As we draw close to the end of the year, we start to think about areas of focus for 2022, here are my recommended top opportunities for the New Year
Security – cybercriminals have thrived during the last 2 years with COVID and businesses more than ever realise the dangers posed by malware, largely driven by the massive growth in ransomware.
We expect spend on IT security solutions to continue to rise in 2022, with the best defence coming from layered solutions from different vendors. Protection needs to cover identities, apps, devices and data, with redundancy and fail-safes for each element of the solution.
Inclusive workplaces - as the world settles on a new world of hybrid working, creating working environments where connection and collaboration are equally as easy across both the office and remote locations, will present a significant opportunity.
Microsoft Teams has already surpassed 250m monthly active users and I expect this to continue to dramatically increase. I believe that Teams remains the best foundation on which to build inclusive work environments, where no matter the location, team members can contribute, feel valued and part of the team.
Skills shortage – something affecting both the IT channel and customers alike. The shortage of skills and associated inflation in wage bills, fuels the business case for customers to outsource more of their IT as a managed service.
Meeting this need requires significant investment in up-skilling and developing the talent within our own organisations, as well as the next generation entering the workforce. I believe the companies that will thrive, will be the ones that invest in their teams to build the skills needed to help their customers achieve their goals.
Managed Services – driven by the ever-growing complexity and capability of cloud solutions, the seemingly endless increase in cybercrime threats, and the increasing competition for talent, I see a huge opportunity in the development of managed services, particularly in the area of security for customers.
Protecting the key elements of identity, apps, data and devices is not a job for the IT hobbyist and requires a depth of expertise and knowledge which is greater than ever.
Customer Experience – customer expectations for high quality, responsive service continues to rise, driven by the digitisation of all of the services we interact with both personally and professionally.
Helping businesses streamline the way they interact with their customers and helping create memorable experiences will be a key driver for customer retention. This also presents significant opportunity in helping customers deliver the required change.
Automation and AI – another by-product of the skills shortage alongside increased customer expectations will be an increase in automation driven by ever-sophisticated automation and AI platforms, such as can be found in Azure, Power Platform and Microsoft Dynamics.
First line support will be increasingly digitised and automated, using technology to provide quicker and more cost-effective answers for end users.
Employee Wellbeing – none of the above opportunities can be captured without an engaged and motivated team. Employee’s expectations and priorities have also changed massively in the last couple of years, and as a business leader I believe it is imperative to ensure the wellbeing of our teams and to create an environment where each individual can deliver their best work, both individually and across physical and virtual working environments.
Companies that create the best culture and work environments will have greater staff retention and motivation, which will in turn lead to better experiences for customers.
Whilst there has already been massive digital transformation in the last 2 years, as an IT channel we still have a critical role in helping businesses adapt to the new reality.
The new way of working presents huge opportunities to help businesses adapt their IT, whether it is in building a layered defence from the ever-growing cybercrime threats or in enabling inclusive more flexible workplaces and hybrid meeting solutions.
At Vuzion, we remain committed to supporting our partners and their businesses to plot a path through the ongoing uncertainty and to do all that we can to help them and their customers to thrive into the New Year and beyond. If you’re not yet a Vuzion partner and would like to know more about the solutions and services we can help you deliver, call any of the Vuzion team (0333 009 5939) - or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and prosperous 2022.