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IEEE: Most Important 2022 Tech Is AI/Machine Learning, Cloud and 5G

IEEE says the most important technologies in 2022 will be AI/machine learning, cloud computing and 5G wireless.

That comes in a new report published by the large technical professional organization titled "The Impact of Technology in 2022 and Beyond: an IEEE Global Study," based on an October survey of 350 chief information officers, chief technology officers and technology leaders from the U.S., U.K., China, India and Brazil who were asked about key technology trends, priorities and predictions for 2022 and beyond.

"Among total respondents, more than one in five (21 percent) say AI and machine learning, cloud computing (20 percent), and 5G (17 percent) will be the most important technologies next year," IEEE said in a Nov. 18 announcement. "Because of the global pandemic, technology leaders surveyed said in 2021 they accelerated adoption of cloud computing (60 percent), AI and machine learning (51 percent), and 5G (46 percent), among others."

The report includes respondent data for 12 questions, starting off with: "Which will be the most important technology in 2022?" Although "Other" was the top answer (25 percent of respondents), the three technologies listed above weren't far behind. Other answers were "Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)" at 9 percent and "Predictive AI" at 7 percent.

Which will be the most important technology in 2022?
[Click on image for larger view.] Which will be the most important technology in 2022? (source: IEEE).

"AI is working all around us," the report quotes Shelly Gupta, IEEE graduate student member, as saying. "It has entered into almost every sector enable its growth. The AI industry will continue to proliferate. In turn, it will continue to drive massive innovation that will fuel many existing industries."

The "big three" technologies listed above as being most important for 2022 are also the top three answers to the second question, "Which technologies did you accelerate adopting in 2021 due to the pandemic?" though in a different order: cloud computing (60 percent), AI/machine learning (51 percent) and 5G (46 percent).

"Cloud computing has had a huge boost due to remote work as well as accelerated trends in digital transformation," said Tom Coughlin, who holds the title of IEEE Life Fellow among several others.

The other 10 questions and their top answers are:

  • In what ways is your company using AR or VR for business?
    • Data visualization and manipulation in 3D (63 percent)
    • Teleportation -- virtual meetings and 3D conferences (51 percent)
    • Employee training (49 percent)
  • Which areas will 5G benefit the most in the next year?
    • Telemedicine, including remote survey, health record transmissions (24 percent)
    • Remote learning and education (20 percent)
    • Personal and professional day-to-day communications (15 percent)
  • Which industry sector will be most impacted by technology in 2022?
    • Manufacturing (25 percent)
    • Financial services (19 percent)
    • Healthcare (16 percent)
  • How are COVID-19 and hybrid work impacting technology? -- "As the impact of COVID-19 varies globally and hybrid work continues, technology leaders universally agree their team is working more closely than ever before with Human Resources to implement workplace technologies and apps for office check-in, space usage data, health protocols and more." Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they strongly agreed with the statement: "My team is working more closely than ever before with my company's Human Resources team to implement workplace technologies and apps for office check-in, space usage data and analytics, COVID and health protocols, employee productivity, engagement and mental health."
  • How much did the number of devices connected to your business increase as a result of the shift to hybrid work and the pandemic? (Increase in the number of devices connected to their business -- that technology leaders need to track and manage -- as a result of the shift to hybrid work and the pandemic (smartphones, tablets, sensors, robots, vehicles, drones, etc.)
    • Increased by 1-50 percent -- up to 1.5x the number of devices (51 percent)
    • Increased by 51-100 percent -- up to 2x the number of devices, or double (38 percent)
    • Stayed the same or decreased 0 percent or less (6 percent).
  • What role will robots play in the future?
    What role will robots play in the future?
    [Click on image for larger view.] What role will robots play in the future? (source: IEEE).
  • Which are your top two concerns when it comes to the cybersecurity of your organization?
    • Security issues related to the mobile and hybrid workforce / employees using their own devices (39 percent)
    • Cloud vulnerability (35 percent)
    • Datacenter vulnerability (26 percent)
  • How does your company currently use or plan to use drones, if at all, as part of its business model in the next five years?
    • Security, surveillance or threat prevention (59 percent)
    • Customer deliveries (41 percent)
    • Middle mile -- intra-company deliveries (31 percent)
  • Compared to a year ago, do you believe your company is better prepared to respond to a potentially catastrophic interruption such as a data breach or natural disaster?
    • Definitely (58 percent)
    • Yes, probably (34 percent)
    • Probably not (7 percent)
  • What will be the top 3 most important uses of blockchain technology in the next year?
    • Securing machine to machine interactions in the Internet of Things (IoT) (61 percent)
    • Shipment tracing and contactless digital transactions (51 percent)
    • Keeping health and medical records secure in the cloud (47 percent)

"Time and time again technology rises to meet the biggest challenges of society," the report said. "The innovators and technologists that bring new ideas to life serve as catalysts of positive global change."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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