As hybrid work continues to grow in 2022, demand for technical solutions, such as security and cloud communications, will increase, further changing the Channel itself. Partners must be proactive in staying informed of changes in the industry if they want to take advantage of crucial selling opportunities.
This past year has seen the rise of hybrid work, with an increasing number of employees looking for more remote opportunities. Despite social distancing measures, companies continued business operations by utilizing a remote workforce and implementing hybrid models. As this continues to be a trend, businesses need to invest in cybersecurity solutions to protect themselves from breaches, as well as cloud communications to increase employee productivity and efficiency, and more. Partners will need to stay up to date on the emerging technologies and other developments within the Channel if they want to increase their profit margin as the year goes on. For this reason, we met with the experts on TBI’s Engineering team and got their forecast for what’s to come this upcoming year. Follow along as we discuss notable areas that you and your customers should keep an eye on to stay ahead this year.
Like 2021, cybersecurity will be crucial for businesses, as hybrid and remote work continues to grow, allowing employees to work from anywhere. Companies will need to continue executing measures such as two-factor authentication and zero-trust for stronger security. Desktop as a service will have to remain to be in the cloud, so that companies can monitor and control what is entering and exiting their systems. As this workplace shift continues, successfully executing security practices will require both identifying and securing entry points.
The biggest threats to cybersecurity this year will be ransomware and DDoS attacks, as they both are continuing to become more prevalent in a variety of business verticals, as malware/ransomware via text messaging and blackmail become more common. As ransomware and breaches surge, companies will begin to outsource IT security to make up for the lack of IT staff, allowing them to monitor and nullify threats.
Edge computing will be another critical component of security, set to accelerate in 2022, as 5G becomes more prolific. IoT devices can be found everywhere - in retail stores, traffic lights, etc. and these must operate on the edge. Manufacturing will have the most growth as production for edge computing increases for good reason: it allows manufacturers to move quickly, allowing data to be processed faster without having to wait for it to be sent back to a central point. However, with this influx comes greater vulnerabilities for threat actors to exploit, as there is a lack of security on edge. Companies will need to increase staffing to maintain security at the edge, while also keeping up with continuous updates and patching.
Cloud (CCaaS and CPaaS)
For the past year and even in 2020, the industry has witnessed a push for all-encompassing omnichannel solutions designed to meet customers where they are. However, this overwhelmed both customers and employees themselves. It has been found that customers want effective self-service tools. To accomplish this, the industry will start to see a segmentation of the contact center product suite to emulate the flexibility and consumption-based modeling of CPaaS. In conjunction, the CPaaS world will continue to be more productized, blurring the lines between contact center and communication platform as a service solution.
Within the SD-WAN and SASE space, the Channel will look at providers who are evolving their technology and how they might engage with partners differently, with SD-WAN options beginning to consolidate as SASE takes over. It was always critical to discuss security solutions along with SD-WAN, but with SASE, it is seamless.
The Future of the Channel in 2022
With these developments in technology, 2022 will bring several changes for the telecom industry, especially within the traditional agent or brokerage channel. We recently saw Comcast (cableco) acquire Masergy (MSP), and years before Cox (cableco) had also acquired RapidScale (MSP), as Cablecos seek to expand their portfolios into emerging technologies and managed services, which has led to acquisitions. In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em.
The Channel should expect to see more acquisitions as cablecos seek to expand their suite of services to their customers. What this means for partners is that while in the past, partners were able to move from circuits into basic voice solutions, they now must evolve from being the phone person. To provide end-users value, partners must improve their skills and change the conversation. Technology is not just an IT problem; partners will need to discuss AI and automation regarding the customer experience or tolerances for downtime. However, in order to discuss these topics with confidence, it is essential for partners to leverage the technical resources at their disposal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nefertari Bilal serves as TBI's Content Marketing Specialist. Raised in New York City, Nefertari moved to Chicago to complete her bachelor's degree in journalism at Northwestern University in 2020. An avid and curious writer, Nefertari is passionate about studying complex topics and explaining them in an engaging, impactful way. Her personal motto is, "feel the fear and do it anyway." In her spare time, Nefertari bakes keto treats, creates podcasts and short stories, as well as supports the local theater. You can reach Nefertari at email@example.com or connect on LinkedIn.