Major themes that persisted throughout the year included applying analytics to supply chain problems, mainstream use of AI, and infrastructure to access data.
Throughout 2022, businesses moved past COVID-19 and focused on the future. Many took the innovations and technologies they quickly embraced to deal with the pandemic’s disruptions and looked to apply them in a more systematic way to normal operations.
Major themes that persisted throughout the year included applying analytics and other technologies to solving supply chain issues, the mainstream embracement of artificial intelligence (AI), and making use of infrastructure that helps make the right data available at the right time for analysis.
Before digging into these areas, the big elephant in the room was the growing importance of cloud in all things related to analytics, AI, machine learning (ML), and other areas. Cloud databases became incredibly important. Data warehouses, data lakes, data lakehouses, and more were at the heart of many operations. Connectors and other technologies helped provide access to the data stored in cloud databases. And cloud compute power accelerated many AI and ML projects.
Recognizing these trends, we launched CloudDataInsights, a sister site to RTInsights that focuses on cloud migration, data integration, data infrastructure, data platforms and architecture, artificial intelligence and machine learning, governance, and security.
2022 RTInsights key trends
Tackling supply chain problems
Perhaps the biggest holdover from the pandemic, where businesses were looking to apply real-time technology and analytics, was the extended impact of supply chain troubles. Problems persisted in many fields, from manufacturing to retail.
Some approaches employed to address supply chain issues included the use of digital twins, deeper knowledge of real-time conditions via the use of IoT and better geo-location techniques, and tightly integrating analytics with supply chain management. Here is a sampling of our coverage:
- Study Finds Innovation-Led Supply Chain Officers Outperform Peers
- Digital Twins and Surviving the Next Supply Chain Disruption
- 5 Ways Analytics Are Disrupting Supply Chain Management
- Why Digital Infrastructure Is Key to Achieving Supply Chain Resiliency
AI goes mainstream in 2022
Artificial intelligence made great inroads in 2022. While AI has been used for years, many efforts were one-off applications. The technology was often applied to narrowly-defined problems. And any work was normally done by specialized teams.
This year, AI became a more common go-to tool in a wide array of application areas. Some businesses were using it to improve operations, speed product development, or improve the customer experience. Some of our top articles in this area include:
- How Artificial Intelligence Improves Software Development
- How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Customer Experience
- Nationwide’s ‘Bionic’ Customer Service Push
- Artificial Intelligence to Drive Safer Highways Program
Focus on the data: accessing it, sharing it, transporting it
The phrase “data is the new oil” was prevalent throughout the year. The analogy being that, like oil, raw data is only valuable when it is gathered quickly, connected to other data sources, and processed.
A wide variety of technologies were used by businesses to make that happen. Some efforts focused on providing access to data via APIs, others explored data fabrics, still others made use of things like event-driven architectures (EDAs), and some sought ways to easily integrate different data sources together. Here are some of the top articles that highlighted the challenges and showed the benefit of these approaches:
- Data Fabric vs. Data Mesh: Key Differences and Similarities
- Are Industry-Specific APIs the New Norm?
- Building Event-Driven Architectures for Edge Environments
- The Evolution of iPaaS Will Drive Modern Business
During the latter half of the year, there was great interest in AI being used to generate things. Some tools generated images from text, while others wrote text from seed words.
The field is nascent. And there are many questions about the use of the technology. What governs digital rights with the generated items? What sources are being used to produce authoritative-sounding content? This is certainly a field that will be important in the coming year. Those interested in these new tools and techniques can look at this sampling of our coverage to get started: