Top 2022 technology trends from iManage

Experts from iManage offer their top trends for 2022 across security, cloud, AI, remote working, and more.


Blockchain will disrupt traditional security approaches

Mark Richman, Principal Product Manager, Cloud Platform, iManage said, “following its success in other industries, especially finance and identity management, blockchain technology is persistently gaining traction across industries, and in 2022 it will reach critical mass to play a disruptive role in defining Web 3.0. Fundamentally, blockchain is predicated on things like maintaining a secure and immutable record of transactions of any kind. The rise of blockchain-based ‘smart contracts’ will, over time, fundamentally change the way many of us interact with digital content. The cryptographic underpinnings of this technology will provide enhanced visibility and transparency in the event of attempts from cyber threat actors to tamper with data or corrupt the blockchain system. Technology vendors will actively utilise this technology within their systems and solutions to bolster the integrity of the solutions they deliver.”

Compliance with country-specific data privacy laws will make flexible, distributed cloud architecture a default requirement

Mark said,with the relentless attack by cybercriminals to steal confidential and personal data, individual countries – especially in Europe – are developing their own data protection and privacy laws. To confidently comply with these ever-growing regulations, organisations will demand that their cloud services provider both stores and processes data in the jurisdiction that it is created. This will make a flexible, distributed, security-first cloud architecture a fundamental requirement for organisations, as anything less will greatly limit their operational flexibility.”

Security and risk

The risk scorecard

Aaron Rangel, Director of Product Management, iManage said, “it’s time for a ‘risk scorecard' that allows an organisation to benchmark risk and compliance by looking at several key areas across the organisation. This encompasses not just need-to-know security or the ability to actively monitor threats in real-time, but also the ability to effectively address systemic risk. Are documents being declared as records? Is content being purged on a regular basis? Are all departments within the organisation using the proper collaboration tools or only some? This type of systemic risk is one of the easiest threats to overlook, which also makes it one of the most insidious.”

User adoption Is critical for security

Aaron said, “the importance of user adoption is usually spoken of in terms of increased productivity – but what about security? For example, if you found out that only 50 per cent of your organisation was using the enterprise document management system, where’s all the other content being stored? Is it on someone's hard drive? Is it in the ‘Sent’ folder of someone’s email, or in some consumer file-sharing service that isn’t sanctioned for use by the firm? What happens if that information is compromised in any way, and how will you be able to tell? Ultimately, a low level of user adoption is a big driver of risk – and firms only benefit from the technologies they’ve invested in if those technologies are being used consistently. In 2022, organisations will pay attention to adoption from a security standpoint.”

Artificial Intelligence

AI’s great disappearing act

Nick Thomson, General Manager of AI at iManage said, “AI will continue its disappearing act, instead of being plugged into the back of applications. When AI is productised like this, customers don’t have to worry about how to use it or how to wire all the different pieces together – the AI simply becomes part of a product that they can easily take advantage of. Because of this productisation trend, you’ll start to see increasing consolidation among AI vendors for the simple reason that it doesn't make a lot of sense for tech vendors to each build their own AI engine for their application to sit on top of.”

“Thanks, AI – But How Exactly Did You Reach That Decision?”

Nick added, “increasingly, there’s a need for greater explainability with AI. Users need to be able to say how and why the AI arrived at a particular decision rather than just writing off AI as a ‘black box’ whose thought process is totally opaque. Because AI is being used to assist with both process automation (extracting clauses from mountains of contracts, for example) as well as decision-making (applying rules and logic to the information that’s been extracted), there needs to be more explainability at that decision-making level. Making sure that the rules and the logic behind a decision are not just fully explainable to a human being but also defensible are key to ensuring that AI isn’t inadvertently making bad decisions based on poorly trained models, unintentional bias, or other faulty logic.”

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