In 2022, European technology leaders can expect less volatility than in 2021 (not a high bar to clear!), but it won’t be smooth sailing. Brexit’s impact will become clear as COVID-19 recedes, and regulators will draft new rules to protect Europeans as they work from home. Here are some of Forrester’s most important predictions that will impact European technology leaders’ planning for 2022:

  • Politicians will have to give up their dreams of a sovereign European cloud, but Gaia-X’s transparency and data usage standards will conquer the world. US-based cloud hyperscalers met European customers’ requirements by clearly describing their existing capabilities, partnering more with local companies, and delivering a few new features. Thus, Gaia-X never stood a chance as Europe’s sovereign cloud, but it has pushed providers to be more explicit about how they protect customer data, to the benefit of all. Gaia-X has also kick-started standards for transparency and data usage and raised the profile of initiatives like the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), which is developing mechanisms to govern the sharing (or selling) of data.
  • 60% of businesses (in Europe and globally) will find themselves with more technical debt post-pandemic, not less. At a majority of European businesses, the 2020–2021 rush to digital resulted in a prioritisation of speed over maintainability, which will inflate their technical debt in 2022 and thus jeopardize their ability to modernise their IT organisations. At one company Forrester interviewed, a lack of shared accountability across business and IT and an IT organisation acting as an order-taker resulted in a patchwork of siloed digital services that left customers frustrated.
  • The chip shortage will impede overall internet of things (IoT) market growth by 10% to 15%. In early 2021, the entire world started suffering from an acute shortage of semiconductors. This dilemma will not be resolved until mid-2023, and many business and consumer products will struggle with availability and price increases throughout 2022. IoT devices will feel the pinch particularly hard because they generally use more mature sensors, microcontrollers, and communications technologies that have more significant availability issues than advanced chips like CPUs and graphics processing units. We predict the IoT chip shortage will shave 10% to 15% off IoT growth in 2022. IoT-based “smart” products like appliances, automobiles, and consumer electronics will be unavailable, delayed, or overpriced as a result. In turn, this will increase demand for “less smart” equivalents.

To dive even deeper into what we see for tech leaders in the coming year, check out our complimentary webinar for technology leaders on 25 November. I will talk with fellow analyst Paul McKay about further predictions that are important for next year (e.g., what do investments in automation look like, and what needs to be considered using tattleware?).

To understand all the major dynamics that will impact European businesses next year, download Forrester’s complimentary Predictions guide.