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2022 predictions: What's in store as our digital society evolves?

2022 predictions: What's in store as our digital society evolves?

Amdocs

15 Dec 2021

2022 predictions: What's in store as our digital society evolves?

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2021 was a turning point for many, as it showed companies of all sizes and verticals that they need to be prepared for anything to keep pace with an unpredictable world. As you continue to plan your 2022, here are some areas to consider.

Avishai Sharlin, Division President, Amdocs Technology

“As we no longer have just one cloud, organizations will have to better focus on how to run their business around various environments without fail, while also solving the issue of critical data not being housed in a single place.”

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Avishai Sharlin

Division President, Amdocs Technology

Edge, kubernetes and secure access have their moment due to multicloud complexities

Public cloud has become the new normal, yet many enterprises still have their on-premise cloud structures requiring a hybrid environment. As we no longer have just one cloud, organizations will have to better focus on how to run their business around various environments without fail, while also solving the issue of critical data not being housed in a single place. This will bring a few technologies into focus in 2022.

Edge computing will become a major part of the game here when enterprises have small deployments of edge specific cloud hardware at various locations across the country, further distributing data. Kubernetes will also come into focus as a major enabler for this, as it provides the same architecture for all clouds.

As distributed cloud is adopted and data no longer resides in one location, accessing this data and protecting it requires different tools that are suitable for cloud computing and distributed clouds. The secure access service edge (SASE) will be key to ensure the required security footprint and access management are aligned and integrated across all channels.

A refocused 5G effort with gaming as a differentiator (with others to follow)

As 5G continues to grow, we will see more service providers have unique “experience” packages focused on capacity and latency beyond a simple blanket of 5G speeds for all offerings. I believe one of the most significant areas we’ll see this in 2022 is gaming. According to our research, online gaming increased dramatically last year, with 49% of those polled saying they play more than before the pandemic. 45% also spend at least $25 per month on services like PlayStation Plus, Xbox All Access, GamePass, Stadia and Nintendo Online.

This opens a new revenue opportunity, and we may see a service provider who claims to have the best experience latency-wise due to 5G coverage, distributed cloud, and the use of edge technology, partner with gaming studios to optimize the experience. As areas like cloud gaming expand, we’ll see service providers play a much more critical role than before, offering connectivity and quality-of-service through these partnerships and enhanced capabilities provided by 5G technology.

The same approach will continue beyond gaming and into areas like robotics, telemedicine, connected home -- anywhere, latency plays a role.

“As 5G continues to grow, we will see more service providers have unique “experience” packages focused on capacity and latency beyond a simple blanket of 5G speeds for all offerings. I believe one of the most significant areas we’ll see this in 2022 is gaming.”

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Avishai Sharlin

Division President, Amdocs Technology

AI advances in giant steps

Public cloud vendors are becoming the AI leaders as they provide many of the services organizations can’t do on their own (skillset, hardware, etc.). As the democratization of these AI programs come to more developers and consumers, we’ll see areas like face recognition, assistants like Siri and Alexa and more integrated into more products than ever before.

Beyond this, we’ll see robotic process automation (RPA) having its moment as well, providing automation of complex processes. If we can transform this software into robots, digital transformation becomes easier and anything repetitive can be built into the software. This will also make RPA a serious use case for call centers.

Cybersecurity + Zero-Trust Network Access ZTNA

As we become more reliant on the cloud, I predict we will see a boom of companies expanding their offerings to include cybersecurity services and solutions to capitalize on the need to protect their cloud investments. End-point solutions like EDR and XDR are becoming a mandatory requirement for organizations, as these systems provide more than just antivirus protection -- they provide complete, AI-based insights to multiple levels of threats based on the behavioral data these systems detect, across all platforms the organization has (cloud, on premise, remote access). I believe we’ll see an increase in these types of offerings, especially as the office and home remain merged, and innovations like the Metaverse, IoT and cloud adoption continues to grow, bringing new potential threats along with it.

Niall Norton, General Manager, Amdocs Open Network, CEO of Openet

“We’ll finally move beyond the traditional 'faster streaming' 5G scenario many lean on today. On the consumer side, expect entertainment, learning and working to be advanced by virtual reality and augmented reality overlays. On the business side, expect private enterprise networks.”

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Niall Norton

General Manager, Amdocs Open Network, CEO of Openet

Standalone 5G will move the industry beyond “faster streaming” with more tangible use cases

Standalone 5G will herald the real innovations and expanded partnership that 5G can deliver, moving the discussion away from just “faster 4G.”

Service providers will be able to better enrich their offerings for both enterprise and consumers alike. It’s the ability to offer network slicing, guaranteed quality of service and exposure of the network through Open API’s and network functions like NEF (Network Exposure function) or NWDAF (Network Data Analytics Function) that will enable this. Thus, we’ll finally move beyond the traditional “faster streaming” scenario many lean on today. On the consumer side, expect entertainment, learning and working to be advanced by virtual reality and augmented reality overlays.

On the business side, expect private enterprise networks to be offered by communication service providers to their enterprise customers. These businesses will be able to design their own experiences on the 5G networks and monetize these unique experiences to create and control themselves.

Angela Logothetis, CTO of Amdocs Open Network

“The industry will look beyond the traditional way of doing things and asks some potentially uncomfortable questions. Like what happens when 5G, low-earth-orbit satellite, fiber, private enterprise networks and eventually 6G all function independently?”

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Angela Logothetis

CTO of Amdocs Open Network

The communications industry will need to ask some uncomfortable questions

In 2022, the industry will look beyond the traditional way of doing things and asks some potentially uncomfortable questions. According to our research, more than 60% of consumers have encountered internet issues during the pandemic. More than half of these consumers claim to be in suburban areas that many assume have consistent, reliable connectivity. So what happens as services become increasingly sophisticated and require even more from our networks? When 5G, low-earth-orbit satellite, fiber, private enterprise networks and eventually 6G all function independently?

Moving forward, more will consider the opportunity to build networks and develop an openness that enables services to be seamlessly delivered across owned and other networks. There’s a lot to gain by playing nice in the sandbox with other networks, especially as we see complicated experiences (autonomous vehicles, connected cities) expand beyond the home. Automation, intelligence, and expertise become vital pieces of the puzzle here to ensure consistency.

2022: The year 5G (and the edge) goes to infinity and beyond

Next year, we’ll see a renewed focus on edge computing, with the key use cases for 2022 not being what was previously thought, but on the data required to make these next-generation 5G experiences a reality.

We’re starting to see “real” 5G use cases beyond faster connectivity including tangible society and business-changing scenarios for the first time. For instance, protecting the stability of our food chains with AI, a new experience in ridesharing with remotely driven cars, and improving the efficiency and predictability of our supply chains with IoT. With these experiences comes the need to collect massive amounts of data, run intricate processes for AI that can make predictions about what’s to come. As enterprises decide what goes on the cloud or edge, uses cases such as these will drive those decisions. I expect this to be a major focus point in 2022.

Samit Banerjee, Division President, Amdocs Cloud Services

“I believe we are looking at a three to five years window in which full scale cloud journeys will be completed by the majority of the enterprises. Cloud security will be a key requirement as part of this transformation.”

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Samit Banerjee

Division President, Amdocs Cloud Services

The pandemic’s impact on the cloud

Changes in work patterns due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cloud market’s exponential growth, and better managing this transition in 2022 will be critical. For CSPs, a complete shift to the cloud has its own set of limitations such as security concerns and limited control over their data. Service providers will be focusing more on hybrid cloud, which combines on-premise, public and private clouds. Hybrid cloud distributes workload across multiple clouds, making the system resilient and security compliant. According to a Deloitte Report, more than 90% of global enterprises will move to hybrid cloud by 2022, making it the new normal.

I believe we are looking at a three to five years window in which full scale cloud journeys will be completed by the majority of the enterprises. Cloud security will be a key requirement as part of this transformation.

AI will further integrate with operations to keep pace with digitalization

With exponential growth in digitalization, industries are adapting to virtual methods for running their business. Service providers are proactively developing zero touch operations to improve their operational efficiency and customer experience by reducing human interaction. For CSPs, zero touch operations means automating each phase of operations, using AI to predict patterns of anomaly implement, and auto healing in different scenarios. The fully automated system would significantly reduce the OSS and BSS operational cost and improve time to market, service quality & customer satisfaction. Research supports this, too. According to a Deloitte, 80% of MNOs are expected to automate 40% of their network operations by 2025. Analysys Mason predicts that automation would be a contributing factor in driving CSPs’ spending to USD95.1 billion in 2022.

Raman Abrol, General Manager, Amdocs Media, CEO of Vubiquity

“What’s the right mix of big-budget films and influencer-based engagement? What does an “entertainment company” even mean in 2022 when the lines continuously blur between studios and social content?”

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Raman Abrol

General Manager, Amdocs Media, CEO of Vubiquity

Rethinking about what an “entertainment” company really means

While 2021 saw the industry primarily focused on dealing with theatrical and streaming rollouts due to the pandemic, short form and social-based content also exploded. We’re seeing kids learn about the stock market on TikTok and influencers getting their own branded Dunkin Donuts drinks or even starring roles in remakes of 90s classics on Netflix. It begs the question; what is Gen Z really consuming most in entertainment, and what’s the right mix of big-budget films and influencer-based engagement? What does an “entertainment company” even mean in 2022 when the lines continuously blur between studios and social content?

As audiences continue to gravitate towards non-traditional ways of watching, social integration will be necessary for all major platforms. In 2022, I believe we’ll see social-based content better combined into unified offerings from the likes of Roku, Amazon and Apple TV. And as users continue this shift, influencers will continue to have more power. We’ll see discussions around what “top-tier” content really means and how budgets should be allocated to keep consumers engaged -- regardless of where.

Amalia Avramov, Group President at Amdocs

“In 2022, the companies that understand the need to remove organizational structures that inhibit information flow and provide a digital experience that supports rather than hinders will win the battle for talent.”

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Amalia Avramov

Group President at Amdocs

Enterprise-level companies must fully embrace digital transformation through a people-first approach or risk falling behind

The companies that will begin to pull ahead in 2022 understand that digital transformation happens through a people-first approach—by building the processes and environments that best support those resources. Organizations positioned to succeed will know that any digital innovation must support their people and facilitate them doing their best work. Anything else is not good enough to compete in the ever-evolving markets of today and tomorrow.

Established organizations are now in a position of competing against startups for marketing share and talent. These same startups don’t have built-in silos and haven’t worked themselves into a corner through over-cumbersome and long-standing processes. The need for larger companies to reexamine their entire structure through the lens of human-centric digital transformation is vital.

True digital transformation is the key to attracting and retaining top talent

With the Great Resignation upon us, it’s more important than ever that enterprise-level companies provide an employee experience that allows them to do their best work. In 2022, the companies that understand the need to remove organizational structures that inhibit information flow and provide a digital experience that supports rather than hinders will win the battle for talent and, thus, market share. The adage stating that the level at which you take care of your internal resources directly correlates with their ability to do the same for your customers has never been more true.

Daphne Gottschalk, Head of Talent Management, Amdocs

"I believe 2022 will be the year of learning, especially as the world transitions to the new workforce. Keeping employees engaged at every level will be critical moving forward."

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Daphne Gottschalk

Head of Talent Management, Amdocs

2022 will be the year of learning

I believe 2022 will be the year of learning, especially as the world transitions to the new workforce. Keeping employees engaged at every level will be critical moving forward.

According to research, more than half of full-time workers flagged training and development as a critical demand moving into 2022. However, even though many organizations are looking for more virtual learning and development approaches, employees may not notice. One-third of the same survey respondents worry they will have fewer opportunities for training and reskilling, or they will disappear entirely with the rise of remote work. While organizations of all sizes are considering their future of work, this should be not only be something to keep in mind but something to help inform business decisions moving forward next year.

The tech industry needs to continue fostering and growing existing talent. With employees now distributed globally, we’ll see a shift to a completely virtual learning strategy (even with workshops and organizational development sessions, typically face-to-face), which will be increasingly crucial for employee learning.

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