Small Business IT Trends that will shape 2022
1. Add hybrid workforce technology and Hot Desking
Workplace culture continues to evolve with hybrid workforces here to stay. Technology is driving this momentum forward, enabling businesses of all sizes to remain agile and adaptable. SMBs will continue to seek purpose-built technology solutions that bring equity, parity, presence, and inclusion to hybrid work.
Hot desking is here to stay! Compulsory working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a seismic shift in working arrangements with several global organisations – including Microsoft, Twitter, and HSBC to name a few – announcing that remote working is their new normal. Small Businesses are also following suit, having already adopted hybrid working arrangements or ditching the office for good.
2. Enhance digital security & security awareness training
Digital threats are as much a concern for SMBs as they are for large companies. Whether it’s private client data, proprietary company information or financial accounts, security must remain top of mind in 2022 as cybercriminals become savvier every day. Investing in some form of cyber awareness training program will become more common as business owners wise up to the reality that the vulnerability of their staff is quite often their weakest link.
3. Invest in modern monitors
The desktop monitors SMB employees use can transform their work experience for increased comfort and capabilities. Investing in modern monitors makes sense, especially for remote employees and those in technology roles. For example, SMB employees can seamlessly multitask through modern desktop monitors that offer larger screen real estate and single cable management for easy connections.
Next-generation monitors feature higher resolution, new aspect ratios such as ultra-wide and low blue light tech to reduce eye strain. Monitors will extend functionality for SMB employees as they can provide a docking hub for connection of other devices such as smartphones, speakers, headphones, and tablets.
4. Upgrade your accessory ecosystem
Beyond modern monitors, other aspects of home office technology are transforming, too. Creating an up-to-date and efficient workspace at home is important for productivity but also for personal well-being. Providing employees with complementary tools that bridge the gap between home and office will elevate the experience and empower hybrid working trends.
When researching new accessories for SMB employees, consider the most common pain points of power anxiety, poor audio quality and physical stresses of inappropriate input devices resulting from longer working hours. Power banks, noise-canceling headphones certified for unified communications platforms and ergonomic mice and keyboards will become more mainstream in 2022, allowing teams at SMBs to improve their work-from-anywhere capabilities and productivity.
5. Sustainability strategy
Over the next decade it will become increasingly important for small businesses to have a sustainability strategy for IT. This will help the environment and increase profitability as consumers will continue to place more importance on a business’s sustainability. There are some easy wins here for small businesses such as: embracing cloud services, powering down equipment when not in use, purchasing refurbished equipment, disposing of redundant equipment ethically and the continued use of video conferencing.
6. Workplace Analytics
It is becoming easier for leaders to harness research-based behavioural insights to show how their organisation gets work done. Platforms such as Visier and Activtrak highlight what actions can be taken to help drive change. Minor changes to collaboration practices can have transformative effects on organisational productivity at scale. For example, employees with high job satisfaction and a keen sense of belonging are more likely to produce high-quality work, identify business opportunities and remain at the organisation. Moreover, employees who share information, prioritise learning, and protect time for deep thinking generate the innovative ideas needed for success in rapidly evolving markets. Slow adoption of modern technology harms efforts to attract and retain top talent, improve productivity, and can lead to market failure.
7. 5G Adpotion
The ability to work flexibly has never been more important, particularly considering the uncertainty created by a global pandemic. Small businesses have had to rapidly adapt to a vast number of sudden changes, whether that’s meant working from home, or creating Covid-secure spaces for colleagues and customers. When it’s no longer possible to only rely on home or office broadband, 5G can provide a lightning fast, stable connection that businesses can use just about anywhere. Being able to get more done with a mobile connection means that you and your team aren’t tied to an office but are free to work wherever and whenever suits you.
In itself, 5G might not seem like a spectacular new technology - after all, it’s more of an upgrade to existing mobile networks, rather than a brand-new idea. However, this faster, higher bandwidth network has the potential to make lots of other modern technologies far more accessible to small businesses.