Telenor Research in its latest Tech Trends report unveils green clouds, a battle for optimisation, and climate enlightenment through digital micro degrees and greenfluencers are some of the trends that will come to the aid in 2022 to deliver a more sustainable future for the planet.
Undoubtedly, 2021 was a another year of extreme weather events and record-breaking temperatures. These underline the challenges humans, wildlife, and nature come face to face with a changing climate. Yet, despite the gloomy outlook, technological advancements and an accelerating digitalisation of society give reasons for hope.
“People everywhere are waking up to the need to act on climate change and environmental degradation. For us in Telenor, it is key to understand how technology can both avoid being part of the problem and help in the transition,” says Bjørn Taale Sandberg, Head of Telenor Research.
In the seventh edition of the report, Sandberg and his team of researchers have taken a stab at forecasting how technological progress in 2022 can enable green transformation. The report also provides three tips to businesses on how they can avoid becoming victims of the ‘great resignation’ when the pandemic hopefully comes to a close:
1. Green clouds on the horizon
The immense growth in data usage drives demand for energy. Edge data centres and 5G will help make data transfer more energy efficient.
As the digitalisation of society continues to accelerate, cloud computing has seen explosive growth. Moving data requires energy, and data centres globally account for more than one per cent of the world’s energy consumption. The good news is that Edge computing is expected to take over some of the workloads in the coming year.
“We believe that energy efficient Edge data centres reachable from mobile devices over 5G networks will start popping up, at an increasing rate, in 2022. As a result, energy will also be saved in data distribution networks since part of the data traffic and electricity will be transferred locally only,” explains Sandberg.
2. Big appetite for climate micro-degrees
Employees are not willing to wait for their companies to get climate friendly. They want to act, and they are impatient to learn how.
“A growing number of businesses will implement green micro-degrees and courses as part of their ‘curriculum’ to slake the green knowledge thirst among employees. The businesses that fail to facilitate opportunities to acquire green online learning credentials on-the-job risk being perceived as less attractive in the eyes of new talent,” predicts Sandberg.
3. Optimise everything
The greatest machine – the human brain – runs on a modest 20 watts. Now, the heat for optimisation is on for our electron guzzling gadgets and servers.
While ever greater numbers of electronic devices and solutions are enabling humans to lead more convenient lives, the International Energy Agency calls for smarter and more efficient electrical appliances. We believe the global need for greater energy efficiency will trigger an “optimisation of everything” battle between consumer electronics manufacturers.
4. Here come the greenfluencers!
Influencers who ignore young people’s climate engagement dig their own social media grave.
“Influencers who appear oblivious or indifferent to climate challenges will be perceived as outdated. Instead, followers will flock to influencers who demonstrate climate awareness regardless of niche. Marketers will turn their attention in the same direction,” predicts Sandberg.
5. Don’t lose out on the ‘lost generation’
Companies that don’t take the next generation’s expectations seriously risk facing great resignation.
The home office is here to stay, but despite the benefits and obvious positive climate impact we get from reduced travel, research indicates that the pros do not outweigh the cons for everyone, especially the young. During the continuation of the pandemic, it will be tough for the young to establish and grow a personal network and acquire a general understanding of the corporate lingo and culture, as forming new social relations using only digital communication is much more challenging.
As a consequence, many companies will in 2022 find that large groups of young employees who never got a proper onboarding are likely to struggle – unless good leadership is exercised.