5 Technology Trends on the Horizon for 2022

Top5_Tech_Trends_2022-1030x430 5 Technology Trends on the Horizon for 2022

Introduction

January is a time of looking back upon the last year and looking ahead to the year in front of us. To prepare you for the year ahead, we’ve reviewed the 2022 predictions from Forbes, Gartner, TechRepublic, and more to give you a condensed list of the top 5 technology trends you can expect to see in 2022.

 

Trend #1: The Next Level of Digital Transformation

To start off, we will see successful organizations start to think beyond just digital transformation. Forbes shares that we can expect organizations to shift to a more DevOps focussed approach in 2022. This will increase the efficiency of a development-to-operations model. As virtualization advances, we will continue to see increasing amounts of previously physical hardware switching over to virtual infrastructure. Data storage vendors will have to keep up with pre-existing cloud initiatives that their customers have in 2022 and provide ease, scalability, and flexibility. Forbes says “The reality is that the cagey storage providers are “there” already. The truth is, we’re software companies now.”  

 

Trend #2: Data and AI Everywhere You Look

People are becoming increasingly aware that data and AI are omnipresent in today’s society, and this will only continue in the new year, no matter where you are. AI and machine learning are CIOs’ best bets for achieving goals and are the smartest investment to make as time goes on. TechRepublic shares that Going forward, the top three things for CIOs to prioritize are strategy, data literacy and AI.” Utilizing responsible AI, which is something we will cover in Trend #4, is also crucial as organizations go forward. Creative algorithms, language modelling, and more, are all a part of the top 5 technology trends for 2022.

 

Trend #3: Shifts in the Workplace

We’ve seen many changes to the traditional workplace since the beginning of the pandemic, and these shifts will continue in the new year. As the great resignation progresses and masses of people leave their jobs, organizations are looking for new ways to evaluate and retain talent. The hiring shortage has hit many industries, and the technology sector is no different. Remote work options will increase, with many organizations seeing the benefit in expanding to allow for more flexibility. We will see a reduced focus on degrees, and more on what an individual has accomplished on their own means as well as the value they add as a person. The last few years have seen a rapid increase in a call for diversity and inclusion, and 2022 will be no different. We can expect to see a deeper focus on the representation of all groups within the workplace, and the different points of view that exist.

 

Trend #4: Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Methods

As many companies are growing past their first push into the cloud, we’ll see an increase in cloud hybridization and multi-cloud technology, to avoid cloud lock-ins. Cloud lock-ins are when customers become more dependent on a single cloud storage solution or platform. This is due to the difficulty and high costs associated with transitioning to a different vendor. Today, we are also seeing the biggest cloud providers like Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM expanding their rollout of “hybrid” models. These models adopt a best-of-both private and public cloud approach. For example, data that needs to be accessed quickly and frequently can be kept on public servers. Data that is more sensitive can be kept on private servers where access can be monitored.

 

Trend #5: Transparency, Governance, and Accountability

In the new year, we will see an increase in transparency, governance and accountability as it is crucial that customers are provided with transparent and explainable AI. AI solutions providers need to gain the trust of their customers while finding a balance. An example of regulation is the artificial intelligence act proposed by the European Commission; its purpose is to create a common framework for all AI. Regulation within this act is based on risk-levels of the AI, determined by the European Commission. This balance is between ensuring that innovation isn’t paused, while also making sure that people aren’t being exploited in the process.  

 

Conclusion

2022 will be a turning point for a lot of organizations, the majority of which will follow these new trends. Digital transformation progression, data and AI, workplace changes, hybrid and multi-cloud methods, and transparency are only the top 5 technology trends for 2022.  

 

How will they fit into your organization? Are there any other trends that you see on the horizon for this new year? Let us know your thoughts on these trends.

 

Reimagining Virtual Collaboration: Exciting Updates to Microsoft Teams

Microsoft-Teams Reimagining Virtual Collaboration: Exciting Updates to Microsoft Teams

It’s strange to think that at the beginning of 2020, we had no idea of the turn the world was about to take. At the beginning, even the idea of quarantining and social distancing was confusing. Now, although it still isn’t ideal, most people have found innovative ways to connect. It’s incredible to see how many more online platforms have changed and adapted their gameplan to fit this unexpected event, but there’s one that we would especially like to spotlight: Microsoft Teams.

New Updates for Microsoft Teams:

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that combines video calling, chat messages, as well as file storage. It’s been around since 2017; however, since that initial release it has evolved into a leading communication service. For more information on Microsoft Teams, click here.

In the past couple of months, the need for excellent virtual collaboration platforms has surged, and with that comes a whole host of new updates. Microsoft has addressed 3 main issues that are the most relevant right now: connection/meeting fatigue, inclusivity, and efficiency. 

Connection/Meeting Fatigue:

This first point contains two subsections, the first of which is making people feel connected. While apart and lacking the traditional office environment, it’s easy to feel lonely. For those not used to working from home, there can be a sense of anxiety derived from the lack of a bustling workspace. Microsoft Teams has created Together Mode to tackle this issue. It allows AI to place occupants on the same background, therefore making it feel as if you are sitting in the same room as your colleagues. When faced with the challenges of quarantine, some may forget how important non-verbal communication and cues are. Together Mode allows people to feel united as well as brings back some of the “normal” office environment and will be coming out in August. 

The second subsection is about meeting fatigue. It’s easy to get overtired and quite frankly bored during long meetings, especially if you can’t see who’s talking. Gallery Mode, another new update also being released in the next few months, optimizes shared content and allows for personalization of what is being seen. For example, it can have up to 49 people shown on a screen and then break into smaller meeting rooms. Or you can program it to switch not only to specific speakers but also shared content. 

Inclusivity:

In order to keep meetings not only inclusive to larger numbers, making the tool engaging and interactive is also key. Microsoft Teams will be releasing a plethora of updates in the upcoming months, but we will highlight a few of our favourites. Live Reactions is a new feature that mimics the important role that non-verbal cues give. During a presentation or meeting, members will be able to react through emojis that update to give feedback to the speaker, and bolster support. Another exciting feature coming out later this year is live captions and speaker attribution. This will allow for ease while following along in a meeting as well as recognizing who is speaking. 

Saving Time:

And thirdly, saving time and increasing efficacy of Microsoft Teams has become an increased priority. Because of the lack of a traditional workspace, it’s hard to keep track of how you spend your time during the day. To combat this, Microsoft Teams has come up with the Tasks App, in conjunction with Teams. It will allow for tasks to be added on a rolling basis, viewed on a platform, and notify other team members about what has been done. Cortana will also be added to Teams. Using AI and the Microsoft Graph, Cortana can listen to directives, dictate, and handle tasks, all through voice assistance.

Problems that the World is Facing and How Teams Can Solve Them:

Amid all this chaos, it’s important to look at what good can come out of this situation. This time has forced us to really re-assess the future of “work” and “workspaces” in their traditional sense. Why are we so confined to our office spaces? And will 9-5 hours become more flexible? Working from home and taking advantage of virtual collaboration may actually be the future. Innovative communication tools such as Microsoft Teams will not only help us connect with each other from a distance, but also build a future that may be more creative and effective than the status quo.

 

The Greenest Cloud: Looking at Microsoft’s New Green Plan

Microsoft-Green-Plan-300x169 The Greenest Cloud: Looking at Microsoft’s New Green Plan

Microsoft’s Project Natick at the launch site in the city of Stromness. (Photography by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

With the material world being geared increasingly towards understanding climate change and carbon footprints, we often forget that the digital world contributes to fossil fuel emissions as well. Looking at the trends of today, we can predict that digital consumption will only increase over time, therefore adding to the carbon footprint of these companies. How are different cloud providers dealing with this issue? Let’s look at Microsoft. 

Microsoft, one of the Big Three cloud providers, has brought 2 plans to the climate change table: one to reduce the company’s carbon footprint to allow for a “greener” cloud, and the other to implement underwater data centers powered by renewable energy. Seems like a lot to process? Let’s break it down. 

Microsoft’s new “Green Plan” outlines how their data centres will run on 60% renewable energy by 2020. At the end of 2018, 50% of the company’s energy was renewable and carbon neutral. Wanting to cut their carbon emissions by 75% by the end of 2030, the company has implemented an internal “carbon tax” for business divisions. Taking tangible steps to reduce the effect of the buildings and resources used in the past, they are also redesigning their campuses into carbon neutral havens. Although Apple, Google, Amazon and the likes are all rapidly moving in the same direction, a great victory for companies of such large proportions, Microsoft will be the first company to reach a campus of zero-carbon and zero-waste goals.

What Does This Mean for the Future?

It doesn’t mean being satisfied with what they have done so far. Being at the forefront of technological innovation, one of the most remarkable stories of the digital age proves to be Microsoft’s “underwater data centers”.

natickfrance063-768x512-1-e1584646711233-300x171 The Greenest Cloud: Looking at Microsoft’s New Green Plan

Image by Frank Betermin/Naval Group

 

In the testing stages now, these centers are quick to deploy, and could provide internet connectivity for many years to come. Imagine a 40 foot long data pod, sleekly dropped into the depths of the ocean off the Coast of Scotland. Seems like something out of your sci-fi novel dreams? We agree. Not only is the concept of this data center a force to be reckoned with, but the implementation of this idea could also allow for ways of delivering AI applications and gaming content to end users. Operating without maintenance for 5 years, the pod’s cooling system uses ocean water, sustainably managing itself. 

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, says “Since 50 percent of the world’s population lives close to water bodies, we think this is the way we want to think about future data center regions and expansion”. Data centers are now the backbone of the world. Rather than keeping them in tightly stored boxes lining facilities, Microsoft wants to integrate them into the natural world, and use this sustainable energy to help them get there. Using submarine technology and applying this research, Microsoft is tangibly changing the way that we look at storing data. The whole process of creating one of these underwater data centers took a total of 90 days as compared to the usual 2 years of production time. This would allow the company to react to demand without facing shortages. The Azure Cloud platform is becoming the computer of the world, and the world is Microsoft’s literal oyster.

 

Microsoft Makes a Significant Investment in Canadian Cloud

CanadianCloud-copy Microsoft Makes a Significant Investment in Canadian Cloud

Microsoft Cloud Services has been a core contributor to the growth and development of numerous Canadian organizations and is steadily making more investments in Canadian Cloud. Recently announcing their first Canadian Azure Availability Zone in the Azure Canada Central region and an Azure ExpressRoute in Vancouver, this expansion will provide Canadian businesses greater access to new innovations to accelerate their development. 

An Availability Zone consists of one or more data centres equipped with independent power, cooling, and networking. Microsoft says it’s the only cloud provider in Canada to offer Availability Zones and disaster recovery with in-country data residency. In addition, this will be the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure since the launch of the first data centre in Canada in 2016. According to Microsoft, this expansion will increase computing capacity by an incredible 1300%.

While Azure ExpressRoutes already exists in Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City, this is an important investment for the West Coast. A service that primarily provides a private connection between an organization’s on-premises infrastructure and Microsoft Azure data centre, Azure ExpressRoutes provides more reliability, speed, and lower latency for users. Organizations in Vancouver will now have a secure network connection into Azure without having to cross the country. 

The new Azure Availability Zones and ExpressRoute services are set to go live by the end of March. 

 

For more information email us at info@optimusinfo.com or read more here:

Microsoft announces Canadian Azure Availability Zone, and Azure ExpressRoute in Vancouver (IT World Canada)

Microsoft Makes Significant Investments in Canadian Cloud to Fuel Innovation In Canada (Microsoft News Center Canada)

 

 

Optimus Information Makes the 2018 List of Fastest Growing Canadian Companies

Canadian Business unveils 30th annual list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies

Vancouver, BC (September 13, 2018) – For the second year in a row, Canadian Business and Maclean’s has ranked Optimus Information on the 30th annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth. Growth 500 winners are profiled in a special print issue of Canadian Business, published with Maclean’s magazine and online at CanadianBusiness.com and Growth500.ca.

Foresight, Innovation and Smart Management are Key

“The companies on the 2018 Growth 500 are truly remarkable. Demonstrating foresight, innovation and smart management, their stories serve as a primer for how to build a successful entrepreneurial business today,” says Deborah Aarts, Growth 500 program manager. “As we celebrate 30 years of the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program, it’s encouraging to see that entrepreneurship is healthier than ever in this country.”

“We are incredibly honoured to be on the Growth 500 ranking again,” said Pankaj Agarwal, founder and managing partner of Optimus Information. “This is a testament to the continued commitment of our entire team, our partners and our customers. We are extremely focused on providing value through the products and solutions we offer, and will continue to listen and deliver on what our customers need.”

Optimus Also Recognized Globally by International Association of Microsoft Partners (IAMCP)

In addition to being named a 2018 Growth 500 company, Optimus Information also recently won two prestigious awards at the 2018 Microsoft Inspire conference. Founder and managing partner Pankaj Agarwal was named a champion of diversity for his commitment to corporate gender diversity and STEM education for young girls. Optimus Information is one of only a handful of technology companies to have reached 50/50 gender parity across their corporation.

Optimus Information also took home the Canadian Bronze honour in the global category for partner-to-partner awards. This award recognized Optimus’s work with Squirrel Systems as they moved their industry-leading hospitality and restaurant POS application from a legacy on-premises solution to the cloud. Because the application deployed so much of the latest thinking around mobility, analytics, AI and more, Microsoft is jointly working with Optimus and Squirrel to develop a formal case study for others to learn from.

“Our company continues to achieve year-over-year growth because we are laser-focused on helping our customers rapidly scale their own businesses,” said Ryan O’Connor, Chief Technical Strategist, Optimus Information. “We share the same vision as the partners and customers we work with and, therefore, our success is their success. This year, we have made incredible progress on our business plans.”

For more information on how to optimize your Dev/Ops efforts by working with one of Canada’s fastest growing companies, contact Ryan O’Connor directly at ryan.oconnor@optimusinfo.com or 1-604-785-0065.

About Optimus Information

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Optimus Information also has offices in India. Optimus is designed to help global organizations with application development, testing and analytics. The company provides outsourced technology services to small and mid-sized organizations in the ICT Sector. For media enquiries, contact Ryan O’Connor, Chief Technical Strategist, ryan.oconnor@optimusinfo.com, 1-604-785-0065.

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About the Growth 500

For 30 years, the Growth 500 has been Canada’s most respectable and influential ranking of entrepreneurial achievement. Ranking Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies by five-year revenue growth, the Growth 500—formerly known as the PROFIT 500—profiles the country’s most successful growing businesses. The Growth 500 is produced by Canadian Business. Winners are profiled in a special Growth 500 print issue of Canadian Business (packaged with the October issue of Maclean’s magazine) and online at Growth500.ca and CanadianBusiness.com. For more information on the ranking, visit Growth500.ca.

About Canadian Business

Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving and most trusted business publication in the country. It is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. Learn more at CanadianBusiness.com.

How a Global Puzzle Competition is Changing Software Application Development and QA Testing

Teams of people including students, interns, software application developers, QA testers and more from around the world competed recently in the third annual CS50 Puzzle Day, sponsored by Harvard University. CS50 is a Harvard-developed academic course that explores the theory of computer science, its purpose and intent and while the competition was originally created for students, it now attracts a global following of those interested in improving collaboration and analytical thinking for software application development and QA testing.

Software Application Development and a Global Game of Mastermind

At midnight on Friday, March 9, 2018, more than three thousand people from around the world broke into teams to tackle eight different puzzles created by Harvard University professor, David Malan[1]. Malan is the man who developed CS50 as a way of making computer science understandable to everyone, regardless of their prior knowledge of how computers operate. The unintended outcome of his breakthrough course was how the puzzle games are helping software application development teams think differently and collaborate more effectively

The teams had until the stroke of midnight on Monday, March 12 to complete the eight puzzles. Among those teams were three from Optimus Information’s location in Noida, India, made up of interns and experienced software application developers and QA testers.

opt-cs50-1-300x169 How a Global Puzzle Competition is Changing Software Application Development and QA TestingThe Optimus teams quickly realized that computer programming skills were not required. What was required of them was the ability to think logically, using their intelligence.

Anil Kumar Saini led one of the teams. He said they spent the first day – a full 24 hours – working on the puzzle questions at the office and then continued to work from their homes throughout the weekend, staying in contact with each other the entire time.

“We had no idea what to expect”, he said, “so, we watched videos online to prepare. While the first levels were simple, they became progressively more difficult and we realized that none of us could solve these problems working in silos.”

Building Collaborative Skills

Saini decided his team needed to reach out for assistance, so he contacted fellow Optimus employee, Swapnil Kumar and his team. Both teams began to collaborate on the problems before them.

What was interesting was that neither Saini nor Kumar really knew each other at Optimus. Kumar says he and Anil worked in separate areas of the company and never interacted, day to day.

opt-cs50-2-300x225 How a Global Puzzle Competition is Changing Software Application Development and QA Testing“But the puzzle competition meant that we had to collaborate with each other. The benefit was that we were able to tap into each team’s diverse ways of looking at the same problem. The result meant we expanded our thinking beyond our normal, work-related problem solving. And Anil and I have now become good friends, as a result.”

Anil Saini added that the competition had the effect of leveling the playing field among the team members. “It didn’t matter if some of us were experienced software application development or QA testing team members and others were interns; it provided equal opportunity for all and everyone contributed to getting the right answers. It was a true collaborative experience.”

A Lasting Impact

Their collaboration worked so well that the Optimus teams finished with every puzzle solved correctly; one of their teams even cracked the coveted top thirty. More than this, though, is how the experience has affected the team members when they now engage in their projects at work.

Mayank Varshney was one of the Optimus participants in the quiz. He saw an immediate impact on his role in QA testing.

“Participating in this team approach has altered how we think analytically, now. In my work, I test the functionalities of our software and now I’m looking at different approaches where Optimus can deliver even greater quality to our clients. This is a direct result of my experience in the competition.”
CS50-Puzzle-day-Winners How a Global Puzzle Competition is Changing Software Application Development and QA Testing
This was exactly what Optimus had hoped would happen when the company encouraged its employees and interns in Noida to take part. The participants pushed each other to think outside the box and seek different methods to solve the problems posed by the eight puzzles.

They did just that and the impact of utilizing different ways of tackling a problem has changed the way these Optimus employees are now functioning in their own roles within the company.

Optimus Information is built on its employees and its success reflects the depth of talent the company harnesses on a daily basis to create value for its clients.

Contact us today and we’ll tell you more about how collaborative thinking can generate breakthrough solutions that will propel your business forward.