The past two years have seen large scale disruptions for India Inc. across all verticals and priorities. Most importantly, there has been a rapid surge in the adoption of everything digital which is and will continue to impact the way enterprises of the future will function and thrive. Focusing on the year ahead, I believe that 2022 will see three major trends that are likely to impact organizational priorities, investments and the broad outlook.
First, the Future of Work will undergo significant transformation with a focus on the digital and hybrid workforce. This will likely alter the meaning and nature of innovation, productivity and collaboration. Second, the focus on cybersecurity and the reliance on key tech drivers will increase. Security led resilience and business continuity will see an increase in 2022. Finally, a combination of human intelligence and artificial intelligence to produce business intelligence will see a rise, where data will become the key asset driving change and impact.
Through the course of this article, we will discuss all these three trends in detail to understand how 2022 will push organizations to tread the digital native path and become agile, resilient and scalable enterprises of the future.
The Future of Work
2022 will see a further blurring of lines between the physical and the digital world. This will be most evident and apparent in the nature of the work and workforce. There will be a clear rise in a hybrid workforce, where while physical workspaces and on-premise work will continue to function, most work will move to the digital world. To augment the productivity of the hybrid workforce, enterprise of the future needs to focus on nurturing a resilient and digital tribe. Thus, the Future of Work will largely revolve around equipping the workforce with the rights skills and resources to facilitate greater productivity, innovation and collaboration by:
- Promoting opportunities for digital upskilling and reskilling across the enterprise, not just limited to IT teams
- Creating a culture that fosters competencies like risk taking and resilience to facilitate innovation and ensure business continuity even in times of crises
- Redefining ways of collaboration and tapping into global talent with a virtual workforce
While the past two years have been focused on enabling the workforce to adapt to the hybrid model of working, 2022 is likely to empower them to leverage this new model to outperform themselves. The greater flexibility, autonomy and technological tools can aid the process. The enterprise of the future needs to capitalize the digital disruption wave and encourage its workforce to innovate with new processes and solutions by collaborating with one another and latest technology trends. Technology solutions can enable the workforce to considerably scale up operations as well as remain agile. A digital hybrid workforce with the right skills, competencies and resources will enable enterprises to thrive in 2022.
The Future of Trust
There have been a few peculiar trends that have surfaced for enterprises in the past two years. First, the influx of many technology solutions, without a proper strategy, as well as changing business priorities has left enterprises vulnerable to cyberattacks. Second, the shift to remote work and a move to the cloud has further added to cybervulnerability. Both these trends signal the need to focus on the Future of Trust for 2022. Research shows that cybercrime is up 600% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This suggests that focus on security will play an important role for the enterprise of the future.
Enterprises will adopt a proactive approach to business continuity with a robust business recovery plan. This will invariably become a top business priority and will be embedded in the fabric of strategy and operations for all enterprises. This suggests that all major business decisions including resource mobilization, investment, etc. will have a security focus.
The large scale objective of bringing security to the forefront for enterprises of the future is to build resilient enterprises. This is reflective of an enterprise’s ability to withstand and counter ‘digital security’ – the real McCoy of cybersecurity and the unprecedented threats we face today – more than, perhaps ever before collectively. As the number of digital assets are increasing rapidly, so are the potential threats. Cyberattacks and security threats are becoming key business determinants with financial, reputational and regulatory risks. Therefore, enterprises of the future must view resilience in 2022 from the lens of an organization that must go all-out to protect itself; however, without stifling the ability of the organization itself to innovate and power value-acceleration.
The Future of Intelligence
Finally, the third major trend that will define outlook 2022 and help enterprises of the future to navigate the way is Future of Intelligence. Undoubtedly, the rise of technology adoption has brought along a splurge in the data produced and consumed by any enterprise. However, most enterprises today struggle to effectively capture and leverage the data insights to power business decisions. Here, 2022 is likely to see a drastic shift where the rise of data will be complemented with analytics and processing using artificial intelligence and machine learning to transform data into a strategic business asset.
Enterprises who seek to capitalize on the potential of big data must adopt a holistic data management architecture. All facets of data management including policies, collection, storage, utilization, and security have come to the forefront. Armed with enormous volumes of data, enterprises can leverage AI/ML to facilitate business intelligence. Predictive insights and analysis can enable organizations to make efficient decisions regarding different business verticals, enhancing productivity and profits. Invariably, AI/ML can exponentially accelerate the pace of data processing and analysis, offering quick insights to foster efficient and effective decision making.
With the rise of data analytics leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, enterprises can accelerate their journey towards becoming digitally native. The power of data as a business strategy can help enterprises foster a digitally native culture.
Essential Guidance for CXOs
It is clear that enterprises of the future are likely to accelerate their digital journey in 2022. While the past two years have been spent in adapting to the changing situations and preparing for the digital journey, 2022 will see the manifestation of the same with the adoption of a digital native culture, embedded in the fabric of the enterprise. Technology can no longer be seen as a good to have, but must be a part of all strategic decision making. CXOs can lead the way for their digital journey by:
- Displaying commitment to the digital journey with right upskilling opportunities and adoption of right technologies to facilitate transformation
- Adopting new models of workforce collaboration and leveraging hybrid models of work to promote innovation, productivity and collaboration
- Fostering a culture of security to build enterprise resilience with a focus on ensuring business continuity despite crisis
- Capitalizing on the value of data and viewing it as a business asset to drive business intelligence
Drawing the discussion to a close, enterprises must rethink their business priorities and accelerate their digital native journey to thrive and become sustainable and scalable for the future.