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Predictions Series 2022: AiThority Interview with Matt Watts, Chief Technology Evangelist, NetApp

The evolution of technology is constant, driving organizations to continually invest in digital transformation initiatives. Where will the technology evolution lead in 2022? As part of our ongoing Predictions Series, we chatted with NetApp’s Chief Evangelist, Matt Watts. Matt explains the top technology trends that are forecasted to gain momentum in 2022 and beyond as the digital transformation accelerates. 

Matt, please tell us about your current role and the vision you have for the technology industry?

Matt: I am the Chief Evangelist Executive (CTE) at NetApp.  As CTE, I provide guidance on NetApp’s overall strategy and technology solutions to a wide base of customers and the global partner community.

I am also part of the international leadership team providing advice and guidance on technology and transformation. Prior to this role, I Project Managed a number of significant IT projects; managed System Engineers responsible for providing installation and onsite support; as well as oversaw IT outsourcing contracts. This experience has given me contact with all levels of Leadership enabling him to understand, communicate with and support clients with their IT and transformation Strategies.

What’s your prediction for the Cloud computing market?|

Matt: Cloud adoption will accelerate as supply chain constraints drive information technology buyers to find alternatives to traditional on-premises infrastructure. This transition will increase demand from businesses for visibility into their data – how it is structured and where it is stored – to ensure efficient use of the computing capacity in the Cloud.

Companies that upgrade their IT networks and facilities for advanced analytics, automation, and advanced manufacturing technologies will most efficiently adapt to the Cloud.

IT skills are more valued today than ever before. Despite huge demand for talent, why do we see a skills shortage?

Matt:  According to Forrester, there will be fierce competition to retain and hire skilled IT workers, and companies will face a 13.8% attrition rate of IT personnel. To retain talent and thrive through the shortage of skilled workers, organizations need to focus on training and education programs for current employees. IT managers can also invest in technologies that remedy the labor and skills gap such as low code, No-code and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.

Latest Cloud Analytics News: NetApp Continues to Power Ducati into the Next MotoGP World Championship

Could you tell us about your idea of AI applications for Edge computing? 

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Matt: AI adoption at the Edge is going to rule in 2022.

The adoption of AI technology at the edge of networks will continue to accelerate across the manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, entertainment, and hospitality industries. For example, the agriculture and food processing industries will use AI for harvesting and packaging. An explosion in ‘Tiny Machine Learning’ chipsets for low-cost and resource-constrained devices such as remote sensors that can collect and process data at the edge will drive this trend. These chipsets will fuel the ever-growing edge-core-cloud data pipeline, which industries will need to access and leverage to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

Cloud management practices largely revolve around analytics and optimization. What’s the best approach to include these as part of Digital Transformation journeys in the modern era?

Matt: Data analytics and optimization of digital services will drive increased return on investment (ROI) in Cloud adoption throughout the public and private sectors. For example, cloud financial operations (FinOps) will improve through increased automation and the development of smarter applications. Cloud providers will deliver more services through containerized solutions and microservices.

Where is Quantum Computing headed to in 2022?

Matt: I foresee an explosive Quantum Computing acceleration in the coming year.

Quantum computing will accelerate as major IT players and startups use the technology for complex tasks such as drug discovery, financial risk calculation, automotive battery design, and supply chain optimization. Organizations will be more vocal about their quantum computing strategy in 2022, sharing how they will deliver quantum computing as a service to their customers and overcome challenges such as building a data pipeline into the quantum computing Cloud.

What’s your take on making IT processes more sustainable?

Matt:  Sustainability is a  huge challenge.

For me, sustainability and net-zero carbon emission targets will continue to be a top priority for organizations. Enterprise customers will demand transparency from companies on their sustainability practices and throughout supply chains. Hyperscale data centers will drive innovation in data center design and operations that increase resource utilization and incentivize customers to understand and use the appropriate data storage and processing technologies for their businesses.”

Thank you Matt for sharing your predictions with us. We look forward to chatting with you again.

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