A CEO’s Outlook for 2022: 5 Insights for Forward-Thinking Business Leaders

Two cartoon people stand looking to the side with telescopes atop the numbers 2022, with a target serving as the zero.You’ve probably heard the quote, “The only constant in life is change,” from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Recent years have demonstrated the accuracy of that observation as the world has become increasingly virtual, with daily tasks such as working and socializing moving online. Although we can’t say for sure how 2022 will unfold, advancements in technology will likely continue to transform our lives.

As you contemplate the year ahead, you might wonder which trends and events will define the year and what you can do to stay relevant and achieve success. Based on my experience as CEO of Stratosphere Networks and projections from industry experts, I’d like to offer some predictions for business leaders considering their strategy for 2022. The following insights and observations should help guide your efforts.

1. Standout businesses will prioritize customer experience (CX) improvement driven by the adoption of advanced and emerging technologies.

The experiences people have interacting with your company have begun to matter much more than the products and services you’re offering. In 2021, 89 percent of brands prioritized consumer-facing digital experiences, according to Gartner. However, for 46 percent of customers, most companies’ digital experiences are too similar to differentiate. In 2022, the brands that emerge as frontrunners in their industries will be the ones that craft memorable and unique experiences.

It’s impossible to separate CX enhancement from digital transformation efforts and the adoption of new and emerging technologies. The vast majority (80 percent) of consumers will view the world around them as entirely digital in 2022, according to Forrester Research. You can’t create exceptional and personalized experiences for people who spend most of their time online without embracing high-tech solutions like artificial intelligence, mobility, and cloud solutions such as Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)Trusted advisors with in-depth knowledge of a wide range of IT solutions can identify the right products for your business and help you deliver the best possible digital experience.

2. Organizations across all industries will face increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

Last year, numerous companies endured a relentless onslaught of cybercrime. Most notably, ransomware attacks wreaked havoc for the Colonial Pipeline, meat processor JBS, Fujifilm, and many other companies. Overall, there were more breaches from the beginning of 2021 through September 30 (1,291 breaches) than there were in all of 2020 (1,108), according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). There’s no doubt that hackers will continue their efforts to breach corporate networks in 2022.

One tactic to watch out for in particular is social engineering, according to the ISACA article “Assessing the State of Cybersecurity in 2021 and Preparing for 2022.” Investment in employee security awareness training and other advanced cybersecurity solutions such as extended detection and response (XDR), zero-trust network architecture and secure access service edge (SASE) is a must for organizations that want to avoid extensive financial and reputational damage from security incidents this year.

3. Pandemic-driven supply chain issues will continue to hamper operations.

The supply chain troubles spurred by the pandemic will persist this year. Businesses are still grappling with production delays, global logistics disruptions, and staffing issues, among other problems, KPMG notes. Ninety percent of retailers expect supply chain issues to affect their revenue during the first half of 2022, research from Coupa Software found, according to MarketWatch.

4. Cloud phone systems will be the default for companies looking to empower the modern workforce.

Omicron has derailed many companies’ plans to bring workers back to the office, according to The New York Times. With uncertainty surrounding reopening timelines and many people still working from home, it makes sense for businesses to replace traditional phone systems with Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platforms that offer greater accessibility. As cloud phone systems become more popular, the UCaaS market is expected to expand to $87.2 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 19.25 percent, according to a press release from Research and Markets.

5. Outsourcing IT and cybersecurity will make more sense than ever for businesses of all sizes.

As businesses face possible staffing issues, daunting digital transformation projects and rapidly evolving security threats, a growing number will outsource IT and cybersecurity to a third-party provider. The “great resignation” started gaining momentum in 2021, and we expect it to be a major trend in 2022. During this unique era for employers, why not let someone else deal with turnover and workforce management?

Managed service providers can offer access to high-level expertise without the need to invest in recruiting, onboarding, training and maintaining in-house IT support and security teams. Companies are expected to increase their investments in outsourcing in 2022, with managed services accounting for 17 percent of IT budgets (compared to 15 percent in 2020), according to the 2022 State of IT report from Spiceworks Ziff Davis.

If you’d like expert assistance with your IT strategy for the year ahead, our trusted advisors can leverage advanced tools and extensive experience working with various solutions (including UCaaS and cloud contact center platforms) to help you identify leading products and services that will enhance CX, increase efficiency, and overall position your organization for long-term success. Connect with us today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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