By Larry Williams, president and CEO, Technology Association of Georgia
Happy New Year! The technology ecosystem is moving into 2022 with momentum and a job market hungry for skilled talent. According to Microsoft, the U.S. is estimated to have 13 million new tech jobs by 2025. While this is good news for people with tech skills, it’s a risk for the innovation economy.
For our part, TAG is focused on helping close the skills gap and building capacity in our workforce. Our commitment is to the success of people—students pursuing knowledge, employees building skills and managers creating value. With the intense pace of digital disruption, educational, training, and development programs too often lag behind emerging technology. We’re here to guide members through this bumpy transition so they can thrive.
Below are some trends we’re watching in 2022 that will shape technology businesses and the ultra-competitive market for talent.
- Automation: As companies seek to lower costs and improve efficiency, there will be more chatbots for customer service, and AI will make automation smarter. Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will be deployed more to relieve employees of the burden of mundane and repetitive duties, allowing them to focus on more creative and inventive tasks. People who have skills in digital solutions for operations and maintenance business processes will be in high demand. Microsoft estimates about 1.5 million new jobs created in the U.S. in AI, machine learning and data analysis over the next three years. TAG’s Business Process Management Society will have a voice in these developments.
- Cybersecurity: Ransomware and other cyber threats will become more dangerous, and information privacy will become more important. Companies need tech workers with the skills to keep data safe and address digital vulnerabilities like Log4j, a piece of software that connects devices on the Internet. An additional 500,000 jobs in information security and privacy jobs are expected, according to Microsoft. The National Technology Security Coalition, which was created by TAG, is helping to upskill workers to tackle these challenges. TAG, along with the new Information Security Society, is also focused on capacity building in this space.
- Digital health: Our healthcare system faces major challenges. To name just a few, we have shortages of capacity, higher costs and COVID testing and treatment for millions of Americans. Technology will no doubt play a role by digitizing distribution of COVID tests and other solutions to make healthcare more widely available and efficient. AI is being used to speed diagnoses, and patients are using more internet of medical things devices to monitor health conditions. Telehealth are telepsychiatry are other trends shaping healthcare. Thanks to TAG’s Digital Health Society for addressing these issues in an ecosystem report being issued in 2022.
- Supply chain: Recent supply chain problems aren’t going away. Companies need to be creative in deploying digital solutions to make supply chains more agile. AI can improve forecasting for inventory and delivery, and crowdsourcing can keep goods moving through the last mile and make sure the goods we need are on store shelves. TAG’s Supply Chain, Logistics and Manufacturing Society addressed these and other trends in its ecosystem report, and I’m looking forward to the solutions this group will come up with in 2022.
The unemployment rate for tech workers is negative 3 percent, and it’s probably going to go deeper into negative territory as some 11 million new software jobs in software development and cloud and data are added in the next three years, according to Microsoft. We should invest more in tech training and development to fill the gap. Our economy needs many more men and women with tech skills to fix our supply chains and develop solutions to other major problems our society is facing in 2022 and beyond.