The Top 8 IT Trends We Saw in 2022

While rapid technology change is nothing new, 2022 continued the acceleration of change in the IT landscape. From solving short-term operational issues to future-proofing long-term strategies and coping with a post-pandemic world, we saw a variety of IT issues emerge this year in our clients. We’ve compiled a list of the top 8 IT issues and explained how our clients are addressing these.

1. Moving to the Cloud

What is happening?
Driven by increasing compliance costs arising from cybersecurity, vendor roadmaps, and narrowing cost advantages of self-hosting, more organisations are accelerating their move out of in-house and co-located data centres in favour of the public cloud. This has been a particularly strong trend in small and medium enterprises, and for business applications and collaboration suites.

How are organisations addressing this?
The priority for most organisations is to move from Office or Exchange on-premise environments to Microsoft 365, with a cloud-first policy being adopted for other applications. Additionally, most have moved from just workload shifting (IaaS) to application consolidation on platforms such as Dynamics, Azure and Microsoft 365. This has also necessitated a review of the supporting IT team structure and operating models – how we do IT.

2. Hybrid Work post the COVID-19 pandemic

What is happening?
As organisations begin to adapt to a post-pandemic work model, staff are resistant to returning to 100% on-site work. The ‘great resignation’ is seeing people prioritise life balance over work or exit the workforce entirely. To mitigate this increased rate of staff resignations, most organisations are retaining a hybrid work model. There is a contested vision for the future of work, with some companies radically embracing hybrid work and others rejecting it as an unworkable model.

How are organisations addressing this?
The emergency changes that were put in place to allow work-from-home is now being made permanent. This has seen an increased focus on adapting ways of working, including new models for information and knowledge management that exploit cloud collaboration platforms. Traditional methods of monitoring employee performance through supervision are shifting more towards outcome-based measures.

3. The War for IT talent

What is happening?
COVID-19 has exacerbated a long-term trend – a global supply imbalance of IT-savvy managers and IT staff. This has triggered a war for talent, with clear winners and losers. The losers are having to reduce their ambitions with respect to how they do IT, and their innovation and sustainment programs. This battle to attract talent has led to labour costs in IT increasing by over 15% p.a.

How are organisations addressing this?

Smart organisations are going beyond just meeting the market for compensation, with many making themselves a destination of choice by accentuating positives such as company purpose, team culture and flexibility. Additionally, to support the improvements in the eyes of employees, organisations are proactively addressing potential negative factors such as highly controlling managers and stringent work arrangements. To communicate this to potential candidates and retention, organisations are increasing their investment in marketing to current and future employees and partnering with IT firms that may be seen as a greater attraction to employees.

4. The Cybersecurity Challenge

What is happening?
There is a heightened threat level from external hacking, with the biggest threat being to privacy. The burden of operational cybersecurity is becoming overwhelming, particularly continuous vulnerability management, network and endpoint monitoring and incident response. Compliance-driven cybersecurity strategy is proving to be increasingly ineffective. Company directors are now liable for poor cyber governance, with increasing privacy obligations and sanctions. Cyber insurance will soon become an ineffective risk mitigation with penalties likely to exceed maximum policies.

How are organisations addressing this?
Know your data! Effective data governance is a prerequisite for ensuring privacy and security. The main technical strategy is to reduce the number of systems and devices under management, move them to the cloud and decommission old systems. Many organisations are moving to managed security providers for operational security management, recognising they lack the scale to manage security 24/7. Additionally, most are introducing controls such as Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) and Secure access service edge (SASE).

5. Aging Enterprise Application Portfolios

What is happening?
Urgent upgrade projects were put on hold during the pandemic. These are now critical to ensure continued operations, yet organisations are struggling to execute. Due to this delay, an ever-increasing percentage of the IT budget is being consumed with the sustainment of ageing systems, inhibiting innovation.

How are organisations addressing this?
Application portfolio management – identifying applications and technologies that need to be replaced. This is often followed by a consolidation of business applications onto cloud platforms and the redevelopment of these apps to leverage common PaaS software platforms e.g. MS Dynamics, Power Platform, Azure and others. Community service organisations are exploring shared-service joint venture models with similar organisations in their network.

6. Digital Engagement

What is happening?
Customers are demanding to be able to engage digitally via a choice of channels now being assumed. Organisations that fail to provide services via mobile-responsive digital channels are losing market share. For community organisations, the key risk of not satisfying customers’ expectations are in the areas of customer choice of channel in client-directed care and for donations and fundraising.

How are organisations addressing this?
Many organisations are adopting a digital-first business model, where all business can be transacted online via any device. Many organisations are committing significant investments in digital platform technologies that offer:

  • Integration to Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • Web content management systems (CMS)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

This shift towards a digital-focused customer experience also requires a capability uplift and refocus on business process design and customer experience (CX).

7. Data as an Asset

What is happening?
Organisations are getting serious about data governance and the use of data to drive decisions – both human and AI/ML. They realise that they can no longer support silos of data within their organisation. Understanding where customers’ private data is in their organisation is an immediate priority. However, with skilled data architects and developers in high demand, organisations are struggling to attract talent with skills in data management and visualisation.

How are organisations addressing this?

More organisations are implementing formal data governance frameworks. To reduce operational costs, many organisations are looking to leverage Microsoft’s data governance tools that are built into Microsoft 365 e.g., Purview. Microsoft also seems to be winning the Business Intelligence suite battle, with the Power platform now the default choice for many customers.

8. IT for OT

What is happening
Organisations in the resource and infrastructure sectors are having to address ageing infrastructure in their operational networks. Increased cybersecurity threats and the impact of critical infrastructure legislation are key drivers for this work. There are cultural and professional differences between Engineering and IT teams. Organisations have the desire to drive convergence but there are cultural, professional, and engineering obstacles to doing this.

How organisations are addressing this?
Common initiatives to drive standardisation in IT service management and technology choice are early wins. This allows teams to start to understand different perspectives to help create more cohesion across the organisation. IP Networks and Servers are priorities for uplift in management, but clients are careful to recognise the different requirements of OT (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety) versus IT (Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability, Affordability, Scalability).

Key takeaways
2022 has been a year of accelerating change in IT. The pace is unlikely to slacken off in 2023, as IT organisations struggle to catch up with deferred projects, support business transformation and deal with skill shortages, increasing customer expectations and heightened requirements for cybersecurity. There are, however, opportunities to simplify IT operations through the adoption of platform and SaaS cloud solutions.  This will necessitate new structures and service models from IT organisations. The fundamentals of knowing your data and your infrastructure remain at the heart of good IT management practices and increasingly are a priority for the Board as well as the CIO.

About Business Aspect
Business Aspect solves complex business problems through the collaborative efforts of our team of highly experienced personnel, and through the application of proven intellectual property. Through the diverse skill set of our senior consultants, we bring expert knowledge to support planning initiatives for people, processes and systems. For more information on any trends that might impact your organisation, get in touch with our team today.