Since my last blog post on this topic, I think that you would agree that the universe of emerging technologies is rapidly changing. Let’s step back and assess the emerging technology landscape a bit further in the mobile operator and enterprise markets.
What comes to mind when referring to “emerging technologies?”
- A theoretical or lab experiment?
- Securing the long-tail new product business pipeline?
- A hybrid of these two examples?
My top five emerging technology areas for organizations to consider in 2022 are as follows:
1) Quantum Networking and Security Services
We are experiencing a digital transformation for the past several decades that impacts our society. Quantum networking and security services are just the tip of the iceberg. We can attest that the first quantum revolution has introduced quantum technology to our lives in the form of compute power manifested in smart phones, medical imaging devices, lasers, and micro-electronic components.
A second revolution is in progress which goes further with Quantum Key Distribution and Quantum Random Number Generators with a focus on networking and security. The best way to think about quantum is safe virtual private networks (VPNs).
Exploration and service development are already underway with these examples from Verizon and Microsoft. The GSMA published a paper on Quantum Computing and Networking Security
While we may be 20 years away from a full Quantum Internet and Quantum Networking and Security, we do offer an opportunity to develop services that can enhance a security portfolio.
2) Blockchain Interoperability
Distributed Ledger Technology, or DLT, is an umbrella term used to describe technologies which store, distribute and facilitate the exchange of value between users, either privately or publicly.
Blockchain is one type of DLT. DLT and blockchain are often used interchangeably though to be precise, there is a distinction.
While FinTech has been a blockchain early adopter, the use of blockchain has extended across verticals to include mobile operators and enterprises. The common use of blockchain has been for automation in lieu of MS Excel spreadsheets.
Use cases examples have been blockchain for wholesale roaming, third-party supply chain management across verticals, news source verification, and education credentials.
Blockchain interoperability will possess its own sets of complexities specific to the backend operations and management systems which creates opportunity to develop solutions to address these macro level concerns.
3) 5G Security
In decomposing 5G, the most important opportunity is assessing threats and developing a posture of security within the 5G space. This will be significant for the industry as 5G security impacts critical infrastructure.
Several excellent examples of 5G security are offered by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), AT&T and GSMA.
There is no doubt 5G security will be pivotal for 2022 and beyond.
4) Enhanced Privacy Techniques and Passwordless
What do we mean by “enhanced privacy techniques” and passwordless?
The simple explanation of passwordless is for an organization’s employees to be able to login to their work accounts and devices without the need for a password.
Passwordless is an authentication mechanism and enhances the employee experience rather than complication. Remembering passwords is challenging. 92% of business leaders believe that passwordless is the future, according to LastPass by LogMeIn.
Single Sign On [SSO] or Multi-factor authentication [MFA] are examples of passwordless implementations.
Enhanced privacy technologies are structured to prevent data leakage. Some examples include an alphabet soup of like:
- Differential Privacy.
- Homomorphic Encryption.
- Secure Multiparty Computation.
- Zero Knowledge Proofs.
While the names may be daunting, at a simple level, there is no attribution to personal identifiable information or what is commonly referred to in the industry as PII. Though these technologies have been developing over years, we could imagine examples of implementation in 2022 and beyond.
5) Ethics in AI-Extended Reality and Data
Finally, underpinning these technologies are ethics in Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Extended Reality and Data.
Ethics in this context does not mean compliance but a new conversation on what “responsible handling of data” looks like organizationally. Foundationally, trust is core to this growing space of ethics. Who do you trust? Why? What happens when that trust is broken?
Self-Sovereign Identity, or SSI, is an example involving selective disclosure, however, the currency in ethics, though an oxymoron, is gaining industry attention as there is direct impact to a company’s name and brand. We could imagine evolving metrics in this ethics discussion that include talent development and board room discussions.
I look forward to sharing more insights throughout this year and delving more deeply into these emerging technology examples.
With more than 25 years’ experience as a global technology leader, Monique is senior distinguished architect at Syniverse where her main role and responsibilities is to provide thought leadership and to help the strategic direction and vision for Syniverse’s identified emerging technologies across the company, partners and industry forum. Her specific focus areas include extensions of Distributed Ledger Technology [DLT] and other emerging components of blockchain technologies to Syniverse’s lines of business and enterprise. Emerging technology areas include DLT interoperability; zero knowledge proofs/data anonymization, trust and identity, and mobile payments.