The major technology themes impacting the TMT industry in 2022 will be artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, metaverse, augmented reality (AR), quantum computing, cloud computing, software defined everything (SDE), 5G, space economy, robotics, Industry 4.0, consumer internet of things (consumer IoT), smart cities, ambient commerce, fintech, cryptocurrency, batteries, future mobility, healthtech, edtech, social media, cloud gaming, and streaming.
Companies that invest in the right themes become success stories; those that miss the big themes ultimately fail. Given that so many themes are disruptive, it is very easy to be blindsided by industry outsiders that invade your sector.
What are the key predictions for the tech, media, and telecoms industry?
Artificial Intelligence: 2022 will see the expansion of practical and unobtrusive AI. After years of AI-related hype, we are now in the era of practical AI. It will be integrated into software and will play its role unobtrusively through autonomous behavior and feedback cycles. There will be fewer unmet promises of AI revolutionizing life as we know it. Instead, companies will focus on determining where AI can help. Data and computing power are essential in the development of AI. Big Tech companies have both in abundance, and this represents a huge advantage. Big Tech is also using its vast troves of data to improve the performance of conversational platforms. Explainable AI (XAI) is a set of tools and frameworks that help develop interpretable AI models, enabling humans to follow a model’s decision-making process. XAI will enable companies to identify potential discrimination.
Companies that do not adopt a zero-trust approach will be more likely to experience a cyberattack in 2022. Zero-trust means assuming that whatever entity is trying to gain access is untrustworthy until its identity and hygiene are verified. Double extortion will become the main form of cyberattack in 2022, and a double extortion ransomware attack that spreads globally will occur. Companies that handle large quantities of user data or operate networks that manage critical national infrastructure will be most at risk from this new type of attack. Demand will increase for solutions that integrate security into wide area networks (WANs) and cloud services. Most companies understand that security is an integral part of the entire business infrastructure and are turning to multiple vendors to provide security services.
Tech giants will expedite healthcare’s digital transformation. Digital transformation has been seen for years as an excellent way to streamline operational models and enhance productivity in healthcare, but the pandemic made the need more pressing. Usage patterns indicate that the demand for virtual care caused by COVID-19 may have peaked, but GlobalData polls suggest that there will be a demand for these services beyond the pandemic. There will be 3.7 million robotic surgical procedures in 2022, despite the impact of COVID-19. For-profit entities will drive initial adoption, especially in the outpatient ambulatory surgery center sector, and early leaders will cause an explosion of adoption in hospitals and public-based healthcare systems. However, high costs will prevent widespread adoption.
The future of work:
GlobalData’s thematic framework for the future of work has five categories: visualization, connectivity, automation, collaboration, and interpretation. COVID-19 catalyzed a shift towards remote working models, accelerating demand for collaboration tools. Hybrid working will remain commonplace, with workers citing flexibility of work hours and no commute as key benefits. Most offices will return to at least 50% capacity by May 2022. Companies that can maintain flexibility will succeed in retaining and attracting top talent. The gig economy will continue to expand, catalyzed by COVID-19 lockdowns and the growth of quick commerce. 2022 will see renewed attempts to reform the gig economy’s contribution to employment polarization, and governments will continue to legislate in favor of gig workers.
Cloud computing, IoT, and digital media are driving TMT M&A. The top three themes driving M&A activity were cloud computing, IoT, and digital media, with a combined total deal value of $143 billion. The value and number of M&A deals involving special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) remain high, with 38 deals and a total value of $48 billion in the first nine months of 2021. A metaverse is a virtual world where users share experiences and interact in real time within simulated scenarios. The metaverse is attracting significant media attention, including predictions that it will form the next incarnation of the internet, though the metaverse may not be realized in its true form for several years. It is a mega-theme that will revolutionize digital media.
Digital technologies have caused disruption across the banking and online payments value chains. A surge of investment in start-ups has expanded the herd of fintech unicorns (private companies valued at $1 billion or more) to 116, with an aggregate valuation of $529 billion. GlobalData expects at least 10 fintech start-ups to become unicorns over the next two years, including Atom Bank, Corvus Insurance, and Navi Technologies. The sheer volume of highly valued start-ups operating in fintech demonstrates the extensive ongoing disruption of the financial services sector.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG):
ESG will be the key theme discussed in corporate boardrooms in 2022 (and beyond). The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) brought the climate crisis to the forefront of the political arena. Extreme weather events and a push for green recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic have emphasized the need for urgent action. COP26 stressed that both private and public finance is required to fund technology for a low-carbon economy. Every financial decision must take the climate into account. Market mechanisms are driving the closure of the climate action feedback loop, where companies will increasingly pledge climate action to win stakeholder approval, driving competitive advantage.
The lack of cooperation between nations, a feature of geopolitics throughout COVID-19, will continue into 2022. The competition evident during COVID-19 suggests that it will be tough to engender the cooperation needed to tackle core issues such as the climate crisis. The semiconductor company TSMC and Samsung’s dominance will not be challenged in 2022. Once TSMC’s three-nanometer is put into high volume production next year, Apple and Intel will likely be the first to benefit. The global chip shortage will continue into 2022 but will improve in H2 as US and European integrated device manufacturers and foundry companies increase their capacity. One of the geopolitical weaknesses of Western countries that arose in 2021 was a lack of control over the mining and refining of raw materials, demonstrated by the threat of a Chinese ban on rare earth element (REE) exports. Therefore, state-sponsored attempts from Western countries to build regional or national raw material supply chains and move away from reliance on China will continue in 2022.
Greater regulation will increase compliance costs for businesses. Growing public awareness of data privacy issues puts pressure on countries to enact stricter data privacy laws, creating new compliance requirements for businesses. In addition, greater national data privacy regulations will increase compliance costs as it will become more expensive to store local user data overseas. Fragmented data privacy regulations within the US and globally will create uncertainty for businesses as they face a range of distinct compliance requirements. The absence of an agreement between the EU and the US on data transfers will add to the uncertainty surrounding the legality of transatlantic data transfers. Deregulation will also increase legal uncertainty and risk for businesses. Companies that have adapted their businesses to comply with GDPR risk being burdened with new compliance rules.
5G adoption will increase steadily in 2022, driven by the APAC market. Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, 5G adoption and revenue will increase worldwide in 2022, fueled by further network launches and coverage improvements. North America will have the highest 5G penetration by population in 2022. The disaggregation of the radio access network, known as Open RAN, enables a more competitive ecosystem of RAN vendors and will result in reduced costs, improved security, and greater innovation. 6G will not be ready for commercial deployment until the 2030 timeframe. However, the leading countries and companies are already beginning to set the standards for the next generation
Annual EV production will exceed 10 million units by 2025. Electric vehicles (EVs) as a proportion of new light vehicle production will rise from 5% in 2021 to 11% in 2025. Many automakers have now committed to electrification, but Tesla’s brand equity may prove problematic for BMW, Mercedes, and others in the premium space. The shift towards EVs has been primarily driven by legislative changes to meet ESG targets, but momentum is also becoming demand led. In the short term, the lithium shortage will have little impact on large players with a vertically integrated supply chain, like Tesla and Toyota. By 2025, the first solid-state battery-powered EVs will hit roads, likely costing much more than regular lithium-ion versions. By 2030, solid-state batteries will be introduced in mass-market EVs.
This report will provide you with the insight to decide where to focus and invest in the short term, so your business will see success in the long term. Themes include those that have been around for years but will experience significant developments in 2022, such as cloud computing and social media. The most disruptive, nascent themes such as augmented reality, ambient commerce, and the metaverse have also been extensively analyzed to ensure they do not pass you by.
- Analysis of the 30 most important themes impacting the TMT sector, classified into three groups: technology, macroeconomic, and regulatory. These include ESG, metaverse, AI, the future of work, and data privacy.
- A series of quantitative and qualitative predictions for each theme in 2022, including market forecasts. Infographics are provided for each theme to justify key predictions using survey results and data from GlobalData’s patents, jobs, deals, company filings, and social media analytics databases. Winners and losers are identified in each theme using data from thematic scorecards, driven by GlobalData’s unique thematic methodology.
- An overview of M&A deals from 2021. Predictions of target companies for acquisition in 2022 in 17 sub-sectors and themes across the hardware, software and services, and internet and media sectors.
Reasons to Buy
- Position yourself for future success by investing in the most important tech, regulatory, and macroeconomic themes in the TMT industry. Informed by GlobalData’s analysts, we provide recommendations on the actions you should take in each theme to improve your standing.
- Source the leading vendors for the most disruptive themes in the TMT industry from our winners’ lists and shortlist potential partners based on their areas of expertise.
- Quickly identify attractive investment targets by understanding which companies are the most advanced in the themes that will determine future success in the TMT industry.
- Quantify the global sales opportunity for disruptive tech services by accessing GlobalData’s market size and forecasts, produced by technology, healthcare, automotive, retail, banking, aerospace, defense, and security analysts.
- Gain a competitive advantage in the future of the TMT industry by reading this report in conjunction with another multi-theme report, Tech, Media, & Telecom Themes 2022, which is organized by sector.
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Table of Contents
Top Themes for 2022
Top 30 Themes