5 trends that will be in 2022…

if They are not, companies will have to enable remote work as well as redesign offices. This more flexible workforce will need powerful tools for communication and collaboration, with cloud and “as a service” (XaaS) solutions that help enable a dynamic hybrid team workspace. At the same time, companies will be under great pressure to protect themselves from the increasingly advanced security threats. The workplace will also be affected by important societal demands. Whereas sustainability in IT meant positive market differentiation for companies in the past, climate-neutral jobs are becoming more and more stable. Sustainable solutions will become the primary business standard. At the same time, there is another innovation that helps companies succeed in these highly dynamic environments: making faster and better decisions based on data.

Data-driven decision making is the key to success

In 2022, data-driven operations will become even more important, as they will be at least one step ahead of others in the decision-making process. However, 58 percent of companies still rely on their intuition and experience rather than data and facts[1].

In order to increase business value, it is essential to identify the right data in the large amounts of data held by businesses. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), this would not be a tedious and time-consuming manual process for employees. To find key business information, AI and machine learning collect and analyze massive amounts of data. For example, daily operations can be streamlined and speeded up with robotic process automation (RPA) tools that take on repetitive daily tasks—allowing employees to focus on more creative, high-value tasks.

The mixed office will become the norm

by search[2] 52 percent of post-pandemic employees want more flexibility regarding where they work. This means that in 2022, digital remote work or a hybrid solution will become the norm in many organizations, and working exclusively in corporate offices is an exception.

Therefore, solutions that allow seamless exchange and collaboration will become increasingly important. Konica Minolta enables intelligent, connected cloud work with Microsoft 365. It allows teams to work with documents at the same time, no matter when or where. Konica Minolta, as Microsoft’s global managed partner, works with Microsoft to accelerate the digital transformation of our customers’ work environments. With fewer employees actually in the office, the need for office space will be reduced, resulting in smaller offices[3]. IT infrastructure needs to adapt to smaller spaces. A perfect example of this development is the Konica Minolta Workplace Hub – a complete solution that combines server infrastructure, printing and document processing capabilities in one multifunctional device.

The cloud moves to the center of business operations, and “as-a-service” solutions (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS) become essential.

In 2022, the ability to optimize the use of IT resources will be even more important, as the pressure due to the lack of qualified personnel will continue to increase. 65 percent of IT managers agreed that the challenges of hiring talented IT professionals have a negative impact on the industry[4]. Cloud solutions can help here. IT departments are relieved of the need to manage, protect and modernize their IT infrastructure, while directing these internal resources to strategically important projects. Cloud solutions also enable companies to monitor costs, design services efficiently with changing requirements, and save server capacity budgets. This allows companies, regardless of their size, to remain at the forefront of technological development and can compete in the war for talent.

There will be more and more threats with blackmail software

One of the challenges of hybrid and agile business models is maintaining data security and, last but not least, protecting corporate intellectual property. A Konica Minolta survey found that 37 percent of organizations attributed the presence of a virus, malware or general security threat to the circumstances of the COVID-19 case.[5]. More than half of the companies surveyed have already experienced an incident of extortion software in the past two years, which means they are a real threat. With the rise in the number of anonymous cryptocurrencies, professional criminals are increasingly finding it easier to get ransoms[6].

Companies often don’t think that MFPs can also be a gateway to hacker attacks. As a result, Konica Minolta has subjected its MFPs to extensive penetration tests by NTT DATA and the security department of NTT Ltd. During the 80-hour test, engineers tried unsuccessfully to break into the devices. In addition, the optional Bitdefender virus scanner scans input and output data on MFPs and finds and deletes infected data.

Sustainability in the workplace

At COP26 in the UK in November 2021, world leaders gathered to discuss the number one topic of our time – climate change and the measures needed to stop its catastrophic consequences. All stakeholders need to take effective measures – businesses included. At Konica Minolta, sustainable development has always been an integral part of our business and strategy. This includes sustainable customer services aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions2. For example, bizhub ECO offers a preset eco-configuration for MFPs – such as saving toner, auto-scanning blank … It also includes a carbon neutrality enablement program, which allows you to compensate for carbon emissions over the life cycle of the device. Since 2015, 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide have been offset2. In addition, Konica Minolta, in collaboration with Treed, plants a tree in Kenya for every bizhub ECO service sold.

[1] How many business decisions are based on gut feeling rather than data? , Business Intelligence Survey, https://bi-survey.com/business-decisions-gut-feel
[2] What employees are saying about the future of remote work, McKinsey, 2021, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/what-employees-are-saying-about Distance working
[3] Fortune 500 executives tell us what their workplaces will look like after COVID, A Great Place to Work, 2021, https://greatplacetowork.com.vn/resource/fortune-500-executives-tell-us-what-their-post-covid-workplaces -will-look-like/
[4] Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Poll 2020: Everything has changed. Or did you?
[5] Konica Minolta and Keypoint Intelligence research reveals impact of COVID-19 on SMEs, https://www.konicaminolta.si/sl-si/novice/covid19-raziskava
[6] Ransomware and Cryptocurrency: A Match Made in Hell, 2021, https://bravenewcoin.com/insights/ransomware-and-cryptocurrency

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