Companies in the business of technology and IT professionals are optimistic that the new year will bring a return to growth and new strategic innovations, according to a report published by CompTIA.
The report finds an industry and workforce eager to move on from nearly two years of keeping business and careers afloat and getting back to mindset that was in place prior to the pandemic.
Nearly eight in ten channel companies study said they are positive about their firm’s prospects for 2022. That optimism is matched by IT professionals, with nearly 80% feeling about their role as a technologist.
“2022 is shaping up to be a year of not just recovery, but of acceleration and innovation,” said Seth Robinson, senior director for technology analysis at CompTIA. “We are seeing signs of this in IT budgets, in the initiatives that companies are planning and in the skills employers are looking to add.”
“IT channel companies that had been simply trying to hold on to existing customers are bullish on s pursuing new customers and new customer segments in 2022,” said Carolyn April, CompTIA’s senior director for industry analysis.
“That means they are going to ramps up sales and marketing efforts and move their business into new areas, especially consulting services and getting more serious about the internet of things, artificial intelligence and other emerging tech opportunities. It also means that they expect customers to resume their investments in technology.”
The report includes 10 trends likely to shape the IT, its workforce and its business models in the new year.
10 IT industry trends to watch in 2022
The workplace can no longer be easily defined – The definition of a workplace has changed, and likely for good. The swift move from traditional office-based work to full-time at-home work has exposed upsides and downsides that companies will need to balance in the year ahead. “Companies are definitely looking at hiring, but can they find people?” Robinson noted. “Remote workforce or back in the office? Finding talent is really going to contribute to this tug of war.”
Changes in business travel drive innovation – Just as many workers discovered they could be as effective at their day-to-day jobs seated at home, many also found that business travel might not be as essential either—at least not in its past form and frequency.
The impact of regulation goes beyond new laws – “Techlash” has faded as a buzzword, but the sentiment is still real. Across the political spectrum, consumers and clients continue to have concerns about the market power of tech giants and the way data is handled.
Technology budgets experience stealth growth – Technology opportunities are moving beyond hardware installations and software licensing into a wide array of possibilities as businesses integrate technology into their long-term goals. Robust spending may not be obvious when it is allocated across IT department and business unit budgets.
Proactive cybersecurity takes a big step forward – Momentum toward a proactive approach to cybersecurity is building. Penetration testing has become a distinct role within cybersecurity team structures. Organizations are starting to realize that either internal resources or outside partners are needed to identify and correct weak spots.
Channel cybersecurity has a ways to go – Expect channel firms to double down on cybersecurity to win deals and instill confidence in increasingly nervous customers. Ignoring this critical discipline puts a channel firm at a distinct disadvantage in the race to land and cement new customers for the future.
Consulting: Today’s channel opportunity – More channel firms will have a reckoning that reselling products and services in a cloud marketplace era is fading, but they have volumes of opportunity to transform or expand as business consulting experts. “Channel companies may not be the go-to source for what the customer is buying, but they can help customers figure out what to buy and what to do with that product or service, especially in areas such as security, compliance and technology integration,” April explained.
Chip supply chain woes provide wake-up call – Channel firms, particularly the hardware-focused, may begin to consider holding whether wiser to keep inventory, parts and components close to home, regardless of whether customer orders have been placed yet, in the event of component or other backlogs overseas.
Software development gets more granular – Software applications continue to grow in number and complexity as businesses leverage technology to connect their workforce, reach new customers and improve productivity. “Technology firms and IT professionals need to become more familiar with software, especially understanding how software is used to drive a business forward.” Robinson said.
Foundational data management drives an analytics revolution – Business will be done differently thanks to data analytics. Companies with a strong data foundation will lead the way. But that can only occur once they understand data basics – the data they have; how it is collected, stored and secured; and what goals they hope to attain through its use.