Businesses have been ever-evolving, yet the change due to the COVID-19 pandemic has remained unrivaled. As this was a major event in the last century, it has affected the world irrespective of individuals or businesses. The pandemic led to decreased work hours and job layoffs, however, on the flip side, this led to the creation of several job roles and spearheaded an increase in global talent acquisition across small businesses and large corporations.
Hybrid workspaces, digital marketing, outsourcing, working remotely, eCommerce, etc. are only some of the trends that prospered in the last two years of the pandemic. Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to be well-informed on the latest trends and predictions in the business world in order to keep up with this pace of evolution that will continue in the years to come. Let’s dive in on some of the highlights we expect this year.
A new world of digitalization arose in 2020. In 2021, proved to be a year of adaptability and change, including Facebook’s new identity Metaverse, and the growing popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), 5G, and software as a service (SaaS) technologies that cater to the remote workplace. These trends are expected to continue to be important in 2022, as 5G millimeter-wave deployment and expansion were said to rigorously roll out in rural areas providing living options for the remote and internet-dependent as well as expanding the talent pool for businesses with a geographic tether. There is a lot of potential for remote digital avenues. A report by Zenith predicted an increase in global digital ad spending of 9.1% in 2022 and advertising across all digital channels will represent 60% of all global ad spending this year.
Artificial intelligence (AI), such as the Internet of Things, Cryptocurrency, and Blockchain Technology, has been with us for quite a while now. In 2021, the 5G technology became more widely available and is further expected to expand in 2022 and beyond. Small businesses are seen to focus on the technological revolution in their physical and online operations, whether it’s marketing or supply chains, as technology will play a crucial role. Due to the automation of organizational operations and repetitive tasks, human dependence will be decreased.
AI, big data, and cloud computing will play a defining role in personalizing users’ experience, predictive analytics for future planning, and increased reliance on cloud technology. According to the Facts and Factor report, the average growth rate of global predictive market analytics will grow at around 24.5% by the end of 2026. Furthermore, global spending on cloud services has also increased and is expected to grow in the coming years, as reported by Gartner.
After the hard times of COVID-19 pandemic and the rigorous vaccinations, businesses hope to return to normal operations in 2022. Although the global economic growth has made a comeback at 6% during 2021, the USA also witnessed the same level of growth that is thought to be the strongest reading since 1984. Government grants and loans for small businesses, households, and state governments also played a defining role in the comeback of the American economy.
From the business point of view, the small businesses can expect to regain growth, but the defensive approach will be dominating. Inflation is back, and interest rates will also increase during the period. Firms should have a proactive and defensive approach to address external factors and threats.
A hybrid workspace is a mix of an on-site and remote working environment. This workspace culture has increased in the past two years as 63% of the high-revenue growth companies already use the model, and more are planning to adopt it.
During the early days of the pandemic, companies and small retail businesses adopted remote working models. Later on, the integration of remote and on-site business operations led to the hybrid model, where the employees have the freedom of moving between home or an on-site work environment. Similarly, the hybrid model works on the consumer’s side, as they can move between physical and online shopping.
The change is seen to be permanent, as nearly 71% of respondents indicated that their organization currently deploys a hybrid work model in a survey by Colliers International. According to the survey, 82% of employees preferred remote working over on-site work. Therefore, employers not offering flexibility will have to bear with high turnover rates in 2022.
To know more about the hybrid workspaces and the need to adopt this new model, read our blog on why companies should embrace the hybrid work model.
Employee wellness and mental well-being will also be crucial in defining business values at corporations. Physical, mental, and financial well-being will be measured through the use of new metrics as well. According to a report by Gartner, the companies were more inclined to introduce and implement mental, financial, and physical well-being programs. Here are the key findings of the report state:
94% of the corporations had made notable investments in the well-being programs
38% of businesses focus on financial well-being.
50% of businesses increased focus on physical, and 83% of companies increased focus on the mental health benefits of the employees.
These companies who are putting the wellness of employees at the core of business values were seen to have improved performance and employee retention, as this encourages more businesses to adopt human-first strategies and tools.
In the new business world, a business cannot succeed without making strategic partnerships with other market players. These key partnerships help businesses grow and do value addition. The companies are said to rely on other businesses’ expertise to improve efficiency, and the best example of these partnerships is outsourcing the non-core tasks to specialized firms. This includes a tech startup that can outsource accounting, bookkeeping, and HR tasks to specialized BPOs to focus on the main value proposition.
During the pandemic, supply chains collapsed due to global lockdowns and travel limitations. However, it encouraged businesses to focus on supply chain agility to meet customer expectations and show permanent changes.
Companies increasing their focus on improving and enhancing supply chain agility will likewise succeed, as it involves moving production points closer to demand points, micro-fulfillment centers, using automation, route-optimization, etc.
As previously mentioned, digital advertising and marketing will continue to increase in 2022. Similarly, the automation of marketing processes will be a crucial factor in business success. This is due to having the automated marketing software market grow at a CAGR of 8.55% from 2014 to 2019. It is expected to grow at 13.9% CAGR till 2024., and over 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation.
Chatbots, machine learning, personalized content, AI-driven campaigns, and predictive analytics will drive the marketing industry in the coming years, and as digital marketing channels grow, social media marketing automation is seen to increase. Brands are said to incorporate more social media automation in order to reach their target audience.
After the increased layoffs and business closures during the pandemic, a huge number of individuals tried their luck in creating multiple income streams. This has also led to more freelance job creation in different industries and is seen to continuously grow as businesses normalize and the adoption of hybrid workspaces continues to increase.
Managerial task automation was seen to increase as marketing automation, outsourcing non-core tasks, and automation of repetitive tasks will play a major role in redefining these positions. The automation of managerial tasks shows positive remarks from an organizational perspective, as companies need to work on manager-employee relationships. With increased managerial tasks automation, the managers will have more time to build human relationships with the employees. Additionally, this automation will continue to grow, as stated in a report by HBR wherein 65% of current managerial tasks will be automated by 2025. The likely outcome of this changing trend will be: either decrease in jobs of managerial roles change in job description and role of managers
Non-fungible tokens, more commonly known as NFTs, and cryptocurrency have been becoming mainstream in recent years. For instance, popular brands such as Nike have participated in this and acquired a company named RTFKT which deals with game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication, and augmented realities. Tesla was also heard to tap into the idea of bitcoin usage, which, in turn, sent mixed signals about the new validation of digital and cryptocurrencies. This acquisition further signals that the NFT market is something that is here to stay for a long time and these digital assets are seen to grow and become mainstream as we move forward.
As an entrepreneur or a small business, it is crucial to have an eye on national and global horizons. This is something that helps businesses adapt to new trends and market parameters, which then helps match the pace of the market and industry. The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much evident and is something that individuals and society as a whole must learn to adapt to. To prevent another setback after the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses must incorporate contingency plans, and have stakeholders introduce more sustainable business solutions independent of physical constraints. Thus, making the race of innovation continue!
We Want To Hear From You!
We will happily offer you a free consultation to determine how we can best serve you.
What are you looking for ?