Top digital transformation trends for 2022

A mountainous landscape at twilight shows a winding road photographed with long exposure, so that the roadway is lined with light from the top of a mountain to the valley below. The photo is meant to indicate how digital transformation trends shift and wind over time.

  1. Cloud-enabled content services
  2. Federated repositories
  3. Interoperability
  4. Intelligent automation
  5. Artificial intelligence
  6. Digital asset management (DAM)
  7. Low-code app development
  8. Managed services

Business patterns of the past couple of years have affirmed the critical role that digital transformation trends play in an organization’s ability to carry out its mission.

Forward-thinking organizations must focus their efforts on enabling their people, and the people they serve, to thrive in the more distributed, more digitalized world we’re living in.

In 2022, it’s on leaders to not just innovate, but also take what’s worked and expand on it, so teams can continue to work more efficiently and collaborate more effectively in the face of unpredictable and rapid change.

Here are the most promising, accessible and impactful technology solutions for organizations to focus on launching — or perfecting — in 2022.

Digital transformation trend opportunities for 2022

Cloud-enabled content services will help manage your widely dispersed workforce.

#1. Cloud-enabled content services

Why it should be on your radar:

  • The widely dispersed remote workforce isn’t going anywhere.
  • ”Flexibility around how, where and when people work is no longer a differentiator, it’s now table stakes,” according to Harvard Business Review’s 11 trends that will shape work in 2022 an beyond.

Legacy systems weren’t designed to handle remote work at scale and immediacy, but your distributed workforce needs to stay connected.

Your content services platform (CSP) should be filling the gaps and integrating the content and process management between your other systems, whether it’s financial data, customer data, employee data or some other core business system. We all know that, for reasons of security, accessibility, performance, interoperability and ease of ownership, the future of most enterprise applications is in the cloud.

Cloud-enabled content services delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) models allow for accelerated deployments and elastic provisioning. You’ll be able to leverage open standards and take advantage of native integration to cloud services such as AWS. And, as you build your digital transformation roadmap around cloud-enabled content services, you empower your teams to solve business problems that non-cloud users just won’t be able to address.

The takeaway: Reasons to move to the cloud have shifted from cost savings and scalability to business continuity across the ecosystem. Content services solutions will continue down the path of being more and more cloud-centric, and SaaS- and PaaS-based content services will accelerate other digital transformation trends.

Federated repositories help you gain valuable insights from the data within them by providing users with content in context across applications and devices.

#2. Federated repositories

Why it should be on your radar:

  • Expecting teams to operate in siloed systems is no way to run a business, and leaders know it.
  • By federating repositories, you eliminate information silos and increase productivity across the enterprise.
  • Federated learning, an upward-trending AI collaboration technique, uses shared data from across servers to combat data shortages and better inform machine learning (ML) business operations

“By 2025, 80% of the largest global organizations will have participated at least once in Federated Machine Learning (FedML) to create more accurate, secure and environmentally sustainable models.”

A report by Gartner®, Innovation Insight for Federated Machine Learning


The shift embraces federated repositories, which help organizations access data previously locked in siloed systems. This allows them to supercharge their data analytics and capitalize on predictive business models.

Today, many of our organizations manage multiple content repositories — file systems, legacy content management applications and line-of-business applications. Your CSP needs to be equipped with deep integrations for your most important systems so that your content flows seamlessly among these applications to addresses your users’ needs.

The takeaway: By federating repositories, we gain valuable insights from the data within them. And, by integrating our content services platforms with our other core systems, we can provide users with content in context across applications and devices.

Interoperability helps you meet your users where they are and adopt processes that are user-friendly, accessible and distributed.

#3. Interoperability

Why it should be on your radar:

  • Technology users expect solutions to be interoperable with all of the business systems they rely on
  • Interoperability delivers enhanced experiences, greater efficiency and more convenience than ever before

To be ready for the future of work, content services platforms need to easily integrate with other cloud services and digital technologies. This interoperability means your CSP will be more accessible, making it easier to reach a broad array of users through a friendlier, user-centric approach to extending content outside the four walls of the organization. To achieve the security needed to enable such interoperability and accessibility, content solutions will rely on:

  • Distributed, blockchain-anchored, trusted networks
  • Certified documents
  • Digital credentials

Self-sovereign identity, the concept of giving individuals control of their digital identities, will also be a key feature of your content services platform of the future. In this future-state, we’ll all own our content/data, and we’ll be able share that data with others in a secure and revocable fashion. Self-sovereign identity will also go a long way toward preventing fraud and identity theft.

The takeaway: We must meet our users and their data where it’s at, and adopt processes that are user-friendly, accessible and distributed — all within the rights of the data owners.

Intelligent automation isn't just smart, it's inevitable, given the sheer volume of content our organizations manage.

#4. Intelligent automation

Why it should be on your radar:

  • Intelligent automation can unlock billions in economic value, including $68 billion for cubicle workers alone, according to a 2021 Forrester report, Intelligent Automation’s Value Spreads Beyond Cost Savings.
  • A tsunami of data is coming, and most organizations aren’t capable of extracting intelligence from it.

“As organizations grow — expanding into new markets, acquiring new customers, adding suppliers, offering new products — data and information are being created and collected at astounding rates, most often outpacing humans’ ability to manage it and keep pace. On average, information volume coming into organizations is expected to grow by 4.5X over the next two years, with nearly 60% of that information to be unstructured (like a contract or a conversation) or semi-structured (like an invoice or a form).”

AIIM’s State of the Intelligent Information Management Industry 2021


Intelligent automation (IA) is more than automating repetitive tasks; it can drive considerable value, from productivity intelligence and reduced human errors to optimized business continuity and enterprise scalability.

Intelligent automation solutions like cloud-based capture solutions build efficiency and resiliency into business processes and help you get the most from your content, information and people.

The takeaway: Given the sheer volume of content our organizations manage daily, capitalizing on intelligent automation opportunities isn’t just smart, it’s inevitable.

Artificial intelligence and analytics will enable us to leverage the full potential of the vast amounts of data stored in our content solutions in both structured and unstructured formats.

#5. Artificial intelligence

Why it should be on your radar:

  • Aggregating data is the first step in controlling content chaos.
  • Putting that data to work is just as critical — why gather the data if you can’t harvest insights from it?

Most organizations are gathering data, whether it’s structured or unstructured. As we process more and more content, artificial intelligence will play a vital role in enabling us to gain valuable insights from it.

Artificial intelligence can use machine learning and data analytics to boost productivity and help inform your business strategies. To identify trends and capitalize on data-driven results, AI solutions must learn from large sets of data — possibly aggregated with other big data from disparate sources.

Technology including data warehousing, data aggregation, data curation, data visualization and machine learning algorithms will all play an important role in unlocking the potential of AI.

In 2022 and beyond, AI will empower us with the ability to intelligently capture and extract data, not just in the form of metadata, but with other properties that don’t come from traditional indexing. For video files, imagine creating structured data that identifies the people in the video, what they are saying and even their tone.

The takeaway: Looking to the future, AI and analytics will enable us to leverage the full potential of the vast amounts of data stored in our content solutions in both structured and unstructured formats.

Digital asset management is a game-changer for organizations that manage large volumes of rich media files connected to products throughout the supply chain.

#6. Digital asset management (DAM)

Why it should be on your radar:

  • Organizations aren’t just managing an increasing volume of content; we’re also managing increasingly complex content, and we need the tools to do so effectively.
  • A recent Forrester report shows where technology is headed: 64% of global software technology decision-makers are adopting DAM.

Organizations use digital asset management to guide the creation, production, distribution and retention of rich media content such as audio, video and images. A DAM solution can connect those assets with related data and content across your organization, a feat that delivers exceptional experiences to users.

While frequently used by creative teams, DAM has broad applications across the enterprise.

Rich media are used everywhere in your organization. They’re part of different processes, from insurance claims to product development, and the images drive a wide range of mission-critical processes. Historically, those images have existed in silos that inhibit collaboration and hurt your teams’ productivity and alignment. A DAM solution connects the images with your organization’s content to create increased efficiencies, as well as improved employee and customer experiences.

The takeaway: Digital asset management is a game-changer for organizations that manage large volumes of rich media files connected to products throughout the supply chain.

Low-code platforms allow you to conceive, build and deliver the new business applications your users need next month instead of next year.

#7. Low-code app development

Why it should be on your radar:

  • Speed of business is imperative to success.
  • A low-code development platform is table-stakes for a digital organization, according to Frost & Sullivan’s report, Your business shortcut to digital transformation
  • Low-code app development delivers net-new applications in half the time it takes for non-low-code users to build the same product, according to the same report.

“The average time to develop and deliver an app is 6–8 weeks for low-code users, compared with 12–16 weeks for those not considering low code.”

Frost & Sullivan


As we continue our digital evolutions, we also need the agility to adapt to the changing needs of our businesses, employees and customers. By taking advantage of low-code application development capabilities within your content services platform, your teams can go further, faster.

With a low-code platform’s visual design elements like point-and-click and drag-and-drop configurability, your team members — both inside and outside of IT — can focus on growing your business processes responsively, creatively and intelligently. This increased autonomy helps you:

  • Attract and retain top talent
  • Rapidly respond to business needs
  • Cut development time from months to weeks

The takeaway: Low-code platforms allow you to conceive, build and deliver the new business applications your users need next month instead of next year.

Managed services helps you go beyond the latest technology and make success more about your people.

#8. Managed services

Why it should be on your radar:

  • People trump technology.
  • Without support from the right people at the right time, many promising solutions falter, fizzle and ultimately fail.

Managed services: The only non-technology solution on our digital transformation trends list.

And yet, it’s perhaps the most important. The unique combination of record-breaking digital adoption and a shallow pool of highly skilled, new-technology-minded professionals makes managed services a game-changer for organizations, regardless of size.

If your organization doesn’t have the headcount, resources or perhaps the desire to fully realize the management of necessary new technologies, managed services can bridge that gap. These skilled teams provide the technology intelligence, strength of leadership and implementation expertise to guide your internal team toward the powerful, long-term impacts of well-vetted new tech.

The takeaway: Accelerating your digital evolution is not just about adopting the latest technology; it’s also about people. You need experts to support and advance your cloud solutions while you empower your team to focus on what they do best.

Capitalize now to stay ahead of these digital transformation trends

As digital transformation trends continue to shape your journey, wherever that path leads, you must find ways to work smarter, not harder.

In 2022 and beyond, we can all use these tools to accelerate our digital evolutions by harnessing our content and empowering our teams.

Hyland, a leading content services provider, has the tools to support more efficient ways of working and more effective collaboration.

Hyland serves more than 19,000 lifetime customers around the world, and those customers believe in us. We were recently recognized as a Customers’ Choice in the 2022 Gartner Peer Insights ‘Voice of the Customer’: Content Services Platform report.


Gartner, Innovation Insight for Federated Machine Learning, Farhan Choudhary, Alexander Linden, Bart Willemsen, 28th March, 2022.

Association for Intelligent Information Management, AIIM 2021 State of the Intelligent Information Management Industry, 2021.

Forrester, Now Tech: Digital Asset Management for Customer Experience, Q2 2021.

Forrester, Intelligent Automation’s Value Spreads Beyond Cost Savings, Q3 2021.

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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