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Freshworks 2022 Predictions: Automate the Mundane, Humanize the Pain

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

Automate the Mundane, Humanize the Pain

By Prasad Ramakrishnan, CIO of Freshworks

If 2022 will be anything like 2021, and I have a feeling it might be, we know that the unexpected can happen at any moment. But, given what we've learned over the last year, we can certainly be better prepared to handle whatever is thrown our way. Here are my top IT predictions for 2022:

Automate the mundane, humanize the pain. As the pandemic pushed business online overnight, companies quickly scaled automation and self service technology like chatbots and FAQs to deflect and resolve employee support issues. However, IT teams have a big opportunity to go beyond resolving tech requests and make it a delightful exchange that deepens relationships across the business. More companies will automate the mundane using RPA so the business can continue to run even when the employee is unable to gain access to the infrastructure, but they'll also rethink employee service as a branding opportunity. In 2022 companies will rethink the bot deflection for even the simplest conversations and exceeding delight with the human touch.

Companies need to establish a complete "tech review" for employees. Pretty much every company struggled to get all of their employees securely online after we all started working remotely. In order to avoid this mess in the future, companies should implement a "tech review" for each employee showing who and where they are, what role they play in the organization, what devices, tools and apps they use and what level of access they need. This will enable IT to provide a more secure, seamless and frictionless experience for the end user.

Enduring the Great Resignation. Many tech workers are leaving the workforce due to burnout and retaining talent will be more difficult next year than ever. The shortage of talent will create challenges recruiting and hiring talent. Companies will need to step up on all fronts of employee culture, from pay to benefits to career development and adopting technology that is easy to use and makes working more delightful.

Apps will reign supreme for customer service engagement. Our research shows that 68% of WhatsApp users report it's the most convenient way to engage with brands. Both customers and employees will prioritize messaging channels for engagements that are traditionally otherwise had via phone or email. Collaboration between customers and brands will move away from the call center and into the app store.

Customer data security will make or break brands. In 2021 most IT departments strengthened their endpoint protection, identity and access management, data loss prevention, and perimeter security posture as a reaction to the pandemic. These investments have a long shelf life and set the foundation for enhancing the overall security posture for the new year - customers will stick with brands they trust in 2022.

Beefing up IT consumerization. We're in the Golden Age of consumer-tech simplicity, and employees expect to see that same simplicity, instant gratification and autonomy in their workplace tools as they experience in their everyday lives. The continued deployment of RPA tools, bots and smart applications are table stakes for businesses who want to keep their employees happy and minimize frustration or resignations.

Creating a cloud infrastructure for the long haul. One positive that came from the pandemic was the long-overdue corporate acceleration towards and adoption of cloud and SaaS platforms. Unfortunately, many architectures or solutions deployed in reaction to the pandemic were not "enterprise-grade", so now they'll need to reevaluate what technologies are working the best and sustainable for the long haul.

The last two years have taught businesses to be more resilient than ever before. Those that have weathered the COVID storm showed they were able to adapt quickly under high stress. These characteristics have been crucial for any business to survive (and thrive), and as we head into 2022 (a new year of uncertainty), there will inevitably be a new set of challenges for IT to overcome. Whether you're using WhatsApp to communicate with customers, focusing on hiring and retaining the best talent, or trying to implement new IT processes within your organization, a new year is a great opportunity to start fresh and tackle any IT hardships. 



Prasad Ramakrishnan 

Prasad Ramakrishnan is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Freshworks, leading the company's IT vision, strategy and execution. Prasad is a seasoned IT professional, SaaS evangelist and go-to thought leader on all things cloud and security. His expertise is critical to the success of Freshworks products as well as global work culture.

Published Friday, January 14, 2022 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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