Over the past year, there had been a clear shift in focus to improving remote-working capabilities, access to cloud infrastructure, and securing data.

Due to these developments, business leaders can watch six trends this year that can affect their strategic planning.

For example, in 2021 global mergers and acquisition activities reached new highs aided by low interest rates and high stock prices. This year, as company valuations continue to rise, we will see that momentum shift.

Six trends to watch for

  1. Acquisitions will stagnate
    As company valuations outstrip available assets, larger acquisitions will be few and far between. Only well-established, cash-rich companies will have the funds to make new purchases. The higher purchase threshold will make it harder for small- and medium-sized enterprises to grow and evolve, giving the advantage to the larger firms.
  2. AI and automation will replace entry level jobs
    In the finance, healthcare, legal and software industries, the talent shortage will leave many jobs unfilled, making way for the advancement of Ai and automation to fill new roles.

    With robotic waiters signaling the technology takeover in the service industry, this year AI and automation will be used to fill positions in hard-hit sectors. These developments will mostly affect entry level positions, making it harder for recent graduates entering the workforce to gain job experience in the future.
  3. CI/CD will stabilize and standardize
    IT teams and developers fell into habits of adopting ‘known’ technology systems, and not standardizing in new spaces, like continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). In 2022, we will see a shift towards more stability and standardization for CI/CD. IT leaders have an opportunity to capitalize on this high-growth and high-valuation market to increase deployment activity and solve the ‘Day 2 operations problem’.
  4. Worsening of talent and skills gap could be driven by big money
    The pandemic’s effects, including the ‘Great Resignation’, has made its mark in the tech industry. As we continue to see turnover and lower employee retention, tech salaries will begin to grow in 2022 to incentivize talent to stay.

    This can cause an interesting dynamic, presenting bigger challenges, especially in the startup and venture capitalism world. The bigger tech giants are the ones who can meet the high dollar demand and deliver benefits for a competitive workforce; as innovation tends to come from the hungry startups where people work for very little for a long time, we could very well see a resurgence of tech talent returning in droves to the ‘old guard’ firms. This effect could cause a skills and talent gap that will last for years to come.
  5. Tightening of data sovereignty in the Cloud
    With increased cybersecurity and data protection vigilance in a world that has migrated massively to the Cloud, there will be an increased need to focus on data sovereignty to keep data within nations or within certain physical locations.

    This will lead to a more specified cloud model that we have only just started to see with Gaia-X in EMEA. Some will see this as an obstacle, but once implemented, this trend puts consumer privacy at the core of business strategy.
  6. Containers will go mainstream to support the cloud explosion
    In 2021, some experts wrongly predicted that employees would return to normal day-to-day in-office work. Instead, remote-working and hybrid continued. As a result, many businesses were forced to develop long-term remote working strategies to ensure efficiency, sustainability and to retain employees seeking flexibility.

    This trend required in an massive shift to the cloud, and in 2022, containers will become mainstream as they make the generational shift to cloud much easier and more streamlined for organizations, despite some challenges that have made the ‘lift-and-shift’ approach being preferred.