverse, plus what people think about that. As we try to imagine what’s over the particular horizon, all of us have almost all of these antecedents that people have cleverly thought of. With that said, the future is coming—whether it’s evenly distributed or not we can talk regarding over a beer—but the larger point is organizations that are delaying starting any of these journeys are usually in the process, and will be, and continue to be in the process of finding themselves further and further behind because numerous organizations are embracing these types of journeys. They are getting inspired from your science fictional. They are usually inspired simply by the future. And we all would encourage everybody in order to get started within the journey, and they are always welcome to reach out if they have questions as to what we think is brand new or next, or [is] just really interesting.  

Tanya Ott:   Paul, Scott, thank you thus much. We’re going to be looking forward to viewing what develops on the 12 months after which bringing you back next year in order to talk about Tech Trends 2023 .  

Scott Buchholz:   Looking forward to this.  

Mike Bechtel: Thank you.  

Tanya Ott:   Mike Bechtel is usually chief futurist and Scott Buchholz oversees emerging technologies research, including the Tech Trends report, for Deloitte Consulting LLP. There’s so much packed into the 2022 edition of the report—we weren’t able to get to it all.   But you can find at Deloitteinsights. com.  

We are on Twitter at @deloitteinsight and I’m at @tanyaott1. Thanks intended for listening, plus have a great day!  

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