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We interviewed our board of directors about their 2022 expectations. Here's what they said:

 


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2020 and 2021 were turbulent years filled with uncertainty, change and development, so we asked our board of directors for their predictions and plans for 2022. Interestingly, none of them mentioned NFTs, the Crypto Gold Rush or virtual reality. Instead, they all focused on simple things you can do to grow your business next year.

 

David Pollock, Executive Chairman

Homeworking is here to stay, as is the ever-increasing cyber threat from hackers, so at Chess, we focus on making it easier to work securely, anywhere, anytime.

The noise around the big 2025 PSTN shutdown will increase. Speeding up the transition to alternative solutions like Cloud Voice and Fibre will be paramount for businesses wanting to stay ahead of the game.

Here's hoping that in 2022 Manchester United will win the Champions League again. 🤞

 

Stephen Dracup, Chief Operating Officer

Next year the ability to do most jobs remotely will continue to increase wages outside the traditional hotspots of London and the southeast. This will exacerbate the existing wage inflation due to skill shortages in Development, IT and Security. In addition, given the ease of contact through online platforms such as LinkedIn, businesses will have to work harder to retain key people and/or outsource more.

The convergence of collaboration, networking, automation and communications tools into platforms like Teams will drive up the effectiveness of businesses and people who embrace this change and work out how to use it, giving them a clear advantage over businesses and people who don't. So invest in recruitment and your personal development.

Short term car rental/sharing apps will start to fill in the gap between Uber and car ownership and become more popular this year.

 

Gavin Wood, Chief Technology Officer

In 2022, we will see the threat from ransomware continue to rise. There will be an increase of attacks through the as-a-service type of cybercrime where skilful hacking organisations make their tools and services available for widespread use.

Following the rapid adoption of working from home, the SASE technology stack will gain further importance within businesses and technologies such as ZTNA will become more mainstream.

5G and WIFI 6 will become more pervasive while allowing faster and better connectivity for our mobile devices. This will also drive the large scale rollout of IoT infrastructure, supporting the growth of connected cities.

 

Mark Lightfoot, Chief Financial Officer

Most companies have learnt to work remotely or in a hybrid/flexible environment, but are they operating effectively? 2022 will be the year when business leaders need to think differently about what 'flexible' really means.

In its broadest sense, we have to allow people to work where they want and when they want to be truly flexible. We need to ensure businesses don't lose the power of collaboration, mentoring, brainstorming, governance and the occasional need for honest and challenging feedback, all of which historically work better face to face.

The key ingredients to making remote work actually work will be the connectivity, security, quality of devices and communication methods. But, make no mistake, the time we no longer have being face to face will need to be replaced with time spent understanding people's needs and motivators to ensure people and businesses thrive together.

 

Warren Pryer, Group Sales Director

In 2022, working from home will continue to present security challenges, including home gateway security and the potential threat from IoT devices (internet-connected kids toys, smart speakers, smart TVs, and more). In addition, because of the acceleration towards cloud technology, businesses will need to leverage key suppliers to strengthen their digital posture, especially cybersecurity.

Ransomware and phishing will evolve to avoid traditional controls meaning businesses need to invest in next-generation solutions with the 24/7 service wrap to cover the ever-increasing skills gap in this area.

The need for 24/7/365 monitoring of key systems will make Managed Threat Response services a crucial part of every organisation's cyber strategy.

 


Oliver Lofthouse, Sales Director

In early 2022, many UK businesses will make quicker home/hybrid working decisions. The pandemic has shown that this can be an effective option for employees, so expect less office work across all industries. Employee retention will be high on Board room agendas, and businesses will work harder to retain their best talent since remote working removes the traditional barriers to change jobs.

As 5G coverage improves, businesses will separate their home and work connectivity using 5G technology. I expect cellular-connected laptops to grow as one possible solution while our industry will start to plan for 6G mobile technology possibilities. 2025 and the upcoming PSTN switch off will become a bigger priority next year, and the portfolio of available solutions will increase. As mentioned, 5G will play a more significant role in supporting businesses to navigate this issue. I also think satellite broadband will start to gain traction. I would not be surprised to see these providers teaming up with telecom operators to achieve scale and penetration and make this a much more affordable solution for both businesses and consumers.

Following the media in recent weeks, I am also predicting that we will have a new Prime Minister at some point during 2022!

 


To summarise, as a business leader, you should focus on retaining your people, improving your security, and enabling hybrid working in the new year. We can help you on your journey, whatever your strategy is for 2022 and advise on you the best technology for your organisation. Contact our expert team and book your FREE technology consultation today.

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Elena Doncheva

Elena Doncheva

Elena Doncheva, Head of Marketing at Chess, joined the organisation after finishing her International Business and Management postgraduate degree at Alliance Manchester Business School. With B2C and B2B experience, she sees marketing as a key driver for business growth. Together with her team, Elena is responsible for demand generation, brand building and PR. 


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