Eight 2022 Business Communications Trends
Since the start of the decade, we’ve done a collective 180° when it comes to where, when, and how we work. In a recent LinkedIn poll of approximately 800 workers, 41% of respondents said they want to work remotely indefinitely and just 4% said they’d prefer to go back to a fully in-office workplace. And get this: 82% of workers in a related survey said they’d be absolutely fine with working for a company that has no physical office. We’ve come a long way. And there’s no going back… Remote and hybrid work acceptance (and the growing demand for it) has changed the way we communicate and collaborate. Hypercommunication channels such as messaging have practically made email communications old news. Company cultures everywhere demand reimagining. Hacking has become a business, and every home computer, a threat vector. These considerations and others have led to our curation of eight significant 2022 business communication trends.
- Agile Workplace
Enabling remote work is so 2021.
Whether the future will bring remote workplaces, hybrid workplaces or traditional workplaces is unknown. Therefore, agile workplaces are the future. Agile workplaces deepen business resilience to evolving economic and competitive conditions. They support a distributed workforce that allows companies to reduce labour costs and deploy advanced security measures to mitigate ongoing threats.
Agile workplaces also enable organisations to imagine and create innovative customer experiences from both product and support perspectives.
Hot Trend: Having generally solved basic employee connectivity issues, in 2022, organisations will take communications to the next level by looking to solve operational issues including cost-cutting plus placing emphasis on innovating around products and experiences.
2. Connected Culture
Business leaders are facing new challenges to keep employees engaged and productive. Replicating in-person conversations that lead to eureka moments or build team chemistry on video is notoriously difficult. Additionally, recruiting and retaining workers is rising on corporate priority lists as The Great Resignation and Great Reprioritisation continue indefinitely.
Hot Trend: In 2022, employee experience (EX) will gain equal footing in the total experience equation (TX) being hyped by Gartner where TX = customer experience (CX) +EX + user experience (UX).
This means companies will devote more resources to reduce communications silos, improve employee satisfaction and career opportunities.
We expect more cross-functional teams to emerge including alliances such as among IT, facilities, and HR. We also expect greater utilisation of apps and activities designed to strengthen team unity and chemistry as well as investments in employee recognition.
3. Era of Integrated Communications
In 2021, the single-vendor integrated communications platform versus multi-vendor approaches to cloud communications debate came to a head with the proposed and failed acquisition of Five9 by Zoom.
Hot Trend: 8×8 believes the future of engaging both customers and employees relies on an integrated cloud communications platform that connects all employees within an organisation from the front office to the contact centre. The future use of data also tilts toward seamless integration.
Siloed data is less valuable than integrated data. Therefore, in 2022, the vendor battlelines will continue to be drawn and redrawn. XCaaS is born out of bringing UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS plus APIs together to let customers reap the benefits of integration including composable applications, cross-application AI, innovative customer experiences, and more. The big communications vendor winners and losers in 2022 could be those who offer a single, cloud platform and those who do not. 8×8 has been a trendsetter in this area and our recent investment proves our leadership.
4. Composed Experiences
You are attending your best friend’s wedding in 2022. Would you prefer an off-the-rack suit or dress or one custom-tailored to your body? Now that the benefits of using an integrated cloud communications platform for communications are established by customers and the industry alike, the question is what comes next.
Hot Trend: In 2022, the next big cloud communications trend will be composed experiences, meaning custom features tied to specific roles or vertical industries that are adapted to the future of work and the evolution of traditional roles.
Organisations do not want to purchase comprehensive, catch-all licenses for every employee. They want to be able to target capabilities to empower employees to be more productive and effective. 8×8 released its first composed experience for employees like office administrators who manage large volumes of phone calls called Front Desk. Expect more in 2022 for different roles and industries including sales and health care. According to Gartner, by 2024 80% of CIOs surveyed will list modular business redesign, through composability, as a top-five reason for accelerated business performance.
In today’s world, nobody likes to wait…for anything. Delays often cause frustration which can lead to a consumer giving their business to someone else. Consider manufacturers that have to keep customers happy amid massive supply chain shortages clogging seaports globally.
Hot Trend: In 2022, companies are attacking this challenge by pushing real-time capabilities to the limits for inbound and outbound communications.
Expect SMS and text messaging to play an increased part in business and customer interactions. Companies will leverage every communications channel to serve the different ways customers like to interact. Combining channels will also accelerate responsiveness from employees and open up self-service opportunities to give customers what they want faster and cheaper.
Everyone has their favourite combination. Could be PB&J, mac and cheese, or maybe pizza and beer. In 2022, automation and personalisation will be best buddies. Organisations seeking to deliver great experiences are looking to push speed and efficiency while also cutting costs. AI/ML plus open APIs are driving advances in automation for serving customers, employees as well as securing corporate data. Some automation trends, like robotic process automation, will focus on operations, others will focus on customer self-service and support.
Hot Trend: In 2022, bots are getting smarter and more adept at solving problems and handling e-commerce transactions. While they may not yet go full Alexa, that is the direction they are heading. It will provide organisations to scale their capabilities, address labour shortages, and give smaller businesses a way to compete effectively. Analysts are studying every business process including digital interactions to see how automation can bring more value and better experiences.
7. Security Advancement
Now that homes and coffee shops are effectively corporate branch offices, implementing stout security controls has never been more critical to a company’s health. An increasing number of organisations are taking an assume-breach posture so they can plan recovery activities and prevent severe consequences from ransomware and other attacks. At the same time, human behaviour intentionally or otherwise is still the biggest security risk to businesses.
Hot Trends: In 2022, security will be baked into the design of every communications solution.
Wide AI deployment for security will be a must to keep up with the growing sophistication of bad actors. One of the best ways to reduce risks will still be to require mandatory employee training on a quarterly basis. Multi-million dollar security investments can be ruined with a single click. Companies have to factor in the rising numbers of potential threats from the increased use of SMS and text messaging in business-customer interactions.
8. Digital Transformation Acceleration
Digital transformation is a broad category that could conceivably be considered a trend every year as businesses typically want to improve continuously. It also includes elements of all of the aforementioned trends. At the highest levels, three points about digital transformation will be big in 2022.
Hot Trends: Expect, in 2022, for companies to realise the fruits of their labours of early transformation projects. We see lots of clients now taking those early initiatives and working to optimise them including enhancing workflows, reducing clicks and costs, and innovating wherever possible based on their results.
Digital transformation never stops. Businesses that focused efforts on one area such as telephony are adding more innovations like transforming their contact centre or embedding video into their e-commerce projects. You eat an elephant in small bites rather than swallowing it whole. Many organisations are moving on to their next bites.