As 2021 draws to a close, Westcon-Comstor’s is sharing its predictions for which challenges, and trends will face the channel in 2022. The predictions span cybersecurity, the supply chain, subscription models and hybrid working.
Daniel Hurel, VP Cyber Security & Next-Gen Solutions said,
“Ransomware attacks have been the most prevalent form of cybersecurity threat this year, with this threat type taking hold of businesses of all sizes and sectors. As a result, we have begun to see more companies taking the realities of ransomware seriously, which will prompt further investment into ransomware protection in 2022. We’re anticipating an uptick in technologies and tools in the backup software and antivirus software spaces. The most important piece businesses must focus on, however, is education. Even with all the tools in the world, businesses will fail if their staff aren’t aware of the risks and dangers of breaches. It’s basic but critical and we will see more severe and frequent ransomware attacks in 2022 unless cybersecurity education is taken seriously.
“One of the biggest cybersecurity threats facing companies today, and a trend we see continuing into 2022, is a lack of investment in training when deploying new software. For SMEs, which may not have internal security teams, necessary precautions such as software maintenance and upgrades often fall by the wayside. A lack of understanding from SMEs, particularly those without a dedicated technical expert, on how to properly maintain their cybersecurity tools is leaving them open to breaches. A key part of eliminating this threat is support from vendors and the roll-out of adequate training on new software. As more companies race to deploy security solutions, ensuring that consultancy and necessary support is not lost is crucial to long-term protection. The cybersecurity market for SMEs is really opening as we approach 2022, vendor support could soon become a need among customers and a make or break selling point.”
Kevin Brzezinski, SVP Operations said,
“This year we have experienced the true fragility of the supply chain. The semiconductor chip shortage, petrol scarcity, COVID-19 and Brexit have all rocked global distribution channels, highlighting a need for greater resilience and agility. Considering this, we can expect to see further reviews into logistics and a recognition that the supply chain is under far too much stress to be wholly managed by humans. Putting data at the heart of the supply chain, will reduce some of the complexity derived from human-dependent processes and protect the supply chain against future obstacles and challenges. Rather than simply look backwards and use data as proof of performance, we’re now using it to look forwards and predict the future.
“The global supply chain has long needed an environmental overhaul. The opening days of COP26 called on businesses to prioritise supply chain due diligence and commit to consistent reporting on emissions, signalling that 2022 is the time to incorporate more sustainable operational procedures. Placing an emphasis on sustainable resources like green energy will not only reduce carbon emissions but also protect distribution channels against issues like this year’s petrol shortage. The first electric cargo ship was launched in Norway this year, indicating that industry leaders will start to look for more energy-efficient alternatives, putting themselves on the path to a more sustainable future.”
David Grant, CEO added,
“Increasingly, businesses are looking to move from traditional software ownership to the subscription economy, indeed, IDC expects that by 2022, 53 per cent of all software revenue will be purchased with a subscription model. Whilst the benefits are significant, the pivot is not so simple. As customers look for more flexible financing agreements following the pandemic, demand for these service models will only grow, so in 2022 we need to see the channel community recognise its role in supporting the transition and tailor its own service offerings accordingly.
“After a tumultuous 2020, this year’s theme has been hybrid - flexibility is now at the core of most workplace cultures, and it’s not binary. The question is no longer whether staff are working in the office or at home, it’s whether they’re working in the office or elsewhere. Be it at their sister’s house, or the local Starbucks, many employees are being trusted and feeling empowered to literally work from anywhere. The need for an exceptional user experience, more effective collaboration and security have been pushed even further up the agenda. This megatrend is putting substantial demands on the IT department because securing the network, in this hybrid environment, is tough. As the scale and complexity of enterprise environments grow, the channel community will play a critical and strategic role in helping businesses (from SMBs to enterprises) to meet this challenge, at a time when they’re prioritising IT investments for 2022.”