Predictions for 2022
COVID-19, and the subsequent rise of the remote workforce, were top of mind for businesses across industries in 2021. To some extent, this trend will continue. However, we will see a reset in 2022, as the COVID pandemic becomes an endemic disease. Individuals, communities, companies, and nations’ economies will adjust to this new normal. Companies will refashion their corporate models to adjust to remote, hybrid, or blended corporate work models. The impact of this new normal will be felt throughout the business ecosystem.
This re-shaping of the workplace will require technologies that allow individuals and companies to communicate and engage with each other across platforms in real-time. As companies move to a hybrid or remote work model, their dependency on the cloud increases—facilitating their vulnerability to data breaches. Data security and privacy will become even more top of mind, prompting companies to explore and recognize the value of the self-managed data option.
Here are our predictions for 2022:
Digital transformations in business will accelerate
With the onset of the global pandemic, we saw many emerging and innovative technologies begin to mature and go mainstream. This will continue, as companies across industries recognize that these technologies are crucial to work. Advances in artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and cloud storage/computing will cause major changes in how we do business in the digital world.
Hybrid cloud structures will increase the need to have flexible and modularized tech components that allow companies to combine and build different technologies to serve different needs. This is particularly essential in the areas of government and defense, financial services, education, and healthcare, as organizations within these industries require integrations with dozens of different platforms.
Organizations will continue to invest in digital workplace technologies and solutions for the long-term hybrid workplace. The increased funding for digital workplace initiatives will translate into an increase in the number of emerging technologies for digital workplace solutions. According to the 2020 Digital Workplace Survey, 64% of the respondents felt that more funding has been available for digital workplace initiatives since COVID-19. The same survey cited that 84% of the respondents felt that the increase in digital workplace initiatives funding due to COVID-19 will be permanent.
Remote and hybrid work models will continue to impact the business ecosystem
Employees now expect more flexibility and the ability to work from home if they wish, while many companies, whenever possible, are opening up their roles to talent across the globe, which completely changes the scenario for employees and companies looking to hire and keep top talent.
By 2024, 80% of global enterprises will include social and community engagement experiences as essential elements in VoE (Voice of the employee) measures, employee experience design and digital workplace technology enablement.
Video and voice will become a must have for team collaboration tools and platforms
There will be increasingly tight integration of messaging and group collaboration into our daily activities—shopping, eating, working in docs, analyzing spreadsheets, and answering email, for example.
Enterprise companies will accelerate their shift from dependency on a single company for their messaging needs, as real-time collaboration and engagement becomes even more of an imperative in the new work environment. In 2019, 91% of companies operated at least two messaging platforms. That will continue and extend.
Privacy and data protection will continue to be a trend in 2022 and in the upcoming years
According to IBM’s Data Breach 2021 report, data breach costs rose from $3.86 million to $4.24 million year-over-year, the highest average total cost in the 17-year history of the report.
Data privacy, security, ownership and sovereignty will continue to be a dominant macro political-economic variable that will drive individual-level and organizational-level decisions.
There will be ongoing sensational revelations of privacy breaches by the major tech companies (Google and Facebook/Meta, for example) throughout 2022. Per quarter, we expect at least one massive leak of customer's private data by a large multinational.
Self-storage date is essential to certain industries, such as government and banking. There’s growing awareness of the risks of a data breach and how our data is potentially exposed by cloud solutions. Most people still assume cloud is king, but there is an open lane of opportunity for self-managed solutions with little to no competition, especially in the omnichannel space.
Awareness of the risks of data breach and how our data is potentially exposed by cloud solutions will continue to grow. Self-managed solutions will become more desirable, as companies look to protect their data privacy to the fullest extent possible.
Total experience will transform business models
By 2026, 60% of large enterprises will use total experience to transform their business models to achieve world-class customer and employee advocacy levels.
Total experience (TX) is a business strategy for creating superior shared customer and employee experiences by interlinking customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), user experience (UX), and multi experience (MX) disciplines.
The goal of TX is to drive greater customer and employee confidence, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Organizations are using separate digital initiatives to improve CX and employee productivity. But you can achieve both these business outcomes by applying adaptive and resilient TX business strategies to simultaneously increase revenue from customers and reduce internal costs.
Traditional institutions and organizations will begin to crumble
Innovation will continue its disruptive march across business and technology landscapes. Young companies—largely unburdened by legacy systems and technical debt—will move quickly to harness digital advances, while some established organizations will struggle
to keep pace, burdened with IT systems that increasingly seem slow, rigid, and expensive.
Conventional Ivy League and elitist-based education system will continue to whither and crumble in the new global connected world, giving way to accessible and scalable approaches to train and educate the global population, without discrimination, boundaries, and limitations. Technologies that allow people to communicate, exchange and collaborate from wherever they are located will become more relevant in the education arena.
Technologists and software architecture will be recognized as crucial to innovation
The science of technology architecture will be recognized by C-suite leaders as being strategically important. To remain competitive in markets being disrupted by technology innovation, established organizations will need to evolve their approaches to architecture—a process that can begin by transforming the role technology architects play in the enterprise.
In the coming months, we expect to see more organizations move architects out of their traditional ivory towers and into the trenches. These talented, if underused, technologists will begin taking more responsibility for particular services and systems—and will become involved in system operations. The goal of this shift is straightforward: to move the most experienced architects where they are needed most—to software development teams that are designing complex technology. Once redeployed and empowered to drive change, architects can help simplify technical stacks and create technical agility that currently gives younger competitors a market advantage. They can also be held directly responsible for achieving business outcomes and resolving architectural challenges.
The rapid pace of change in IT will continue
The past 18 months have triggered faster IT change than ever before, and this pace will only increase. During this timeframe, CIOs and IT leaders took on increasingly strategic roles in the organization—confirming the elevated status of IT as digital transformation became paramount to the company’s well being.
In this changing world, CEOs’ priorities are clear: they want growth, digitalization and efficiency. Most want to rebuild the revenue they lost during the pandemic and return to growth, but some need to build on the momentum they’ve established. At the same time, CEOs know they must accelerate the adoption of digital business in the new world, and are seeking more direct digital routes to connect with their customers. But, with an eye on future economic risks, they also want to be efficient, and protect margins and cash flow.
This means that it will be vital for all IT leaders responsible for technology innovation to address these three themes:
- Accelerating growth—finding the IT innovations that will win business and market share
- Sculpting change—releasing creative new technology solutions to scale the digitalization of your organization
- Engineering trust—creating resilient foundations that enable your organization to scale cost-efficiently
For the first part of 2021, many individuals and businesses assumed there would be a post-pandemic, and the way we live and work would go back to normal—or something fairly close to what was normal pre-pandemic. We learned soon enough that this wasn’t going to be the case. Most of us have accepted that what we think of as normal is at best a moving target. Advances in technology will unfold at a rapid pace, as necessity drives new ways of doing business.
If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that we can only plan and predict so much. Remote and hybrid work changes are still in the very beginning and this should facilitate impacts that we can’t even predict. As we look ahead to 2022, the one thing we can be certain of is that the unexpected will happen, and we will adapt. Just as we always have.