Top business trends of the year: stay ahead of the game

With regular market fluctuations and changes in consumer behaviour happening year to year, organizations have no choice but to pivot and strategize, adapt and change. In the coming year, businesses will need to continue to adjust to remain competitive. From security and resourcing to the way they relate to their customers, all key functions will require a rethink.

Business trends we'll see in 2021


Our growing reliance on connectivity and technology for various aspects of our daily lives was a key trend of 2022 that is bound to spill over into 2023. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are also quick to adapt. As a result, companies will need to build even stronger security policies, procedures and risk assessments.


Today, 5 billion people globally currently use the internet - that’s 63% of the world’s total population1. The exponential rise in different working styles, including remote and hybrid, brought with it an increase in phishing, ransomware and other attacks as cybercriminals looked to exploit businesses that were not prepared to securely support these workforce changes. A report by Malwarebytes found that 20% of U.S. businesses experienced a security breach as a result of a remote worker, and 24% said they paid unexpected expenses to address a cybersecurity breach or malware attack as a result2.

With the number of internet users expected to continue to rise this year, an increase in the number of people who are impacted by data breaches is also likely. The predicted growth in new technologies such as 5G3, will enable even more sophisticated cyber-attacks.

Automated security and zero-trust models

Businesses will need to better secure their new distributed networks and cloud deployments to keep their applications and data protected. Analysis by Check Point suggests that enforcing - and in particular, automating - threat prevention at all points of the network (employees’ mobile devices and endpoints, IoT devices and clouds) will help stop advanced attacks from spreading across organizations and exploiting weaknesses to breach sensitive data4. Automation is expected to play a significant role in terms of security innovation.

According to research by Accenture, 85% of IT leaders believe outdated legacy systems could threaten their business data security5. Legacy security architectures such as VPNs are not sufficient long-term solutions as they can hamper productivity, allow employees excessive access to internal resources, and are vulnerable to attack.

Balancing remote, hybrid and in-office work

Employees across the globe have quickly adapted to working from home and hybrid work environments, managing to maintain or even improve their productivity. Many employees have enjoyed these work transitions and are reluctant to return to the office full-time6. However, 36% of business leaders are already starting to reduce flexible and hybrid working roles and almost 47% of them have slashed employee benefits such as work-from-home internet expenses and remote work equipment allowances7.

In the U.S. alone, around 56% of the workforce holds a job that is at least partially compatible with working from home, according to Global Workforce Analytics8. Amid a widely reported global labor shortage and much talk of quiet quitters, candidate ghosting and the Great Resignation, today’s businesses need to be doing all they can to be employers of choice and playing hardball on return-to-office mandates may not help their cause.


Businesses across all industries continue to accelerate their digital transformation efforts. The demand for digital platforms and experiences will continue to increase in the future. The move towards automating everything and the boom in artificial intelligence will also continue this year.

Anywhere operations

Anywhere operations expands on the remote and hybrid working trend and refers to an IT operating model that allows for business to be accessed, delivered and enabled anywhere — where customers, employees and business partners operate in physically remote environments9. Anywhere operations mean that digital and remote delivery should be prioritized, and even where physical space is necessary, it should be digitally enhanced.

Video conferencing

Driven by the demand for a blended remote, hybrid and in-office work structure- as well as the desire for family and friends to remain connected - video became has one of the world’s most important communication tools of the past few years, and is expected to remain so.

With the rise in the popularity of video conferencing, the user experience has become even more important. Organizations will shift towards platforms that allow their employees to join meetings effortlessly, and those that require the user to download specific software or applications onto their device are likely to decline in popularity in favor of browser-based video platforms. AI and machine learning technology will allow the software to identify background noises and filter it out, and while video quality will continue to advance, strong performance of audio channels will remain critical.


Hyperautomation is a process in which businesses automate as many business and IT processes as possible using tools like AI, machine learning, robotic process automation, and other types of decision process and task automation tools. Essentially, anything that can be automated, should be automated, for example, invoicing or customer communication. The move to automation continues to accelerate going into 2023.

Artificial intelligence

Although AI has been around for some time, it continues to develop and shows no signs of slowing down. It is truly changing the way we work, live and play. Rather than replacing humans altogether, the best use of AI in the near future will be to help humans and machines work in collaboration. AI-encoded robots that operate as an extension of a human worker’s body to pick up and place heavy parts already exist in a car manufacturing plant in Germany10. Chatbots will become smart enough to go beyond simply answering a customer query and will be able to offer helpful related advice and flag any potential issues raised by the question. The extra information gathered by the chatbot during this process will allow human agents to be better prepared to offer assistance and improve the customer experience.


Recent skills shortages have HR teams in hyper-drive trying to build new skills and implement new processes and technology solutions to enable team management and collaboration, facilitate compliance efforts, deliver workplace training, and drive culture and employee engagement - all to attract and retain quality talent.

Recruiting and onboarding

The global skills gap was one of the biggest business stories of 2022, with Australia’s unemployment rate hitting a 48-year low11 and the U.S. battling an unprecedented labor supply deficit (more than 10 million job openings and only 6 million unemployed workers12).

The war for talent is too competitive to rely on outdated methods of recruitment. Cutting-edge technology has changed the recruitment game during the past 10 years, with artificial intelligence and automation giving recruiters a better chance of finding the right people for the right jobs.

Outsourcing is an alternative resourcing strategy that can help rectify this issue by allowing businesses access to a global pool of quality talent, all while reducing employment costs by up to 70% in the process and more.

People management

People management is also changing, as managers have been forced to find new ways to check up on employees working from home and monitor their productivity. More businesses will deploy HR software that can track when and how employees are working.

More sophisticated tools can measure not only employee productivity but also well-being. Replacing the traditional manual employee engagement survey, these tools allow real-time feedback to help management and HR teams understand how employees are performing.

Employee well-being

In September 2022, leading jobs site Indeed asked 2,000 working-age people about ‘the future of work in Australia’ and 76% agreed employee mental health and well-being would become increasingly important for the workplace in the next two years13. This is likely no surprise given the growing spotlight on such topics but what may come as a shock – and concern – for employers is 41% of respondents said they would ‘very likely’ look for new work opportunities if they were dissatisfied with their company’s approach and resources for employee wellbeing. The message is clear – not taking workplace mental health and well-being support seriously is not good for anyone.

Keeping up with these upcoming trends may cause businesses to feel overwhelmed. Outsourcing can be a solution that allows business leaders to focus on staying up-to-date with trends and growing their operations.

If you’d like to learn more about how offshoring can benefit your business, download our eBook, Everything you need to know about offshoring Part 1.

1 Digital 2022: April Global Statshot Report
2 Enduring From Home (Malwarebytes)
3 Global 5G Technology Market Outlook
4 Cyber security predictions for 2021: securing the ‘next normal’
5 Federal IT modernization (Accenture)
6 Remote Work Is Here To Stay And Will Increase Into 2023, Experts Say (Forbes)
7 Global Talent Trends 2022
8 How Many People Could Work From Home
9 Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2021 (Gartner)
10 Smartening up with Artificial Intelligence (AI) - What’s in it for Germany and its Industrial Sector?
11 Unemployment rate hits 48-year low of 3.5 per cent
12 Understanding America’s Labor Shortage.
13 2022 Report: Understanding America’s Labor Shortage