It’s always a sticky business predicting what’s going to happen in tech, because who knows what’s going on behind the scenes or what’s coming next.
Would you have thought, for instance, that Salesforce would spend almost $28 billion to buy Slack at the end of 2020? Or that in 2021, Jeff Bezos would step back at Amazon with a domino effect of Andy Jassy moving into his role, and Adam Selipsky coming back after a stint at Tableau to take Jassy’s old job running AWS?
I sure didn’t see that coming, and I’m betting most people didn’t. The tech world moves so quickly, it’s often hard to keep up.
We weren’t using the terms metaverse and web3 (complete with lowercase spelling), and then quite suddenly in 2021, we were. If you told me that the blockchain was going to come back in a big way in 2021, or Facebook would change its name to Meta, I would have laughed in your face. Yet, here we are.
So let’s admit that there are things that we can’t possibly predict, but it seems it’s a part of my job to rear back and throw out some predictions. I would like to think that mine are based on my careful observation of the world I cover in the enterprise, rather than some random musings, but if I’m being honest, it’s probably a combination.
So with that in mind, and the usual caveats, here are my predictions for the coming year:
- Speaking of web3, companies (and especially governments) will learn just how difficult it is to retrofit brittle legacy systems to accept digital currency. There will need to be some sort of reckoning to either modernize or let it go for the time being, most likely the latter. Updating systems is challenging and expensive, and it’s hard to see governments spending the money to do it to accommodate digital currency, which is still in its infancy. Pew recently reported that just 16% of Americans have traded, invested or used crypto currencies.
- While we’re at it, even though the hype is out of control, I’m betting that most companies will continue to adopt AR/VR slowly in the enterprise in 2022. Just as in the past before the term “metaverse” started trending, there will be some experimental dabbling in areas where it makes sense, but most people will realize they don’t want to do their work with VR hardware on their face all day. And, it’s also expensive to create content.
- With Bret Taylor getting promoted to co-CEO of Salesforce this year, the next logical step is for him to take over as solo CEO, and let Marc Benioff follow Bezos into the chairman’s role, where he can concentrate more on his charity work. Benioff has been the face of the company for over 20 years, and he may want to finally step back from that grinding responsibility and enjoy his wealth.