This blog is part of our Tech In Review: 21-22 report series. Head to the hub to access the reports, insight and analysis.
Technology will continue to integrate more deeply into societies and economies, and this will bring opportunities and challenges for leaders in the space. The way to prepare is to build flexible companies that can respond to challenges ethically and with agility. Where we stand at the end of 2022 will be shaped by both ‘known unknowns’, and ‘unknown unknowns’.
Here’s what we see on the cards for 2022. Download our 2021 Year In Review & 2022 Outlook for actionable insights on how to prepare for challenges and opportunities ahead.
Protecting human rights in an AI world
We expect there to be more formal structures put in place to protect human rights in a technology-first world. In the US there are moves for a Bill of Artificial Intelligence Rights, more companies are implementing ethics boards and groups like Amnesty are advocating for change on issues like face recognition. The UK and Europe have distinct privacy cultures from those in the US and Asia, and there is an opportunity for start-ups in the region to build technology which caters to these differences.
Regulators reach for the stick, but will they remember the carrot?
We anticipate greater regulatory scrutiny in 2022. The challenge for regulators is to make sure that this is not perceived to be a burden on European tech, and a deterrent to entrepreneurs and investors. Instead, regulators should aim to encourage innovation, driving opportunities for UK and European start-ups to build products suited to the market.
The fight is on to retain talent
Pre-pandemic, tech was winning talent from large consultancies and banks. But, in a world where working from home is the norm, tech companies must up their game – and their benefits – if they want to retain that talent. Demand for technology talent is fiercer, both at tech and non-tech companies, and employees already considering a move could easily be swayed by more flexible working environments.
More industry ecosystems emerge
The need to build environments that foster collaborative partnerships and sharing suggests that ecosystems will become an even greater force for competitive advantage and technological development in 2022. They must include corporate innovation; partnerships between giants and start-ups; and stronger links to research institutes and government. To build better tech ecosystems, 2022 will need more development around improving data and capital flows, joint business model development, and higher ethical standards.
The metaverse sets up a new ecosystem of opportunity
While it will take decades for a full, 3D alternative universe to emerge, in 2022 we expect an initial burst of innovation and chatter about the space, with more investment into start-ups that could create this era; more development of 3D technologies; and emerging battles between tech platforms who want to provide a home for it. Microsoft, for example, has already announced the launch of 3D avatars and immersive meetings for its Teams online meetings platform.