After the uncertainty that marked 2021, IT industry trends for 2022 are very different from what industry experts expected 12 months ago. Not only have companies had to adjust to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they also need to reassess their IT strategies to meet the new business priorities.
As such, the trends in the industry are strongly influenced by what has happened over the past 12 months.
Desiree Gaddie, Sales Manager at Open Architecture Systems, comments that cybersecurity will continue to be a critical area of investment for all companies. “If anything, the risks facing companies have increased over the past year. Not only are they having to maintain a heightened state of awareness as a result of increased activity on the part of cybercriminals, but they’re having to adjust their strategies to having more people working remotely.”
“A key challenge is going to be the ability of IT companies to retain the trust and confidence of their clients,” she comments. “We’ve already seen a lot of pushback in the consumer space against social media organizations and the power that they exert. High profile breaches at the end of last year, through so-called supply chain attacks, compromised a number of organizations. As the IT industry we are going to have to work hard this year to maintain the relationships of trust we’ve spent years building, ensuring that we support our clients as they evolve their business models.”
Remote working remains a catalyst.
The shift to remote working remains one of the key areas for all organizations. For companies who have traditionally not catered for remote workers this has been a big shift, but even organization's with highly distributed workforces have had to adapt their IT strategies to ensure their people have access to appropriate resources.
“Across the board, from applications, to infrastructure to security, the move to remote working has triggered a massive move to the cloud, a fundamental change for many companies,” she says. “Even those still retaining on-premises infrastructure for key applications have moved to the cloud and embraced cloud security services as the critical component of their security strategy. This approach is essential for organization's looking to remain agile and flexible in the face of a rapidly changing business environment.”
She adds that 2022 will be a year of consolidation for many of these trends. “While companies had to move quickly to adapt last year, this year they will have the relative luxury of being able to consolidate and optimize those initiatives. What is essential is that companies don’t simply implement a one size fits all approach to accessing applications and data.”
Implementing policies based on the various roles that people have in the organization, as well the sensitivity of the data being accessed will allow companies to reduce not just the risks that remote working entails, but also improve the overall employee experience. “If an employee is accessing relatively generic information, then it’s unnecessary to implement additional security protocols,” she says. “However, if they have access to privileged data, which could include business sensitive information or information protected by personal data regulations, the requirements need to take that into account.”
In practice, Corporates place too much emphasis on VPN connections, while all using the correct Cloud platform and remote access technology, connections are delivered, irrespective of application type, via a single protocol that is encrypted using the correct software and products. This improves security and offers a single connectivity solution to all users, simplifying IT deployments and reducing support calls and bandwidth costs.
“Each additional layer of security has an impact on the employee experience and balancing the need for security and an enjoyable user experience is something that IT teams need to work on this year. Employee experience is critical as it has a direct impact on customer experience. With some elements of the IT environment - such as the edge network - out of the control of the IT team, ensuring that customers are able to seamlessly interact with all parts of the organization is critical,” Gaddie says.
“Strong relationships between service providers and companies will be key as companies look to take advantage of innovative technologies, but still need access to scarce cloud expertise to deliver against their business objectives,” she concludes.