Amid a global crisis of trust and tumultuous digital change, one immutable asset will need undivided attention and investment

In a digital economy, organizations can share knowledge, democratize learning, and help employees develop in-demand skills.

Ultimately, investing in people ensures organizations can take on the demands of a digitally-transformed economy amid uncertainty in the year ahead.

In fact, three trends predicted for 2022 will center around the focus on developing people to their maximum potential:

  1. ‘Digital headquarters’ will take center stage
    While the physical headquarters (HQ) of an enterprise defines a place to go to, the digital HQ will be ‘where work gets done’.

    With enterprises adopting hybrid and remote-working arrangements, the digital HQ a single platform that connects employees, customers, and partners so they can thrive in a work-from-anywhere world.
    • By integrating workflows and apps into a single platform, digital HQs can help to drive seamless communication and productivity with teams, customers and partners.
    • Employers can also tap into the global talent pool, allowing businesses to achieve success from anywhere.
    • Organizations looking to implement their own digital HQs must understand that this is a strategic undertaking that goes beyond the piecemeal deployment of a few digital tools. It is about making workflows seamless to support the way people naturally work together, regardless of where they choose to work. As such, organizations need to make IT investments in cloud, collaboration and cybersecurity solutions to support the workloads of the digital HQ.
    • To ensure that they are prepared for increasing workloads that will accompany their digital transformation journey businesses will need to continually invest in technology to ensure all stakeholders remain connected to the digital HQ.
    • Additionally, a robust cybersecurity strategy ensures that their cloud infrastructure remains protected against vulnerabilities.
  2. Building trust with stakeholders will become a priority for organizations
    The world is dealing with unprecedented challenges: the pandemic, climate change, and an evolving workforce. More critically, we are facing a crisis of trust in nearly all institutions.

    As we become more conscious of responsible business practices, leaders need to focus on building trusted relationships and being a positive and contributing force in the communities they serve. This means stepping up to ensure that their businesses act responsibly, address employee wellness concerns head-on, operate sustainably and give back rather than just pursue financial success.

    Furthermore, customers today are more empowered to buy from brands they trust, use sustainable products and work for ethical companies. Trusted enterprises also have the power to rally the public, leading the charge on building a better world. Trust is key to building businesses that can withstand challenges today and in the future.

    Therefore, in the coming year, trust needs to be ingrained as a core value guiding businesses forward. This starts with putting the interests of customers and stakeholders at the heart of the enterprise. Technology that is developed with inclusivity as a priority will help drive greater adoption, and ultimately be more successful in helping to serve the people who use it.

    On the flip side, no matter how good a tool is, people will not use it if they cannot trust it.

  1. Digital skills training will continue to gain momentum
    The seismic digital-first shifts from traditional business models and workplaces have resulted in the widening of an already large skills gap.

    To offset job displacement driven by digitalization, sustained investment in digital skills will play a critical role in economic recovery and in the long-term growth that must follow it.

As we move tentatively into a digital-first world in 2022, investing in people will be as important as investing in technology.