This blog is part of our Tech In Review: 21-22 report series. Head to the hub to access the reports, insight and analysis.
Once again, the industry is at a pivotal moment. While the sector’s growth accelerated in 2021, the rest of the world lagged behind, still struggling to escape the pandemic and its impacts.
This growing divide has brought backlash, regulation and scrutiny. Issues further compounded by falling trust in information and scepticism about technology and its impact on society. But we’ve also read positive stories about technology that improves healthcare, connects people and really improves lives.
2021 has proven that no industry is an island. We must grow as part of the economy and society, not separate from them. The big picture problem facing the industry in 2022 is how to make sure that everyone reaps rewards from technological advancement.
This isn’t just a “Big Tech” issue. It’s a challenge for start-up founders, marketers, investors and employees. Having the most innovative technology on the planet is useless if no one trusts you to implement it.
Tech companies are increasingly powerful forces in how people’s lives function, from healthcare to housing. As we move into 2022 tackling environmental, social and governance issues is critical to showing how responsible the industry can be. The political, economic and social spotlight is firmly pointed in our direction.
Every founder, marketer and investor we’ve spoken to this year is optimistic that tech can rise to, and overcome, the challenges that lie ahead. The economy is resetting – technology could finally unlock the inflation and productivity puzzles that are dragging down economies. Employees want a different world of work, which technology can deliver. Vitally, our planet demands action on the climate crisis.
We need to make sure the story of technology is positive. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do better.
While it won’t be smooth sailing for our economies and society, innovation and technology is, ultimately, a way out of crises. The climate crisis mandates more development and investment in alternative solutions and structures for industry. Businesses want to provide new ways of working. Healthcare needs tech that can use AI to improve patient care and outcomes. People want to connect with friends and family, manage their finances, and live better.
Four themes shaping the market
- Economic friction points – Our economy is still full of friction points that mean money, talent and data can’t get to where they need to be at the speed they need to get there.
- Changing world of work – The “Great Resignation” shows that workers around the world are rethinking their current roles, some dreading the prospect of a return to the commute, others dreading even more time on video calls.
- Consumer crunches – UK & European consumers have been rattled by inflation fears and an energy crisis. German consumer prices rose by the highest level in almost 30 years.
- Supply chain shortages – As economies recover from the pandemic, industrial activity has struggled to keep pace with consumer demand. Truck driver shortages, backlogs at ports and chip shortages are causing chaos and uncertainty.