As we prepare to wave farewell to 2021, it’s fair to say it has been another incredibly challenging year for businesses across all sectors. But, with the decorations up, the out of offices prepared to be switched on and Christmas cards arriving (perhaps in their droves), it’s a good time to start thinking about key trends in the tech sector to better plan for the challenges and opportunities the next 12 months will present.
So, what do we at ETB think will be big next year?
1. The circular economy will drive us towards Net Zero targets
One of the big talking points to come out of COP26 was a global commitment to decarbonise and reduce fossil fuel usage. It was an important step towards a greener global economy. However, research shows that to reach our Net Zero targets, it’s simply not enough to transition to renewable energy; we also need to tackle carbon emissions tied to the items we create, buy, use and dispose of, which account for 45% of total emissions. As businesses look for ways to drive down emissions ahead of the UK’s 2050 deadline (or 2045 in Scotland), the refurbished market will become a far more prominent part of their CSR policies and IT spend if they are to reach Net Zero in time.
2. Supply chain woes will continue and further impact businesses
The gloal supply shortage of semiconductors, combined with severe supply chain disruption shows no signs of abating and this is placing huge pressure and long shipping delays. With some manufacturers quoting lead times of 100 days or more to fulfil orders, the refurbished IT market will become even more important for customers, with suppliers – including ourselves – being largely unaffected due to having large amounts of stock ready to ship.
3. Organisational change will drive demand for networking equipment
As home and hybrid working have become the new norm, many already stretched systems have been pushed to breaking point. Not only that, but the pandemic has proven how critical it is for businesses to scale and adapt quickly; so firms are increasingly looking to build in contingency in the event of a change of circumstance. Whatever the outcome of the current “will we, won’t we” return to the office debate, businesses need to make sure their infrastructure is appropriate for them, and the refurbished market is well placed to help them improve their IT estate.
4. Cyber-related incidents will rise unless businesses take a proactive approach to investment
The increase in sophisticated cyber threats during the pandemic has been well documented and it’s clear that the issue isn’t going anywhere – especially as the cost of cyber crime to businesses has now surpassed a staggering $1 trillion globally. The onus therefore will be on firms to create robust and resilient systems and the refurbished enterprise IT market can offer firms budget-friendly back-up solutions or replacement parts, helping them prepare in case something critical should fail.
5. A renewed focus on nurturing excellent customer experiences
Many businesses were in unchartered waters when the UK went into lockdown as a result of the pandemic, with staff being furloughed and other ‘non-essential’ employees moving to home working as per the government’s guidelines. However, as we enter our third year of the pandemic, consumers rightfully expect ‘normal’ service to resume. Above all else, firms must do everything in their power to keep their loyal customers or risk losing them to the competition. Investments should therefore be made to customer-facing solutions, with experience firmly at the front and centre of any upgrades.
We’re already seeing a number of these trends being reflected in our customer discussions, and while lots can change between now and January, it’s reassuring to see there are opportunities there for forward-thinking businesses to create a competitive edge. Here’s to ’22!