As we settle into the new year, it’s time to look at the 2022 trends that will impact our customers as we go through the year.
Office Flexibility & Increasing Turnover
The recent COVID pandemic has left businesses indecisive regarding remote work. This brings us to our first trends in IT topic, it has become clear that a return to the past, everyone working from the office, is not in the cards. It is also unlikely that the complete shift to remote work is here to stay. Instead, we expect to see companies offering more flexibility with mandated in-person office time.
Flexibility in how, where and when people work has become more common. Employees in the U.S. expect flexibility as much as they do a 401 (k) plan. Employers who don’t offer flexibility will experience increased turnover as employees move into roles that provide a better value proposition.
For many companies, increased flexibility won’t slow down turnover. Remote work will become more common, and competition will increase from areas outside of the traditional geographical regions. Employees, who now have more mobility, also have fewer social connections at work than in the past. These factors will result in higher turnover rates, and we predict a sustained resignation will replace the great resignation.
IT organizations also faced new challenges due to the shift to remote work, particularly when it comes down to supporting real-time collaboration apps. The critical challenges for work-from-home include slow internet speeds and poor network performance. MSPs will help customers secure remote endpoints and gain visibility into the performance of their applications, and this effort will help ensure remote worker engagement.
Companies will begin to enlist MSPs to support remote employees with ISP selection, home Wi-Fi support, and performance and administration of voice and video apps. Companies are also investing aggressively in security platforms to protect themselves from growing ransomware and phishing attacks.
Unified Communications as a Service
Communications and collaboration continue to be a theme in our 2022 trends. Metrigy’s global study 2021-2022 on workplace collaboration found that 47.5% of 467 companies benchmarked now rely entirely on hosted solutions or use a combination of Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS ) and on-premise UC. Just over 25% of the 28.6% who still use UC on-premise (25.4%) are considering moving to the cloud. There are several reasons why people move to the cloud, and these include cost savings, better security, remote support, and the availability of more features in the cloud.
Metrigy’s research participants report that their use of their phones is decreasing as more one-on-one and group conversations shift towards mobile devices, team messaging and meeting apps. Nearly 87% of respondents say video is an important or critical service in their organization, and 82% use video for all or most meetings. UCaaS providers have made significant improvements to their video meeting experience in the past year. They added new features such as transcription, recording, and translation and AI-enabled features that improve audio and video quality. Endpoint vendors also responded by offering a variety of new devices that can enhance personal audio and video quality. Customers can expect to see a renewed focus on making videos more enjoyable and accessible this year.
SD-WAN 5G Transport
5G mobile broadband technology meets today’s need for high-speed and low latency connections. As we move further into 2022, we predict many organizations will use 5G as a transport for SD-WAN. 5G is the best choice due to its high broadband speeds, reliability, and security. 5G SD-WAN will deliver a more tailored and high-quality user experience over traditional transport options.
New SD-WAN deployments have many advantages in terms of speed and control. However, setting up and maintaining 5G SD-WAN is not easy. This is where your MSP comes into the picture. MSPs with a focus on connectivity will integrate and manage multiple branch offices, the headquarters, data center, and various cloud services within one SD-WAN architecture. Additionally, an expert MSP will be able to quickly troubleshoot SD-WAN problems as they arise.
Move to Zero Trust to Enhance Security
As the technology landscape changes with increasing cloud usage, mobile, Internet of Things, and work from home, the average employee regularly uses digital resources beyond their organization’s borders. This technology shift significantly increases the threat landscape.
It is no longer sufficient to rely on virtual private networks (VPNs), and network firewalls for security architectures. Another of our big trends in IT for 2022 will be companies moving to Zero-Trust architectures. Zero Trust is founded on three core principles:
- Strong user authentication
- The assumption all devices are compromised
- Restricting user access to only what is necessary to complete the job.
While the core principles of Zero-Trust are simple to grasp, they can be challenging to implement. These challenges will cause companies to partner with MSPs to help navigate the process.
Our final big trend for 2022 is an explosion in the usage of digital signage. In healthcare, education, and transportation, we’re seeing the use of digital signs increasing. These signs are being integrated into AV systems to update information in real-time. Digital signs assist people in finding the right place, inform them about important events, and minimize human contact during the pandemic.
Digital signage is also becoming a part of the security system. Combining access control, video surveillance, and digital signages enables traffic flow monitoring and control of occupancy levels. AV platforms can integrate these technologies to automate processes and provide a positive user experience.