Blockchain, cloud, and cyberdefense technologies are among the most pressing issues IT consultants will address in 2022.

In addition, IT consultants are likely to see requests for additional niche services and increasing interest in AI and data analytics.

Just as customers seek help with complex technology solutions, there’s a growing demand for consulting services that will break through and help drive revenue and ease operational complexity. Here is a closer look at some of the biggest trends in IT consulting in 2022.

1. Blockchain Is Ready for its Big Break

Blockchain technologies have been in the news a great deal in recent months. The volatile pricing of cryptocurrencies and the emergence of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have been ever-present.

Despite the hype, blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies are being used with regularity, producing major gains in productivity. Companies are considering and using blockchain in new, innovative ways, including for identity management, brand recognition, certifications, copyrights, and management of tangible and digital assets. Emerging technologies and regulatory decisions are allowing for increased use of these technologies. In short, blockchain is going mainstream. For larger companies, these tools are allowing for new value and revenue while startups are seeing the possibilities of disruptive new business models.

2. Cloud Goes Vertical

In the earliest days of digital transformation, cloud solutions were nearly identical, offering ample storage capabilities offsite for apps, data, and operating systems. As digital transformation enters a new stage, the cloud is evolving. Today, cloud providers are working with industry verticals to develop modular, specific cloud solutions for different industries. That means businesses will be able to assemble apps and app bundles as opposed to devoting resources to creating those software solutions. Business processes will increasingly become commodities to be purchased. The change will allow companies to focus more on strategy and differentiation and less on development.

Cloud Platforms

3. Smarter Technologies Drive Smarter Decisions

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics are profoundly transforming businesses at every level. Combining the three can revolutionize how businesses operate and perform.

Consider, for example, the power of data analytics to manage, collect, sort, and report on massively large data sets. Data analytics can detect patterns and pinpoint both opportunities and bottlenecks.

By applying machine learning technologies to those data sets, the insights can be even more profound. Machine learning adapts and grows the longer it works with data and the more data it can analyze.

In the past, many data analytics tools have been siloed. However, integrated data analytics will drive better analytics by providing a single point of access to data located in myriad locations and in structured and unstructured formats.

Artificial intelligence will continue to adapt and find new ways to use data to optimize operations and maximize profits.

4. The Metaverse Gains Interest

Virtual reality, augmented reality and extended reality are already popular, even if most people know of their capabilities from video games. However, the metaverse (or metaverses) will continue to gain traction and interest. The possibilities for business to leverage artificial realities and spaces is just beginning to be understood well. But the ability to enter, engage in, and immerse oneself in a virtual space is an intriguing opportunity and one that is likely to be rife with business opportunities.

The main question will be, at first, for most companies will be, “How can I establish my brand in these virtual spaces?” Already, companies from Facebook to Disney to Microsoft are building metaverse platforms. The space will be worth watching.

5. Expertise Finds Its Niche

Denver IT consultants have long valued their roles in providing broad spectrums of advice and insights across multiple technologies and platforms. There will continue to be value for those service experts. However, clients increasingly are seeking specialized IT expertise related to their business, industry, or location.

Subject matter experts will be in increasing demand in 2022 and beyond. Customers today are looking less for short-term engagements and more for long-term relationships that can help with broader strategies and specific needs in specific technical spaces.

For consultants, that means offering services that appeal to businesses of multiple types, able to respond to the needs of a varied and diverse customer base.

Consultants will also be wise to see technology not as the end but as the means. Technology solutions need to inform strategy, not the opposite.

6. Balance Grows Between Core and Non-Core Activities

Core technologies – those that add customer value and grow revenue — have not often been the focus of many consulting engagements in IT. Instead, the interest has been in focusing on non-core tasks – those that are focused on operational efficiency and business processes. Often, those decisions were made because technology itself was considered a non-core space, a way to improve internal work.

Today, however, technology is increasingly seen as a core driver of business strategy, decision-making, and results. That means technology is playing a growing role in core consulting engagements.

7. Pay-as-you-go Technology Models Increase in Popularity

Many IT vendors are now offering pay-as-you-go models with private clouds. Such an approach provides flexibility for businesses that can use private infrastructure as a service (IaaS) more efficiently and affordably than public cloud models.

The private clouds can run their workloads and store their data in their own data centers, often at a lower cost than public clouds. Stability and price make private clouds an increasingly popular choice and one that does not require the elastic resources required of a public cloud commitment.

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