2021 was, to say the least, an eventful year that brought both challenges and technological leaps. As we leave it behind it’s time to look forward to what’s next, with a focus on the big things that will affect rugged computing. Will we see another challenging year or will it be downhill from here? These are the trends to watch 2022.
The expanding 5G network
With a top-end phone in your pocket and time spent in the bigger cities, you have probably experienced the speed of the 5G network. This year the networks will undoubtedly keep expanding and more compatible devices will circulate. The 5G trend to watch in 2022 is an increasing amount of stand-alone networks as well as private networks.
The implementation of private 5G networks by companies could help immensely with automating factories and data collection. With increased digitalization, rugged computers should see increased use. Watch for more 5G compatible rugged devices.
Industrial implementation of IoT
IoT is already so much more than just smart home speakers, it now ties into self-driving cars, automation and data collection. It goes hand-in-hand with many of the other trends to watch which should speed up adoption even more.
- 5G will increase its effectiveness and enable more use cases.
- Monitoring environmental impact and climate change will become easier with IoT.
- More connected machines and devices means a greater need for cybersecurity.
- Automated factories and high-tech machinery will drive semiconductor demand.
The increase of IoT will of course need to be monitored and controlled by a computer, which in tough environments like factories or the agriculture business, means rugged computers and tablets.
Climate change and sustainability
The threat of climate change is real, it will be felt by everyone and every single industry will have to improve its sustainability. The problem has existed for a long time but more eyes are being opened and there is a demand for sustainable production. Rugged computers can help with important data collection for research as well as monitoring. This will see an increased role as companies will need to back up their claims of reduced emissions.
Reducing consumption and the speed at which we replace everything around us will be a key aspect as well, not just for individuals but for companies. Enter rugged computers and environmental cost of ownership. It is quite simple really, a consumer device will break where a rugged computer won’t. A shorter lifespan means it needs to be replaced faster and cause more emissions. Devices made to last will make our resources last, an important trend to watch for several reasons.
Cyberattacks a scary trend to watch
This ties into the first two trends on the list. Increasing digitalization, automation and connectivity in general will, unfortunately, lead to more targets for cyberattacks. 2021 was another record year for cyberattacks and saw an increase of 50%. The trend shows no sign of slowing down and attacks can be extremely costly.
Companies will have to protect themselves, invest in secure software as well as compatible hardware. One of the keys is keeping devices updated and to use the latest operating systems where vulnerabilities are removed. We should see more rugged computers updated to later versions of Android.
Will supply chain issues continue in 2022?
The pandemic has made supply chains a major headache. Causing both a global semiconductor shortage and skyrocketing shipping costs. So how will these trends develop in 2022?
When it comes to shipping, there’s both good and bad news. Container shortage looks to be going in the right direction and securing freight will become less of a challenge. The bad news is that shipping rates are predicted to remain high. It is hard to predict but the shipping fleet will not increase significantly until 2023. On top of that hard Covid lockdowns in China and Hong Kong could cause increased costs due to worker shortage.
Semiconductor production capacity has increased which should reduce the problem. However, demand keeps rising as well, so what will happen to the supply and demand balance? Experts are predicting that the shortage will lessen but the demand still outweighs the supply.
In the end, it seems like the problems will remain but slowly lessen. It will come down to how skillfully companies navigate the supply chain problems. Compared to 2021, where no one was exempt from the problems, good logistics and planning will make more of a difference.