Authored by Kelly J. Ueoka, President
As we look ahead to 2022, there are many reasons to be cautiously optimistic. Vaccination rates are climbing, the state’s economy is promising, and Hawaiʻi businesses are inspiring us with their ingenuity, having pivoted and even found new ways to thrive during another tumultuous year.
Below, I’ll dive into my tech predictions for 2022, with hope for a prosperous and healthy new year for all.
Consolidation of Services
The consolidation of IT systems and services will continue in 2022, allowing businesses to operate with a smaller footprint while boosting efficiency and enhancing security. Gartner predicts that security leaders currently managing dozens of tools will plan to downsize to less than 10. Vital services supporting consolidation are hybrid cloud, enabling flexibility and leveraging data on the fly, and software as a service (SaaS), accelerating adoption timeframes.
Cybersecurity management tools will also be key players in the consolidation of services as organizations need data management that provides a holistic view across devices and geographies. Implementing advanced cybersecurity solutions that adapt, scale, and accommodate the various permutations of hybrid and remote work environments will be part of the overall strategy to consolidate.
This year, we’ve already seen President Biden’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity. The order is geared towards the federal government, but it’s another significant step for cybersecurity legislation. It also encourages the private sector to invest in cybersecurity and preventive measures. As cyberattacks surge and advance, we’ll continue to see tightened regulations for both the public and private sectors. For example, Gartner forecasts that “the percentage of nation states passing legislation to regulate ransomware payments, fines, and negotiations will rise to 30% by the end of 2025, compared to less than 1% in 2021.” The new level of compliance will be closer to “highly secure” versus “just enough.”
The Future of Work
Hybrid/remote work is here to stay. Amazon, for example, recently announced an indefinite remote work policy, effective immediately. This massive shift has implications for connectivity needs, cybersecurity management, and physical office requirements. Although in-person collaboration will still be prized, technology-rich environments will be essential.
We expect to see more companies embracing tools that integrate seamlessly with their existing programs and environments as technology companies launch next-generation tools to fulfill these needs. Microsoft Viva, an online employee experience platform first announced earlier this year, incorporates communication, knowledge, learning, and insights into users’ flow of work. It’s a great example of a tool that takes hybrid/remote work capabilities to a new level, far beyond group document edits. To scratch the surface, the Viva Insights module allows managers and employees to access data-driven recommendations to improve productivity and wellbeing. Insights reports on working habits, identifies burnout patterns, and more. Insights is partially included in existing M365 and O365 enterprise subscriptions. Premium personal and manager insights are available as part of the Insights subscription add-on.
The Global Supply Chain Crisis
Since the start of the pandemic, the logistics sector has struggled to keep pace with the exponential spikes in demand for consumer goods while adapting to new working conditions brought on by COVID-19. Shortages and delays continue to vex every industry, from retail to automotive, even as we enter the year’s busiest shopping season. While technology has always played an essential part in modern supply chain management, its role has increased to further boost time and cost efficiencies during this crisis. For example, companies are automating manual tasks to save time and using predictive analytics to prepare for opportunities and challenges ahead. While technology may not be the sole answer, the right solutions and partners are key in helping companies find their equilibrium.
Pacxa believes strongly in the potential of Hawaiʻi as a technology industry leader, embracing innovation. I believe that our state can be a model for training a workforce for the technology jobs of tomorrow. Huakaʻi, our workforce development program, provides paid training and on-the-job experience to help local workers find success in IT careers, contributing to the growth of the state and solidifying the sustainability of our economy.
This year, these types of development programs will continue to flourish as employers look to fill skill gaps and people reevaluate their career paths.
We will see challenges in 2022, but there will also be opportunities. Choosing the right technology can help Hawaiʻi businesses and residents forge ahead and make the most of the opportunities and mitigate the risks.