It’s easy to boil success down to innovation (think Steve Jobs and Apple). But longevity and profitability in business often depends on your ability to prepare and pivot. To keep you on track, we put on our IT consulting caps and rounded up 8 shifts that will shape how businesses operate in 2022 and how you can adjust.
We’ll kick the list off with a bit of good news.
1. That Work Laptop Will Finally Arrive
Supply chain shortages are expected to ease at some point in 2022. There are two caveats though:
- It’s possible it gets worse first
- We won’t return to pre-Covid operations
So yes, you’ll spend less time talking about how long it’s taking to get work laptops or anything you’ve ordered, but it won’t be the near-instant gratification you had when you ordered business equipment in 2019.
Positive signs visible in late 2021
In Q4 2021, we quoted a high-end laptop and docking station for a client. Unlike recent quotes, this custom-build was ready within a month.
Tip: Budget accordingly
Prices are rising across the board. It’s likely that any equipment you purchase will have a higher price tag in 2022. Of course, it’s not just goods that cost more.
2. Inflation Contagion
We’ve all experienced sticker shock in our personal and professional lives. At itSynergy, we’ve seen double digit percentage increases in what our vendors charge for their products and services. At that rate, it’s impossible to simply absorb costs. We are adjusting what we charge and know you are, too.
Strategically combat rising costs with IT consulting
Proper budgeting helps you avoid sticker shot, but you can do more. When your business has a dedicated IT consultant, they’ll ensure that you set the right IT priorities, find ways to save money on technology and only invest in tools you’ll use. They will provide Risk Informed Decision Making (RIDM) guidance, that helps to properly prioritize IT investments and target the areas of greatest impact. Finally, they will help you better understand an “assume breach” mindset. Investments need to be shifted to prioritize not ONLY a strong perimeter, but also detection, extraction, and remediation as it relates to threat actors.
3. Employee Empowerment Continues.
People want a better quality of life. Expect to lose employees if you can’t provide:
- Higher pay
- Better benefits
- Overtime incentives
Labor is behind price increases, too
Inflation isn’t the only cause of soaring costs. Labor plays a role, too. Let’s say you have a call center or support desk. Previously, this could have been part of your regular services. Now, it’s a premium offer because you have to pay higher salaries to incentivize employees to work on the weekend or odd hours.
The case for outsourcing IT services
Outsourcing labor can be a cost-effective way to add expertise or an entire department to your team for the price of hiring 1 internal employee. When you outsource IT services, you can gain:
- Support desk help
- Cybercrime fighting experts
- Favorable licensing deals
- Advanced cybersecurity tools
- Strategic business consultants
- Certified ethical hackers
Effortlessly Handle Whatever 2022 Throws Your Way
4. Wild West Work Environments Get Tamed
No one expected March 2020 to turn into our new reality. Two years later, layers of ad hoc solutions have created a tangle of working environments. Within one company, you can have:
- Employees in different states
- People who never go to the office
- Daily in-office workers
- Hybrid schedules
- Workers using company-issued devices
- People working on personal laptops, phones and tablets
Add guardrails without alienating people
Over-proscribed documentation will create the reality or perception that you’re taking away a person’s flexibility. You’ll want to talk through operational issues – like working hours – internally.
For guidelines around technology get help from an IT consultant. They’ll help you establish rules that create a cohesive, cybersecure environment for every employee, regardless of location.
Tip: As you sort out your work-from-home policies, remember to update your compliance documentation, too.
5. Extra Scrutiny From the Regulators
Can you confidently say you’re ready for an audit?
We don’t just mean that you’re following best practices, like using multifactor authentication (MFA), but that you’ve documented you’re using MFA on your accounts.
In the world of SEC compliance, it’s not enough to simply follow best practices, like using MFA on your accounts. You’re required to document that you do this. Otherwise, you will be fined.
Remember: Regulators ding you whenever you stray from your documented policies. Before 2022 starts, circle back and update documents to match your operations.
6. Cyberattacks Increasingly Disrupt Daily Life
Today’s cyberattacks have non-technical ramifications. Anyone living on the East Coast can attest to this. The Colonial Pipeline attack caused gas shortages throughout the Southeast in the summer of 2021. It was inconvenient, but other consequences are life threatening.
It’s no longer about personal information
In a recent news story, healthcare providers said patient deaths increase after ransomware incidents. When attacks freeze computers and adversely affect the quality of care, breaches become matters of life and death. The government has noticed and is changing how it responds to threat actors.
7. Governments Fight Back Against Cybercrime
The people behind cyberattacks are not the same criminals you encountered 5 or 10 years ago. Increasingly, threats are perpetrated by professional criminals and nations (implicitly or explicitly). As a result, the U.S. government’s response is evolving.
Criminal charges in Kaseya breach offer glimpse at what’s next
You heard about the Kaseya breach that hit at least 1,500 organizations in the summer of 2021. But it’s possible you missed the news that in November, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charged 2 foreign nationals and seized funds related to ransomware payments worth $6.1 million. This is indicative of the path the U.S. government will pursue. Along with action by the DOJ, expect:
- Designation of hackers as terrorist
- Authorized military action to deal with cyberthreats
Mount your own aggressive response
You don’t need the backing of the U.S. military to fight threat actors. A trusted cybersecurity partner will leverage advanced tools on your behalf to secure your environment. You can see how we protect our clients here.
8. Covid Stops Dominating Conversations
The scientific advancements in the treatment of Covid-19 are undeniable. Thanks to their innovative treatments and vaccines, Covid will fade – but not disappear. Instead of driving every strategic conversation, it will be a consideration. Your new conversations will revolve around:
- Hybrid vs. remote vs. in-office
- The new cyberthreat landscape
- Incentivizing employees to stay · Creating an office space that attracts workers
- Differentiating your business from competitors
- Finding new paths to productivity
Use IT Consulting to Create a Tailored 2022 Business Plan
These 8 trends will have a general effect on every business and a unique impact on your organization. Some, like labor shortages, could be negative. Our IT consultants can help you find a way to mitigate the damage and propel growth in 2022.