In December of 2021, IBM published a research brief that outlined 5 trends for 2022 and beyond. Stated at the beginning of the brief is: “The investments executives make today will define which doors are open to them tomorrow.” We see evidence of this throughout the article, as businesses find new ways to adapt for the future. To summarize the piece, the most important trends we will see help businesses become sustainable in 2022 and beyond are digital transformation, tech adoption, transparency, respect for workers, and security.
A Rise in Digital
The first point this brief makes is how our everyday lives have become impacted by the rise of digital initiatives. Businesses need to make the shift to digital or they’ll be left behind, as seen by IBM research showing that over half of organizations are increasing their investments in digital tech and changing strategies. Technology is also playing a large role in growing organizational resilience and adaptability because businesses need to become more resilient in the face of issues such as the pandemic that continues to affect the globe. Executives also say that they plan to participate in business ecosystems 332% more in 2022 than they did in 2018. One way we know that these businesses can make this transformation to digital and increase their involvement in their business ecosystems is by participating in an Intelligence Exchange.
Environmental and Societal Goods
The second and third trends that IBM sees affecting the future of the business world surround the priorities we must take to ensure a safe and sustainable future. According to their research, the pandemic has influenced 93% of global consumers' views, with over half of respondents saying they’re willing to take a pay cut or pay higher prices for a more sustainable future. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen evidence backing those claims, as fewer than one-third of consumers fail to make sustainable purchases and many do not trust the statements made by companies about environmental sustainability. However, companies need to back up those statements. While 90% of companies say they’re working on sustainability issues, only 33% of them are actually measuring that progress. In 2022, we would like to see more businesses track their progress towards sustainability, which will hopefully lead to more public trust.
Businesses also need to invest in the durability of their workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic has instigated a “Great Resignation,” a term coined by IBM. Companies have been losing part of their workforce as talent shifts to industries and roles they feel better suit their values. Disruption not only affected businesses but also workers who wish to take their talents to “organizations that prove they put employees first.” Businesses must balance finding ways to make their product and work sustainable, but also maintaining a work environment that draws in the top talent. Those two concepts happen to go hand-in-hand, as workers look to shift their jobs to organizations that work not just towards a resilient and sustainable future, but also a workplace that prioritizes their wellbeing.
Reshaping for the Future
The last two trends in the brief revolve around tech adoption reshaping business operations and the importance of security in sustainability. IBM states that “[businesses] must focus on building integrated systems that revolutionize business models in 2022,” and not a piece-by-piece strategy. As digital takes over our lives, keeping up with the times is pivotal to success, as well as not being afraid to take a “fail-forward” approach, that can see up to a 10% revenue growth. IBM research shows that CIOs are attempting to move their businesses towards hybrid-cloud operations and intelligent workflows. As previously mentioned, Intelligence Exchanges are a unique way to venture businesses into those advanced functionalities. With the ability to deliver intelligence in the way businesses desire, participation in both cloud formats and intelligent workflows is easily obtainable.
The adoption of technology doesn’t stop there, as these cloud-based technologies bring new threats and risks. IBM research shows that around 70% of organizations are not able to find data that moves across cloud platforms, and 90% of cyber-related incidents come from cloud environments. Companies can remedy these faults by operating a “zero trust” approach that assumes threats are at every turn, requiring security measures to secure boundaries. Around 60% of leaders who employ the zero trust strategy state that this security approach has enabled better digital transformation, and has also increased trust with external partners. These evolving security practices in the ‘cloud era’ put businesses in positions to deliver better results. The proof that security is a trend to invest in for 2022 and beyond is that organizations with the most mature cloud security practices outperformed peers by more than 2x, both in terms of revenue growth and profitability.
2022 is already here, but we see these trends that IBM has laid out in action already. Companies have digitization practices and transitions to secure data already in progress. As the pandemic continues, we also see businesses shift towards hybrid and remote work practices to accommodate their workers. IBM shares several trends that we see successful businesses beginning to take, and that we at The Intelligence Exchange have begun to take as well. We hope that these trends become more commonplace and that businesses start to evolve into sustainable and resilient organizations that can withstand and succeed in the face of future disruptions.
To learn more about joining an Intelligence Exchange, reach out to us at [email protected] And to read and download the full report from IBM, visit https://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/institute-business-value/report/business-technology-trends-2022#.