Time flies by and another year is almost over. It’s time to look back and evaluate, as well as to take a peek and try to glimpse what the future has in store for us.

As has been the case in the past few years, at Paradigma we want to do our bit by pointing out the trends that, from our point of view and based on our experience, we think will stand out the most in the year 2022 that is about to begin.

1 AI: transparency and ethics

We’re living in the age of AI. In 2021 we’ve been flooded yet again with news and advances in this field.

However, any kind of technological evolution has more than one aspect. A lot of times we focus on or try to highlight its positive side – which is what gives it sense and really makes it evolve and become popular – but we should nevertheless not stop thinking about its other facets. When a technology becomes widespread, we must stop and think about it and its consequences.

The capabilities of current AIs are impressive and their use is expanding rapidly, but how far can we trust the decisions an AI makes or the information it gives us?

We’ve recently read news about the opening up at the legal level of the use of algorithms for censorship purposes to control contents as a result of potential copyright infringements, ie we’re letting an algorithm decide, without any human intervention or legal oversight, whether contents should be censored or not.

Algorithms are going to become ever more important in our daily lives and make increasingly important decisions that will have a greater impact on our lives, thus making it essential for us to find ways to improve our control over them and understand them.

Next year there will be much debate around and evolution in the use, construction, training, and auditing of algorithms so that they may run transparently and securely.

2 AIOps

AIOps is a term that has been around for a while and is gaining more and more traction.

Most organisations have complex technological environments that are full of distributed, interconnected systems that support all business operations, ie they are the cog that makes the machinery work.

Consequently, the complexity of all these systems has grown almost exponentially in recent years, it being mirrored by an increase in the effort needed to ‘keep them running’ and, in many cases, in the associated costs.

We’re therefore at a crossroads: IT systems have become so indispensable that any kind of failure has dire consequences and, at the same time, have become so difficult to keep up and running that outages are often frequent, directly affecting the bottom line.

AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) seeks to harness the power of current AI systems to help to detect and solve problems in IT systems.

This concept isn’t very widespread currently, as most platforms don’t have such systems yet, but we can anticipate that it will have a high impact in the short term thanks to its tackling two main problems:

I’m sure that we will see great progress in this field throughout 2022.

3 Upgrading/replacement of legacy systems

The global situation we’ve experienced over the past two years has forced organisations to adapt faster than ever before. Changes which in the past took several years – or even decades – to make have had to be implemented in just a few months in order not to fall behind the competition and meet new business needs.

Of all these changes, the level of digitisation of organisations has undoubtedly been one of those that has needed to evolve the most and has taken a giant leap forward in the face of the change that most businesses have undergone.

Faced with this situation, we’ve repeatedly encountered a similar one: traditional systems that were designed and installed to meet needs very different from those imposed by the situation we’re in aren’t capable of providing the necessary support.

This, however, isn’t a scenario which companies are unfamiliar with: from the moment a system goes into production, a plan for its evolution is devised, and, sometimes, even the different possibilities for its future decommissioning are taken into account. The unexpected situation we’re living in, however, has precipitated the execution of plans for upgrading these systems. We’re talking about millions of host systems and monolithic environments deployed at the core of organisations.

In order to meet all these needs and be able to seize the huge business opportunities they provide, the large cloud platforms are jostling for position by offering services and facilities not only for migrating the workloads to the cloud but also for the complete replatforming of all host services as a palliative measure and a mechanism to facilitate their refactoring as it becomes necessary.

Today we have the first versions of these services but in 2022 we’re going to see a great evolution in this field, not only regarding the services themselves but also in the way they are used, good usage practices, the design of integration architectures...

4 Web3 and applied blockchain technology

Technology adoption times from conception until they reach the ‘general public’ are quite long in most cases.

It is a natural process: a technology is born and an explosion of possibilities occurs, with multiple applicable use cases but without a concrete definition of the path (or paths) to be followed.

Once blockchain technology applied to the financial world (thanks to its decentralisation capabilities) exploded onto the scene, it rapidly evolved to support smart contracts, thereby paving the way for certain niche markets and new use cases.

Improvements in terms of access to this technology (basically making it easier to use for non-expert users) have played a major role in its rapid expansion so far and its future expansion in 2021 (mainly in the second half of the year). Thanks to this we’ve seen the rise and growth of use cases, many of them associated with NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which have opened the door for many possibilities that had not been explored until now: the sale and exchange of NFTs associated with major events, fan tokens in the world of sports...

But blockchain technology isn’t used only for buying and selling things; its decentralisation capabilities are attracting more and more interest. The term Web3 covers the set of technologies and tools for decentralising the Internet (in many cases supported by blockchain), which would allow us to operate via smart contracts.

We’re going to hear about blockchain and Web3 repeatedly in the coming year, which will undoubtedly be one of the trending technologies.

5 The metaverse

By now we’ve all probably heard about the metaverse – a word that has been around for a long time but that now, thanks to a certain Internet giant, has become a buzzword.

But what’s the metaverse? To put it in layman’s terms (taking some license), a metaverse can be defined as a virtual world that is open enough to allow various activities to be carried out in it and which, as happens in the real world, is running all the time.

If we dig a bit deeper, we’d probably be talking about different virtual environments, and if we take the definition to its logical conclusion, we should be able to do ‘anything in it’, from working to having fun, including starting and running our own business in them.

To many of us this will sound like other types of initiatives that already exist or existed (in particular, the first thing that came to my mind was Second Life), so it’s necessary to keep in mind that the situation is very different from the past (both socially and technologically speaking).

The birth of metaverses is just beginning and this raises many questions: does it make sense to have different metaverses (each belonging to one brand or company)? Would a specification allowing the different metaverses to interact with one other make sense?

We’ll probably be able to answer many of them next year!

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