These IT trends will be critical to companies worldwide, from increased cybersecurity spending to the growing skills gap to the resurgence of business analytics.
Technology is changing rapidly. Even in the face of recent unprecedented events, the evolution of tech didn’t slow down in 2021. In fact, in 2021, we saw many companies begin to pick up where they left off when the global pandemic started in early 2020.
As businesses start to return to normal, we expect these seven IT trends to persist throughout 2022. Let’s dive in.
1. The Evolution and Continued Growth of the Distributed Workforce
Traditionally, distributed enterprise referred to a company that expanded beyond a single corporate office and opened branches in various locations. Each branch hired its own employees, but they worked in its office space. The workforce has been irrevocably changed by the events of recent years, and the global pandemic accelerated this trend. The distributed workforce has a new meaning as large swaths of employees have transitioned to remote work or hybrid working environments.
The move to remote and hybrid working environments is not expected to change. According to research from Gallup, more than 90% of workers currently working remotely want to continue working remotely indefinitely or move to a hybrid working system that would allow them to go between working remotely and in the office. Gallup also found that 49% of remote employees signaled that they were likely to consider leaving their job if remote work was not possible.
This continued shift to virtual workspaces means that companies will need to adopt IT systems to support a remote workforce. For most, legacy systems will need to be retired to accommodate a dispersed workforce for more agile cloud systems. The rise of everything-as-a-service (XaaS) is an excellent way for companies to adopt more agile cloud services. Instead of signing up for individual cloud services—such as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS)—XaaS providers offer these systems a la carte so companies can choose the services that meet their needs from a single provider.
Finding ways to accommodate an increasingly dispersed enterprise is fundamental for companies’ continued success in the future. But as with any innovation, a distributed enterprise comes with its own set of challenges: the most prominent being cybersecurity.
2. Increasing Cybersecurity Risks
Cybersecurity has been one of the most significant issues companies have faced since the beginning of the global pandemic. Unfortunately, even though the world has made progress towards a renewed sense of normalcy, companies’ cybersecurity issues continue to become increasingly complex.
As remote work becomes more and more prominent within work cultures, cybercriminals have been given more entry points they can access to infiltrate your network. To make things worse, since the remote work boom was born out of necessity rather than security innovation, the security measures in place at many companies have been lacking to this point.
As the number of complex cyber threats increases, security breaches become more challenging to identify and contain. Ultimately, this makes them more expensive to deal with. According to IBM and Ponemon Institute, it takes 279 days on average for an organization to detect and contain a security breach. The average cost of a single breach is $8.2 million. Finances aren’t the only damages companies face. With each data breach, companies will slowly lose the trust of their customers and shareholders.
This is one of the IT trends that will continue to increase in 2022 as many more employers adopt remote work culture as the norm. As a result, companies need to be ready to allocate additional resources to cybersecurity to adopt and implement new security measures to help mitigate the losses sustained by security breaches.
To identify and contain data breaches, companies should invest in security solutions, such as endpoint detection and response (EDR), intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS), and security information event management (SIEM). To ensure you are protected around the clock from hackers, it may be worth partnering with a managed security services provider who has a 24/7 Security Operation Center (SOC). It is essential to have a multi-layered security approach.
3. The Resurgence of Business Analytics
When the global pandemic struck back in 2020, businesses quickly had to readjust their goals and priorities to accommodate the rapid shift from in-office labor to remote and hybrid work. As a result, a staggering 42% of industry leaders were forced to deprioritize their business analytics initiatives. And 46% of businesses that were forced to make reductions in IT spending chose to cut business analytics initiatives.
While the setback in business intelligence and data analytics adoption is unfortunate, companies began to reprioritize them in 2021. We expect this trend will continue throughout 2022.
If you haven’t already made business analytics tools a priority, now is the perfect time to do so. With the amount of raw data generated by companies increasing by 50% every year, and with over a quintillion bytes of data being generated every day, human analysts are quickly losing the ability to examine it and provide actionable insights effectively. Not to mention, the business analytics tools that most companies have been using for the last several decades are sorely outdated and cumbersome.
Modern business intelligence and data analytics tools utilize modern storage and analytics technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that empower data scientists to analyze data faster than ever and capture insights into future business trends.
As a result, IT leaders should consider transitioning to data lakes to push their analytics even further. Unlike data warehouses that can only analyze data from a single source, data lakes can use structured and unstructured data from multiple sources such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This allows data lakes to provide well-rounded predictions of future business performance based on information from across the business.
4. IT Leaders Continue to Become Business Strategists
With the continuous push to digital transformation, chief information officers (CIOs) and IT teams will find unique opportunities to expand their business roles. While CIOs and IT departments may traditionally be thought of as service providers who ensure that necessary tools stay operational, the convergence of strategic and operational technology has provided the opportunity to become business strategists who can help shape its future direction.
Modern strategic technologies are fundamental in pushing business development and growth, and developing innovative ways to implement these technologies will be imperative for success for the foreseeable future. Business and technology have become inseparable, and they provide valuable opportunities to cut costs and generate more revenue.
5. Shortage of Cybersecurity Talent and Skills Persists
The shortage of cybersecurity professionals has been growing for some time. You can expect this to be one of the IT trends that continues plaguing IT departments for the foreseeable future. According to the 2021 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, 700,000 professionals joined the [global] cybersecurity workforce last year. The report explains that while the worldwide shortage has shrunk, the Asian-Pacific region was the only region to gain ground on the deficit. Meanwhile, the shortage across the Americas and Europe has grown significantly.
Industry leaders should consider how to shore up their cybersecurity while the lack of workers persists. If they don’t, they will open themselves up to new threats as they continue transforming their business digitally. Looking outside of the organization for cybersecurity is an increasingly viable option. Managed cybersecurity service providers can be added to a company’s internal resources to protect the business better. Considering how long this trend has persisted, it’s safe to bet it won’t end in 2022.
6. The Growth of Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Environments
The cloud has quickly become a fundamental component of digital business infrastructure rather than a commodity recommended by forward-thinking IT leaders. Operating in the cloud has allowed IT departments to reduce their infrastructure costs by eliminating the need for large capital expenditures to maintain private data centers.
Instead, companies incur the much lower operational expenses associated with having a third-party host their IT infrastructure’s various sections. In addition, the cloud provides companies the ability to scale resources on-demand and develop solutions fast enough to keep up with consumer demand.
However, many companies have realized that sourcing their IT infrastructure to a single cloud provider isn’t ideal, and they’ve begun transitioning to hybrid cloud or multi-cloud environments. There are several reasons a company may want to split its data between different clouds. A company might not want to keep customer information in a public cloud for security reasons. A hybrid approach allows sensitive information to be stored in a private cloud. Or multiple clouds could be used as a strategic redundancy to ensure business operations aren’t disrupted due to unplanned downtime.
Whatever the reason, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud systems quickly become the norm among cloud adopters.
7. Continued Growth of Ransomware Attacks
This is one of the most troubling IT trends that will persist through 2022. Ransomware attacks grew exponentially for the second year in a row. The U.S. Treasury Department estimated that in the first six months of 2021 alone, U.S. businesses paid a staggering $590 million in ransom payments. This was a 41% increase compared to 2020 when $416 million was spent over the entire year.
It seems nobody is immune from these cybersecurity attacks. Some of the most significant ransomware attacks were perpetrated against automakers, banks, computer retailers, and national infrastructure this year. Industry leaders should expect these ransomware attacks to continue increasing in number and growing in complexity. As a result, measures must be taken to ensure your business doesn’t lose its operational capacity and data to threat actors.
For many, attacks occur over the weekend or holidays when IT teams aren’t in the office to notice a breach. These breaks give threat actors the time they need to deploy “logic bombs” and begin locking up your data and assets.
Since staffing an in-house response team around the clock is out of the question for most businesses, partnering with a managed security service can ensure that your security measures are correctly deployed. In addition, you need a partner that has a 24/7 SOC to ensure that systems are monitored around the clock, and someone is prepared to respond to security alarms.
Cybercriminals don’t take breaks on the weekends, and your approach to cybersecurity shouldn’t either.
Final Thoughts on IT Trends for 2022
While not all the IT trends we can expect to see going into 2022 are absolutes, businesses can glean many strategies from these insights as their plans continue to evolve in the new year. Digital transformation empowers companies to provide robust workplace options for their employees while reducing costs and increasing profits with cloud computing systems and data analytics tools.
CIOs and IT teams are being given new opportunities to influence corporate strategy. And while the cybersecurity skill gap is widening in most parts of the world, and threats like malware are becoming more numerous and complex, companies are finally waking up to the reality that cybersecurity measures cannot be put off any further. If your business is ready to get ahead of the trends, Syntax is here to help. Contact us today to learn how to help your business stay ahead of the IT trends.