Increased volatility due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a realignment of technology priorities worldwide. In this environment, the urgent need to attract and retain human resources, emerges as the top opportunity for the industry in 2022, from fourth place last year. This emerges from EY’s annual report, Top 10 opportunities for technology companies in 2022, which lists the industry’s biggest success factors for the year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the criticality of addressing the already pressing issues of attracting talented human capital to a world of hybrid work. Technology companies are looking at the best way to get a gradual return to office, with 9 out of 10 employees saying they are ready to resign if they are not offered flexibility as to where and when they will work. At the same time, the demand for engineers and salespeople is growing exponentially for those companies that invest in development.
Disorders in the supply chain threaten business continuity
In 2021, supply chains came under significant pressure due to market instability, the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit, among other geopolitical developments. For the technology industry, two major bottlenecks were logistics and component availability. The report reflects this development, ranking third – for the second consecutive year – the need to mitigate supply chain risks in order to ensure business continuity.
Environmental sustainability alone is not enough
The need to prioritize the issues of environment, society and governance (ESG), makes its presence felt, with its appearance in fifth place in the ranking, at a time when stakeholders are now demanding more from technology companies. Employees want tangible results, investors are looking for sustainable investment options, and customers expect the industry to apply new technologies that lead to sustainable results. The report emphasizes that companies need to meet these requirements by taking the initiative to present a proposal for long-term value creation and adopt corporate reporting methods, based on key performance indicators (KPIs), that will ensure transparency.
Meanwhile, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to boost the growth profile of technology companies climbed from tenth place last year to second place in 2022. With 51% of tech executives saying that organic growth could be a challenge in the near future, mergers and acquisitions will be the key to sustaining growth for many companies. The report says that despite increased regulatory control and financial uncertainty, the market for deals is expected to remain healthy.
The following is a complete ranking of the top 10 technology opportunities for 2022:
1. Attracting and retaining human resources in a hybrid work environment
2. Utilization of mergers and acquisitions, to strengthen the development profile
3. Mitigation of risk in the supply chain, to ensure business continuity
4. Integration of the safety factor in the planning of new activities
5. Market leadership in ESG issues, to strengthen stakeholder relations
6. Transformation and excellence in consumption-based sales
7. Alignment of the organization of the tax operation with digital business models
8. Simplification and automation of internal processes, in order to increase flexibility
9. Investing in customer trust to promote digital collaboration
10. Preparation for the adoption and operation of 5G
Commenting on the findings of the research, Mr. George Apostolakis, Partner in the Department of Consulting Services and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications of Greece, said: “Technology is one of the sectors that have been affected as little as others by the effects of the pandemic , leading to a realignment of priorities.
The biggest challenge for companies in the industry is to attract and retain human resources, which requires the development of an attractive value proposition that will cover the rewards, flexibility and experience of working in the new hybrid environment.
“At the same time, however, technology companies need to focus on supply chain problems, growth and empowerment through mergers and acquisitions, but also on creating long-term value for all stakeholders by prioritizing ESG issues. The right approach and management of these issues, can turn them from challenges into real business growth opportunities in 2022 “.