Connectivity and cloud take the spotlight in 2022 - opinion

Looking towards next year, here are a few ways we’ll see connectivity continue to impact the business and consumer sectors.

 High tech giant Amdocs headquarters in Raanana. (photo credit: FLASH90)
High tech giant Amdocs headquarters in Raanana.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

Amid the ongoing pandemic, connectivity continues to be a mainstay topic for businesses and consumers alike.

At Amdocs, a leading global provider of software and services to communications and media companies, we’re seeing 5G more widely adopted across multiple industries to improve communications, AI becoming essential for the move to digital, and businesses continuing to focus on connecting the hybrid workforce.

Looking towards next year, here are a few ways we’ll see connectivity continue to impact the business and consumer sectors.

5G experiences become more focused - with gaming as a differentiator (with others to follow)

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

 Avishai Sharlin (credit: Courtesy of Amdocs) Avishai Sharlin (credit: Courtesy of Amdocs)

This opens a new revenue opportunity for communications service providers, 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.

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.

Edge, Kubernetes and secure access have their moment due to multi-cloud 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.

As more technology is adopted to leverage the power of 5G and AI, businesses will continue moving in a forward trajectory when it comes to their overall digital strategies. It’ll be interesting to see how these new technologies create positive change for businesses, consumers, and the overall way we connect with each other.

The author is division president, Amdocs Technology.