If they were asked five years ago to predict what the workplace would look like in 2022, it’s unlikely most tech leaders would have fully envisioned today’s highly flexible, remote-friendly environment. Still, what could easily have been predicted then—and now—is the oversized role technology will continue to play in nearly every business.
With their fingers on the pulse of tech in the workplace, the industry experts of Forbes Technology Council have shrewd insights into and ideas about the ways technology will continue to evolve and impact the ways we work. Here, 16 of them discuss the tech trends and topics they believe will soon be hitting the workplace and how companies can prepare.
1. No-Code Tools
Savvy workers are becoming more comfortable with no-code tools, through which they can create their own workflows and applications to help them better do their jobs. Companies can tap into this creativity and help their employees learn how to best use tools such as Notion, Airtable and Retool so that the tools driving the business forward can adapt and learn from the people actually using them. – Chris Tse, Verifi Media
2. Dynamic Access And Authorization Management
Covid-19 pushed remote work forward, expanding the attack surface IT administrators must monitor. The internet is the perimeter now. The maintenance of dynamic access and authorization systems will continue to be front and center. IT leaders should invest in secure access service edge, dynamic firewalls, endpoint security, zero-trust network access and cloud security posture management solutions. – Vladi Sandler, Lightspin
3. Tech Worker Shortages
Tech worker shortages will continue. Therefore, the market will be competitive, and tools that can identify talent—even less traditional talent—will be essential. Even with the return to the office, remote tools are here to stay. If one person is working from home, the best practice is for everyone to be remote to operate effectively. – Amanda Richardson, CoderPad
4. App Integration
Today, many leaders are tackling the same problems from different points of view. For example, IT and finance teams must both manage FinOp projects, but they often lack the proper insights and data for optimal collaboration. Integrated apps will allow all stakeholders to join forces on projects, merging the interests of all parties and ensuring the tech investment is paying off. – Jesse Stockall, Snow Software
5. Business-Led IT
Business-led IT—where employees, not IT, decide what technology to use—will make workers more productive, allow them to react to market conditions faster and increase job satisfaction. Companies can prepare for this trend by adopting policies to govern and secure technology that is acquired through a decentralized purchasing process rather than a command-and-control process. – Lior Yaari, Grip Security
6. Tech-Enabled Hiring And Training
I believe we will see more businesses use machine learning and artificial intelligence to hire and train their staff in the coming years. However, I don’t think the process will be 100% hands-off. Instead, recruiters and training managers will harness the power of this tech to create a level playing field for new hires, regardless of their experience or previous training. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
7. Work-Based Social Media
A work-based social media platform with an immersive user interface will enable stronger employee relationships and crowdsourced solutions in the digital workplace and influence a company’s directions and values. The beginnings of a corporatewide awareness will form. DEI initiatives, a work culture that encourages gestalt and the right platform will lay the foundations for a digital consciousness within the company. – John Cho, Robotic Research
8. Gaming For Team-Building
Gaming and its evolution into the metaverse and virtual reality are emerging trends that are already influencing the workplace and are opening new opportunities for team-building. For example, an emerging trend is in-person VR games that enable people to experience virtual gaming “in real life” alongside their teammates. – Mike Lefebvre, SEI
9. Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web apps may become a trend in the event Apple changes its policy on the topic. In terms of needed preparation, it is important to think about two points. First, you’ll need to prepare a mobile layout for an app, and second—carefully read the Google guides. – Oleh Svet, Computools
10. Autonomous AI
With the rise of AI, we are moving past simple automation toward systems that can invent new ways of doing our work and make decisions on patterns not identifiable by humans. This transferring of autonomy offers great gains, but it could also spell trouble for current cybersecurity and compliance practices. Considering how technical processes and policies might be adapted may ease adoption and remove future hurdles. – Joel Yonts, Malicious Streams Inc.
11. Specialization In The Workplace
Just as personalization is an ever-rising trend in machine learning development, companies need to get ready for specialization in the workplace. How will individuals with rare, special skills be retained? Reward packages and negotiations aren’t enough; HR needs to take care of specialized workers by predicting their performance, wants and needs. – Jacob Mathison, Mathison Projects Inc.
12. Decentralized Identities
Decentralized identities—currently in an early stage, but already a W3C standard—will influence the workplace. Users will use DIDs in different ways with the ever-increasing and diverse set of privacy and data protection regulations. Companies will have to prepare to accommodate a BYOI (bring your own identity) model. It may sound unrealistic, but remember that BYOD was an unrealistic idea a decade ago. – Thurupathan Vijayakumar, Aventude
13. Multifactor Authentication
Multifactor authentication requires a separate device for a user to authenticate their identity. Depending on their role, an individual may need to use a personal device such as a cellphone. This can become a point of contention for some, as they do not want to put any work-related apps on their personal devices. To prepare, companies will need to have clear policies and communicate them long before rolling out MFA. – Alex Waddell, Adobe Care and Wellness
Web3 has only recently burst onto the scene, but it’s driving a new way of work and propelling the shift from the work-to-earn model toward a system where various tasks can lead to the generation of income. To plug themselves into the Web3 world, leaders must hire talent with skill sets in blockchain to support Web3 development, create digital wallets and purchase nonfungible tokens to jump into this new economic form of trade. – Jeff Wong, EY
15. OKR Solutions
Given the pervasiveness of hybrid and remote working, I believe that leveraging third-party solutions to develop, communicate and cascade objectives and key results will become more and more important for medium to large organizations. This will ensure alignment as well as provide the ability to objectively “rate” individuals and teams in achieving their OKRs. – Mark Schlesinger, Broadridge Financial Solutions
16. Balancing The Costs And Benefits Of Hybrid Work
The workplace will continue to be “hybrid,” with a mix of working in the office and from home. The trick will be to harness the benefits and reduce the costs of this. The benefits can include tapping into a wider talent pool and reducing costs for employees (such as office space and commuting costs). But there are also costs, including figuring out how to pull the team together and create a compelling culture. – Blair Currie, Snibble Corp.