Market Insight. 7 Feb 2022
The way we work and the new future of work have been undeniably impacted by the pandemic. While digital transformation was already a priority for many businesses, over the last two years it has been accelerated to ensure businesses can continue to operate and compete in the digital economy.
Businesses adapted quickly to enable their employees to work from home, they shifted to digital interactions with their customers and also expedited their pace of creating digital or digitally enhanced products and services.
While businesses have transformed massively over the last two years, changing customer expectations will drive the need for businesses to continually adapt and improve their capabilities to ensure they can compete in the digital economy. Let’s look at 5 tech trends to watch out for in 2022.
Hybrid collaboration will be used more commonly in human resources management to provide a digital employee experience. One that is flexible and utilises emerging technologies such as intelligent conference rooms and intelligent workflows.
Remote and flexible working is here to stay and will continue to be desired by employees and offered by employers. The Info-Tech Tech Trends 2022 Survey found that 79% of organisations will have a mix of workers in the office and at home.
Having a balance between time working from home and in the office can provide huge benefits for the employee and the business. Hybrid work models facilitate productive, diverse and inclusive talent ecosystems that are needed for the digital economy.
Technology that enables collaboration will be a massive trend in 2022, the vast majority of businesses have already invested to some degree in this type of tech but will continue to invest in web conferencing, document collaboration and team workspace tools.
The shift to remote working back in March 2020 led to an increase in ransomware attacks, and businesses large and small across every industry became a target. In 2022 businesses will be looking at their security strategy and the technologies they can use to strengthen their overall security posture.
But beyond prevention they will look at how they respond and remediate should they be compromised. Collaboration with open source intelligence, external partners and technologies such as AI-powered threat detection will be crucial to mitigating the risks.
Businesses will implement AI endpoint protections to strengthen their defences against a breach, this will be a particular focus for those that offer remote working and have identified weaknesses in their defences.
In addition to better prevention strategies, businesses will invest in their incident response plan and take a zero-trust approach by adopting multi-factor authentication and least privilege strategies.
As the world moves towards a carbon-neutral future, businesses will place a strong focus on the carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses created by their business processes. They will look at the ways they can use IoT tech to provide internal audits and insights into their carbon metrics.
Measuring the size of their footprint can help them understand the steps they need to take to reduce it. This may include shifting to renewable energy sources, moving away from the use of fossil fuels or making energy-efficient changes in the workplace to reduce consumption.
Reducing energy usage will not only help businesses reduce their carbon footprint it may also help them increase operational efficiency while lowering energy costs. Businesses that track their emissions using IoT show they are transparent about their operations and are committed to green initiatives.
Sustainability will be a core focus for businesses not only in 2022 but for years to come. Adopting tech that can help drive sustainability demonstrates businesses are committed to their corporate social responsibility plan.
Blockchain technology will become more prominent in 2022 to convert unique intellectual property into saleable digital products. Decentralized technologies such as blockchain are driving the digital economy with many brands such as Nike, Stella Artois and Ubisoft launching non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Beyond this, blockchain technologies are being used to redefine how central back distribute currency, with the likes of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Grenada launching their own digital currencies.
As new virtual environments become more commonplace in the future, it is expected there will be an increase in NFTs and also businesses using blockchain technology to have a presence in these virtual worlds.
For example, Sotheby’s has built a replica of it is New Bond Street gallery in Decentraland to showcase and sell Sotheby’s digital artworks. Even including an avatar of commissionaire Hans Lomulder to greet visitors.
Business processes will continue to develop through automation and access to new technology services will be achieved through platform integration. Tech such as cloud platforms, APIs and generative AI will all be utilised for innovation.
Application Programming interfaces or APIs have exploded over the last 18 months, even industries once considered to be at the back of the digital transformation race are implementing them to reinvent back-office processes.
APIs can be leveraged to connect systems, transform business models with digital platforms that enable businesses to compete more competitively in the digital economy and to deliver more sophisticated capabilities such as AI.
One important point to mention with APIs is that they can create a potential vulnerability for threat actors to exploit. This could further increase the security risk for businesses, but providing the risk is factored into their security plan and strategies are implemented to mitigate the risk it should not be a concern.