Five Trends Driving Australia’s Data Landscape in 2022

The last couple years have set new global benchmarks for the data and technology sector, putting companies that have considerably accelerated their digitisation processes in the front row. Our relationship with technology also changed immensely. One that has created new expectations by and for all stakeholders – from consumers to enterprise technology companies and governments. In this transformative landscape, organisations can’t afford to wait any longer to innovate and keep up with the changes.  

From serverless applications to an increasing concern by public agencies to deliver exceptional digital experiences, these are the top trends that will drive the data and technology market in Australia for 2022.  

Edge Computing Will Generate Big Buzz and Will Live Up to the Hype

While edge computing has gained momentum over the last few years, it is expected to reach its peak in 2022. We have more data today than anyone knows what to do with, and edge computing will be a game changer in reducing costs, preserving bandwidth, and driving smarter, faster actions – and many organisations are already experiencing the outcomes of that.

According to the IDC Spending Guide, the worldwide edge computing market will reach $250.6 billion in 2024. In 2020, 27.2% of the global regional spending shares was contributed by Asia Pacific. But even with the technology being largely used as a reference to cutting-edge industrial applications, it’s the ones enabled by IoT and 5G that we must be on the lookout for. Telstra’s recently announced edge computing solution for enterprise is a great example of that.

Edge computing gets most of its hype around big-vision projects like autonomous vehicles, but we can’t forget that mainstream consumer devices have been driving it for a long time. Our phones, wearables, video games, and laptops are all examples of edge devices. This will be the most important aspect that every organisation and technology leader must think about. 

Serverless is Going to Be Big, and Way More Confusing Than People Realise

The digital transformation journey and the urgent need to modernise businesses that started with the pandemic is now an ongoing effort for enterprises, big or small. This is one of the main reasons why serverless applications are becoming more and more popular, boosted especially by major players like AWS that are continuously investing in new customer solutions to increase business agility and scalability.

As a simple programming model for developers and customers, serverless offerings are gaining traction, led by consumer-facing operations where it’s difficult to predict the resources needed to deliver good customer experiences.  

Serverless sounds like a sweet deal and early adopters are already seeing huge wins in resource utilisation, agility, and customer experience. However, the inherent complexity of moving to and maintaining a serverless environment is a less-understood challenge that will eventually come back to bite a lot of organisations. Especially because traditional monitoring won’t work with these applications, making observability more of an issue – which brings us to the next point.

Observability is the Next Battleground for Customer Experience

There was a time when early adopters of cloud services had a real advantage over competitors in delivering customer experience. Now, that’s old news. The new customer experience differentiator is observability.

In this stateless and serverless cloud-based world, the transient nature of applications and services makes it difficult to sense changes, reflect and observe performance. What’s missing here is observability. Understanding the customer journey and leveraging analytics to quickly develop and test improvements relies not just on cloud infrastructure and fluid DevOps processes, but real visibility into how customers are interacting with these systems.

To nail customer experience, organisations need to treat clients as an observable component across the entire process, interpreting all the activity to understand whether the experience resonated with them or not. From now on, observing, understanding, and acting on that data is where customer experience lives and dies.

Citizen Experience is the Defining Factor in 2022

Public sector organisations have traditionally lagged the private sector in user experience, but the pandemic has changed this drastically. COVID-19 created an urge in modernising services and improving citizen experience. This has accelerated a movement from governments around the world to shift how they work and how they serve the population.  

On the other side, people also had a taste of the benefits of a good digital experience and increasing the demand. Proof of that is that in Australia we reached a milestone in 2021 with over 6 million Australians choosing to use myGovID, a digital identity provider, to access common public services online. Now the government must keep the pace.

While 2020 was about rapid cloud adoption to accelerate digital transformation and 2021 was a continuation of that, 2022 will be about the last mile of digital experience: connecting with the customer or, in this case, the citizen.

Basic Security Diligence is Your New Perimeter

If there is something else COVID-19 has taught us, it’s that there is no security perimeter anymore. This became very clear when every organisation was extended through its employees’ home Wi-Fi network. At the same time, cybercrime is costing countries more than ever – over $3.5 billion a year for Australia – which is something we can’t and shouldn’t afford.

To fight against this threat, Australia has not only created a cybersecurity strategy in 2020, but made amendments in 2021 to the Ransomware Action Plan —  covering nuances that didn’t sound as important by that time but eventually became critical.

That’s how it is supposed to work. There must be a security perimeter and we need to constantly update our concepts around it. If the perimeter is what keeps attackers out of your systems, and it can’t be tied to a single layer of security anymore, then your perimeter is you and the actions you take to keep cybercriminals at bay.

The biggest thing is focusing on the bread-and-butter work. However, it is important to build something besides your front-line defence, knowing that you can’t always be 100% secure, even when you do your best. Being able to understand quickly what happened and how to get it under control are critical competencies.

Interested in knowing further how technologies will shape the coming year? Get a peek of Splunk's 2022 Predictions reports.

Mark Troselj

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