After the past couple of years, attempting to predict the future of business and tech can be complicated. But looking forward into 2022, there are some probable business and tech trends on the rise that will continue to demand our attention.
2020 was the year of improvisation. 2021 was the year of acceptance. And 2022 will be the year of optimization.
Many of the “temporary setbacks” of 2020 are here to stay. Now, it’s time to make those changes work for your business. From hybrid work models to revamped data sharing, here are some business and tech predictions for 2022.
Hybrid Work is Going To Be Permanent Fixture of Business
What was considered a requirement in 2020 is now a preference by employees. As companies create permanent hybrid workspaces, it is clear remote work will continue in larger numbers than ever before.
Since 63% of high-growth companies have incorporated hybrid work models into their business strategies, more and more potential employees will consider this in their decision-making to work for a company. 2022 will see businesses continue to modernize the workplace and rethink workflows to optimize hybrid working arrangements.
Finding the right hybrid work balance
Hybrid work models can look different across businesses. Some companies may set parameters around remote work, such as only accepting certain days of the week or having a quota for time spent in the office. Others may boast a “work from anywhere/anytime” attitude. The key is to find the parameters that meet both your business’s and employees’ needs and then make sure everyone is on the same page with hybrid work expectations.
Office spaces that celebrate hybrid work
The fluidity of hybrid work may seem unstable at first, but many businesses will continue to lean into the concept and turn instability into opportunity.
Companies are waving ‘goodbye’ to permanent walled-off offices and creating bullpens, hot spots and other simple setups conducive to employees that are coming and going. These office redesigns will create a welcoming workspace accommodating all employees, from daily office-goers to team members who stop by now and then.
Data organization that works both in-office and remote
Companies will adopt new technology solutions for hybrid collaboration. Especially for companies that work with sensitive or confidential information, a cloud service that is dependable, safe and efficient will be a crucial aspect of building a successful hybrid work model.
Ransomware Is On the Rise
2021 hit high levels of ransomware and cyberattacks, with both small businesses and large corporations as targets. According to Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) research, the total number of data breaches in 2021 well-exceeded 1,291, with multiple million victims impacted.
Ransomware is getting more complex and dangerous by the minute, and your data protection technology needs to stay a few steps ahead. Network monitoring, cybersecurity practices and malware detection need to be a top priority to save your team from the time, money and energy lost at the hands of a data breach.
Building company-wide password policies
Companies are getting back to basics when it comes to simple security habits. Since weak passwords are the #1 gateway for hackers, companies should focus on password protection – like regular password changes and two-factor authentication.
Computers and teams with the right cybersecurity tools
Letting an employee work on an unprotected computer is like watching a toddler eat a three-scoop ice cream cone. It’s not ‘if’ an accident will happen; it’s ‘when.’
Outfitting your team with the knowledge, tools and processes they need to protect company data is key to avoiding cybersecurity threats. Minimizing user error and maximizing malware detectors will save you mountains of headaches down the road.
Here is a list of cybersecurity tools you should have in place in 2022:
- Data backup and recovery plans
- Secure cloud computing
- 24/7 dedicated IT support
- Firewalls and intrusion detection
- Dedicated server hosting
- Automatically updating antivirus protection
With tools and processes like these in place, you can significantly cut down on your business’s chances of being successfully targeted as the next ransomware victim in 2022.
Tech Talent Shortage Continues
With remote work opportunities becoming increasingly common, the competition to find top talent knows no geographical limitations. With the best candidates having their pick of the litter when it comes to jobs, it is even harder to land (and hold on to) valuable team members. The tech talent war continues, making competition fierce in 2022. One of the most noticeable talent shortages? IT.
Talented IT personnel are sought-after by almost every large company across industries because everyone wants to feel they have the support necessary to take on the challenges of 2022 — like establishing hybrid work online processes and reliable data protection.
Companies will need to find people and resources in alternative areas. Yes, in-house IT management comes with benefits like in-person interactions. But since many companies can’t fill this in-house position, they are looking to outsource IT services to fill the gaps.
A dedicated IT service is a useful company tool and comes with many pros:
- A high-quality outsourced IT service won’t get complacent. They will have the most up-to-date knowledge on IT best practices, trends and predictions, so you know your data security isn’t falling behind.
- Many IT services (like MDL Technology) can offer 24/7 emergency response and monitoring, so cybersecurity crises are nipped in the bud.
- Outsources IT services take employee churn, onboarding and turnover off the table.
- IT outsourcing can reduce costs by cutting out the cost of training, benefits, employment taxes and operating costs.
Increased Workplace Automation
On top of outsourcing, AI will help stem the flow of responsibilities caused by the labor shortage. AI and automation may take time to develop, but they will help businesses fill gaps created by the labor shortage.
According to a recent Gartner survey, more than 80% of organizations say they’ll continue or increase automation spending this year. Adoption will continue to accelerate to improve efficiencies and increase staff productivity.
Looking into 2022, people aren’t as apprehensive or suspicious of AI and automation. Workers realize that AI isn’t here to take over jobs but to reduce monotonous aspects of jobs.
Here are some common business processes that automation will improve on in 2022 and beyond:
- Planning your daily workflows. Instead of opening several different platforms to find priorities, automation will save time by doing that for you.
- Reporting. Manually creating reports and written summaries are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
- Cybersecurity and network monitoring. As data protection should be a 24/7 responsibility, AI and automation are the perfect solutions. From automatic platform updates to instantaneous malware detection, the best cybersecurity is one that performs and acts without pause.
Increased Cybersecurity Around the 2022 Election Cycles
Along with the general rise in ransomware and cyber attacks, there is a much larger risk of politically-charged cyber threats during election cycles. While that seems to be a threat specific to local, state and federal governments, don’t be surprised if other industries are impacted as well.
The 2022 midterm elections will be a hacker’s perfect warmup for future presidential elections, and nobody should be taking any chances with weak cybersecurity at this time.
The cyber threats in a charged political atmosphere taught us many things, including businesses and organizations of all sizes and types are susceptible to a cyber attack.
Creating secure data-sharing processes will be crucial
Cloud sharing is a valuable and convenient technology that will continue to grow in the coming years. As companies allow data-sharing with third-party partners, vendors and clients, secure data housing and protection are crucial.
Leveraging cloud computing has several benefits, including reduced operational costs, increased scalability and a better user experience. But whether caused by malicious cyber activity or simply user error, the more people with access to your data, the greater the risk of loss.
Luckily with MDL cloud services, we can maximize security by housing this technology in a secure, compliant data center. For minimizing user errors, the best strategy is to train employees and other cloud users on the best practices for data protection.
The second-best strategy is a dependable data backup plan. MDL will automate the entire data-backup process to ensure that there is no guesswork and no scope for human error. We ensure that none of the locations you want to backup are missed.
In the year of optimization, MDL has your back.
Ransomware threats and increased cybersecurity expectations paint a risk-filled picture of 2022. But if you have the right tools and resources at your disposal, you can take on the year with confidence.
Your company’s security is our top priority. We offer services such as 24/7 support, network monitoring, offsite data backups, auditing and compliance and more to help ensure that you don’t need to stress about your team’s private information becoming public.
Learn more about the services we offer by visiting our website.