THE 2022 tech trends list is not limited to IT fanatics and tech leaders. Some trends seem far outside the scope of our region's happening. However, as we chart our path for 2022, it provides an excellent opportunity to see which trends are likely to generate quantum shifts and are most relevant to the Caribbean region.
Our tech community's top-of-mind and strategic areas include trust and security, replacing legacy, and serving customers in their transactions, education, and user experience.
Work from anywhere
While we can thank COVID-19 for compressing ten years of digital transformation progress into two, going on three years, the trend of working from home/anywhere was already underway in North America and Europe and is now more accepted in Jamaica. While not yet mainstream – evident from the high traffic volumes in the morning, we can expect more people to request to work from anywhere this year.
Unlocking the power of data is no longer an option for many companies and is the driving factor behind some competitive advantages. With this in mind, we can expect greater demand for accessibility and availability of data insights locally and regionally.
Over the past year, there has been a surge in the acceptance of blockchain and its possibilities as usage cases grow. Digital currency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and asset security are examples that will expand in organisations as they test proven methods used by the rest of the world.
Increased online exposure to fraudulent behaviour should prompt citizens to take cyber threats more seriously. The Government's technological advancements will put data held in the public domain at higher risk, demanding cyber security best practices to minimise breaches. Critical measures must include enforcing data privacy and protection, and segregating data based on sensitivity and who should have access. Private sector entities are expected to make bold investments in securing their internal infrastructure, with cloud technology taking a foothold as online fraudsters become savvier in their tactics.
One of the most significant gaps we face is Internet access and connectivity. Our education sector mainly felt this as tens of thousands of children went without education, in part due to an inability by them and their teachers to access the Internet. With significant focus and effort placed on the sorry state of education in Jamaica, we can expect to see a more formidable and accessible network spanning our island.
Shifting to a more modern internal infrastructure is both a dream and a nightmare. With the increased awareness of cloud solution benefits, it has become very evident that replacing legacy systems is a necessary aspect of transformation. The cost of keeping a legacy system and building around it far outweighs the value. Additionally, the rate at which companies innovate to remain competitive has outgrown their ability to deliver on many legacy platforms. Many budgets are adjusted as companies push the envelope on legacy modernisation as a critical strategy for digital transformation.
Digital literacy is high on the agenda in both the public and private sectors. Several new offerings will become available to support every demographic in their journey towards becoming more digitally literate.
The pandemic created many opportunities for businesses, large and small, to digitise their operations, a trend that customers now expect with easier, automated multi-channel ways of doing business. The seamless customer service includes companies building payment gateways and APIs to support transaction processing for online customers. It extends to the street vendors entering the digital payments space.
The JTDA will be focusing its efforts on further exploring these trends with society and sharing insights and learnings throughout the year.
Stacey Hinds is the president of the Jamaica Technology and Digital Alliance.