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Five trends that will shape digital workplaces in 2022

Konica Minolta predicts that the rapid pace of digital transformation spurred by the pandemic, will continue with digital workplaces becoming standard. Working in hybrid team set-ups, with part of the workforce joining remotely whilst others are present in offices, will be critical in providing an attractive workplace moving forwards. Here are five trends the company believes will be prevalent in 2022

1 Data-driven processes will become even more important to be ahead of the curve in decision-making

“Daily business is shaped by increasingly complex decision-making. And data becomes key to making better informed decision-making – it is the gold that needs to be carved out,” explains Olaf Lorenz (pictured), Senior General Manager, Digital Transformation Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe.

To unlock business value, it is necessary to identify the right data within the vast volumes that companies store. With AI and machine learning (ML), this will no longer be a time consuming and arduous manual process undertaken by employees. AI and ML aggregate and analyse huge amounts of data to find crucial business insights. For example, everyday operations can be facilitated and accelerated with Konica Minolta’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools that take over simple and repetitive tasks – ensuring that employees can focus on more creative and high value tasks. Similarly, in the context of data security, a SIEM system (Security Information and Event Management) by Konica Minolta can be used to scan data in real-time to detect threats immediately and even predict them in advance.


2 The hybrid office will become the standard

Digital remote work or a hybrid solution will become the default in many organisations and exclusively working from an organisation’s offices will become the exception.

According to Ana Esteban, Lead Customer Insights at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe, the office will be perceived rather as a socialising point. It will be a location for presentations, team building exercises, introducing new projects or any other task where you need to bring employees together for face-to-face communication. As a result, solutions that enable seamless exchange and collaboration will become increasingly vital.


3 The cloud moves to the centre of business workflows and as a service solutions become business critical

The ability to optimise utilisation of IT resources will be ever more relevant as the pressure of skills shortages continues to grow. Cloud solutions can support here by freeing IT departments from the need to manage, secure and update IT infrastructure, while focusing those in-house resources on more strategically valuable projects.

At the same time, cloud solutions enable organisations to keep track of costs, adapt services flexibly according to changing demands and save up budget for server capacities. This allows organisations to stay at the forefront of technology, irrespective of their size and ability to compete in the war for talent.


4 The ransomware threat to businesses is set to increase

One of the challenges of hybrid and flexible working models, is maintaining data security and ultimately protecting companies’ intellectual property. Research by Konica Minolta found that 37 per cent of organisations attributed a virus, malware, or a general security threat specifically to the circumstances arising from the COVID-19 situation. More than half of companies surveyed have already experienced an incident with ransomware in the past two years, making it a real threat. The rise of anonymous crypto currencies makes it easier for increasingly professionalised criminals to collect ransoms.

“With more digital workflows, the potential targets for cyberattacks in companies multiply. Both software and hardware need to build a strong wall against those threats. Thus, cyber security has had to become even more of a top priority for organisations,” said Torben Mowka, Product Manager at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe.

What organisations often don’t have on their agenda is that MFPs can also be gateways for hacker attacks. Konica Minolta has subjected its MFPs to extensive penetration tests provided by NTT DATA and the Security division of NTT Ltd. During the 80-hour test, the engineers unsuccessfully attempted to hack the devices. In addition, the optional Bitdefender virus scanning solution scans incoming and outgoing data in realtime for infected data. If print jobs are infected, Bitdefender deletes them.


5 Sustainability in the workplace – from differentiator to business as usual

During the COP26 summit in the UK in November 2021, world leaders came together to discuss the number one topic of our time – climate change and the actions needed to halt its catastrophic consequences. All stakeholders need to put effective measures in place – including businesses.