A lot has changed in the last year. The world came out of the worst of a fatal pandemic and while Covid-19 is still a significant area of concern on a global scale, it has also shaped the direction of growth when it comes to technological growth and advancements.
Small to medium-sized businesses are important parts of communities and a key driving factor of the current economic recovery. Modern technology and workplace trends are transforming how these organizations are run, not only to increase productivity but expand the possibilities of the future.
Moving into 2022, the world is still riding this wave of technological change. The trends for 2022 wouldn’t have looked the way they do if not for the pandemic pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. However, the changes are happening so quickly that it’s crucial to remain ahead of the curve by reviewing and embracing the biggest trends of the upcoming year.
In short, technology became the driver of change, filling in the areas of inefficiencies and creating opportunities where there were significant challenges. Hopefully this inspires you to research new and exciting options that make your business smarter, faster, safer, and ready to meet the constantly shifting demands of our connected world.
If you’d like to take your business to the next level from just surviving, to thriving, kick 2022 off right with these top tips to ensure you are leading the way in your sector:
The era of digital transformation is here for companies of all sizes and types, and “Going digital” isn’t a new idea. This term refers to companies leveraging enhanced technology to improve their business capabilities, operational efficiencies and ultimately, their customers’ experiences.
If you have been in the game for a while, you may still have printed documents, filing cabinets and possibly even archives of information that you’re not too sure how to manage. However, If companies approach digital transformation in a structured, timely way, they can gain benefits that could give them an improved competitive advantage.
The path to a digital transformation will look different for every company because every company has unique needs and goals. However, a key component to a digital transformation includes transitioning to an Agile mindset.
When companies manage their projects with agility, they can deliver incremental, high-value, continuous solutions to their customers while building happier, more productive teams internally and gaining the benefits of improving operational efficiencies.
Cloud computing opens doors to a world of possibilities. It’s the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. Cloud computing services are changing how businesses and organizations use information technology for the better.
For example, you could manage your software from a central point or help teams collaborate online by sharing access to specific documents so that they can complete tasks and projects together. Choosing a cloud type or cloud service is a unique decision. No two clouds are the same and no two cloud services are used to solve the same problem.
As our client’s cloud service provider, we deliver an exceptional suite of solutions that simplify IT processes, we establish and manage clouds, and offer on-demand cloud computing services. Cloud computing is so popular that the costs of moving to the cloud have never been cheaper, so aside from working more efficiently, your business will cut costs too.
If the last few years have taught us nothing else, it’s that there is no end in sight for cyber-attacks on businesses. Therefore, businesses need to take a proactive approach and always stay ahead of the game. Not only do data leaks and cyberattacks put businesses at risk, but they also have a large negative impact on individuals as well.
Digital threats are as much a concern for SMBs as they are for large companies. Whether it’s private client data, proprietary company information or financial accounts, security must remain top of mind in 2022 as cybercriminals become savvier every day.
- Start with ensuring your software licenses and security patches are up-to-date
- Have backup & recovery plans in place that is secure against breaches or disasters
- Test systems regularly to check for vulnerabilities that hackers may take advantage of. Here at bva we serve as our clients’ ethical hackers, to identify their security vulnerabilities and resolve them before a malicious attacker can exploit them.
- Educate your team about cybersecurity so they know what to look out for and understand their responsibilities in the fight against cyberattacks
Proper security measures to protect individual and business data need to be put in place to ensure you’re protected. One big solution is the adoption of artificial intelligence. Pattern recognition and predictive analytics will be crucial in identifying abnormalities in early stages and preventing large-scale data breaches in the future.
AI will be key for SMBs as they further transition to public key infrastructure (PKI)-based device security, like those used today to access mobile banking applications, and multifactor authentication, for application and device access.
The power of AI and its value in a business setting is immeasurable. AI is an important part of user experience and customer support and offers smart automation of several functions that once had to be managed individually and watched continually. The use of artificial intelligence will grow within every sector and even more in years to follow.
One of the biggest applications of AI is predictive analytics and the market is growing year-to-year, with projections to reach $22.1 billion by 2026. The value of predictive analytics spans a variety of industries and makes it possible to run well-optimized ads in digital marketing and track shifts in consumer behavior. It allows eliminating risks of fraud by making it possible to identify deviations from standard patterns. It also can push the boundaries of medicine by speeding up the drug development process in the future.
Our refinement of AI functionality and independence will allow us greater freedom as business owners to automate even more functions, predict consumer choices, solve network and user concerns, deal with security issues, and take care of basic actions, giving us back more time to focus on the core of our business and the things that matter to us.
Hybrid Workforce Technology
Workplace culture continues to evolve with hybrid workforces here to stay. Technology is driving this momentum forward, enabling businesses of all sizes to remain agile and adaptable. SMBs should seek purpose-built technology solutions that bring equity, parity, presence and inclusion to hybrid work.
Emerging technology will greatly advance SMB growth, with augmented and virtual reality creating custom workplaces for employees, immersive training, efficient data analysis and enhanced productivity.
There has been a constant rise in the adoption of existing technologies that make the workflows across time zones and locations more frictionless. Beyond the traditional platforms like Slack and Zoom, there will be more tools to consider in fueling collaboration at a distance and ensuring a healthy work-life balance as well as high levels of output in this new, hybrid work setting.
Upgrade Your Technology
Aspects of home office technology are transforming. Creating an up-to-date and efficient workspace is important for productivity but also for personal well-being. Providing employees with complementary tools that bridge the gap between home and office will elevate the experience and empower hybrid working trends.
When researching new accessories for SMB employees, consider the most common pain points of power anxiety, poor audio quality and physical stresses of inappropriate input devices resulting from longer working hours. Power banks, noise-canceling headphones certified for unified communications platforms, ergonomic mice, and keyboards will become more mainstream in 2022, allowing teams at SMBs to improve their work-from-anywhere capabilities and productivity.
Your systems working properly is top priority, and if they’re not, it time for an upgrade. It’s so important to ensure your systems are always up and active so you can keep your business running efficiently. Proactively update your technology so your systems are always up-to-date, which will vastly improve your IT infrastructure.
The Rise Of The Metaverse
The literal blend between real life and digital activities has a term, the metaverse. It’s used to describe a world that spans the real and the digital, encompassing virtual capabilities from gaming to even virtual economies fueled by cryptocurrencies.
The onset of the metaverse signifies a shift toward a digital world equivalent to the one we are used to interacting in. What started in the world of gaming (think Roblox and Fortnite) signals a larger shift toward a future where social interactions, entertainment, advertising and even purchasing power in the virtual world will grow toward equivalency to the same in the real world.
All of this signals a year of more immersive experiences and technologies, collaborative spaces and products, new social networks, as well as a rise in VR and AR adoption.
Wider Adoption of Blockchain Technologies
Blockchain is certainly not a new concept, but it has become more and more widely adopted as time goes by. With the rise of the metaverse, its adoption will continue to increase through 2022.
Blockchain technology introduces a secure, structured, decentralized way to track transactions across devices, a secure “ledger” for identity protection and data validation. Spending on blockchain solutions will continue to grow in the coming years, reaching almost $19 billion U.S. dollars by 2024.
Businesses should start learning more about this technology, given how crucial it is in the times of the metaverse and through the rise of NFTs. If it aligns with the business objectives, internal applications of the technology, as well as strategies to leverage the public applications of it, will be very important in 2022.