A handshake between a human hand and a digital hand.
Image: peshkova/Adobe Stock

Since the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the traditional workplace, affecting nearly every industry. The tech sector, which has been ahead of the curve in terms of flexible work policy, has been on the roller coaster as well but has remained remarkably resilient.

Deloitte’s 14th annual Tech Trends report , released on Wednesday, takes a look at the current state of enterprises when it comes to IT. The Deloitte report focuses on the experience of global organizations, across industries, in order to ascertain what tech trends are on the horizon.

Deloitte employs a “wide-angle lens” to predict what’s happening, according to Mike Bechtel, chief futurist and managing director at Deloitte. The 18-24 month future-view is based on the idea that enterprise budgets are already set for the next 12-18 months, and this is the “Goldilocks zone” that can help tech leaders think towards planning for the future.

SEE: Research: Digital transformation initiatives focus on collaboration (TechRepublic Premium)

Bill Briggs, global chief technology officer and principal at Deloitte, is quoted in the press release about the report as stating that “transformation should be business and mission led, powered by AI, fueled by technology providers big and small, with a goal to make and shape new markets.” He added that the tech trends report can help organizations build something “significant, sustainable and future-friendly for tomorrow.”

The state and future of IT tenants and multicloud

According to this new Deloitte Tech Trends report, IT has a long history of change, but its three tenets — interaction, information and computation — have remained steady forces. The Deloitte report takes a look at these three tenants and the direction that each one is moving towards.

User experiences will become easier

One of the big findings from the report is that while the tools we use, from tablets to IoT to smartphones, are becoming more sophisticated, the end user’s experience is actually getting simpler. Interaction, the core tenant of IT, is predicted to go even smoother for the person at the other end of the technology, in other words.

AI will become integrated into IT systems

It’s no secret that AI is now fueling business growth and that this trend is positioned to continue. The IT tenant of information encompasses not only data but also predictions from machine learning. Deloitte claims in the new report that machine learning will become more “well-rounded.” Designing AI systems we can trust is critical, the report states.

Computation will expand

According to Deloitte, our machines are getting smaller yet even more capable of solving large and complex problems — a trend that the analysts believe will “continue unabated.”

Businesses are simplifying multicloud management

In addition, our last decade of multicloud deployments have resulted in “considerable complexity in cloud management,” according to the report. To simplify, enterprises are employing the metacloud, which provides “a common layer of abstraction and automation” and can help businesses run more smoothly, increase flexibility and grow faster.

Growth predicted for the metaverse and AR

Technology like the metaverse and augmented reality will continue to grow.

“Companies are trusting in the promise of an immersive internet to build lucrative business models around the unique capabilities afforded by ‘unlimited reality,'” the report states.

Top 3 newer macro tech categories

In addition to these solid forces, Deloitte spotted tech trends in three newer macro categories: The business of technology, cyber and trust, and core modernization. The report details trends in the tech workforce, blockchain and mainframe modernization.

A value-based approach to tech workforce trends

When it comes to the tech workforce, “savvy organizations are creating new IT structures and roles to better align with available talent supply,” Deloitte observed, rather than competing with a narrow pool of engineers. This value-based approach leads to an expanded set of skills as well as better business outcomes.

Blockchain technology will still be important for digital assets

The promise of blockchain technology still grows, even with uncertainty around cryptocurrency.

“As blockchain-powered ‘trustless ecosystems’ evolve into Web3, they’re becoming key to the creation and monetization of digital assets,” the report said.

Mainframes are having a renaissance

In terms of mainframes, Deloitte says they’re having a renaissance. Enterprises are now “using middleware to link core systems to new-generation computing technologies such as graphics processing unit-based supercomputers, as well as innovative user interfaces that provide promising new paths into cloud-based analytics, AI and ML,” the report said.

Why trust is the most important factor

The big takeaway? Trust is key. The Deloitte report calls trust the “central element” among the trends. This is partly due to the fact that technological capability might be a lesser hurdle than the “confidence in adopting it,” according to the report.

“Trust trumps tech,” Bechtel said. “The biggest surprise this year might have been the degree to which both ‘immersive internet’ — such as virtual reality, augmented reality, metaverse — and “Web3” technologies are quietly beginning to move the needle for established firms.”

Nearly everyone Deloitte works with is trying to use emerging tech to get ahead — the report looked at the extended tech such as spaceTech, bioTech, neuroTech, robotTech, climateTech and energyTech.

Still, none of this will really work unless “it’s understandable, trustworthy and used in service of business problems worth solving,” Bechtel added.

If your staff doesn’t reflect these tech trends, download these readymade hiring kits from TechRepublic Premium for a Blockchain Engineer , User Experience Specialist , AI Architect and Cloud Engineer .