In the early months of the pandemic, businesses accelerated their adoption of digital technologies by three to four years as they had to adapt to changing working practices.

This trend is set to continue into 2022 as over two-thirds of businesses plan to maintain or increase their spend on digital transformation this year. It’s clear businesses recognize the need to continually adapt and improve. Here, we look at the biggest digital transformation trends for 2022 and beyond.

“Distributed enterprises” to become the norm

For many businesses, remote working was a novel concept until the pandemic hit. Stay-at-home orders in most states forced businesses into remote working, with those who hadn’t yet put measures in place to allow for it struggling to adapt.

Working from home is becoming commonplace across the USA, and many businesses have adopted hybrid home and office working policies in the long term. These organizations have been dubbed “distributed enterprises” by Gartner, who identified this as a key technology trend for 2022.

Not only are these distributed enterprises going to become the norm in 2022, but Gartner has predicted that they’ll be more profitable than their office-based counterparts. Because of the technologies and logistics required to make hybrid working a success, Gartner has predicted that three-quarters of distributed enterprises may see 25% higher profits than their competitors by 2023.

Go digital-first or go home

With all but essential face-to-face businesses shuttered for months at a time since March 2020, customers have had to rethink the way they interact with businesses. Online shopping skyrocketed, and over two-thirds of consumers are continuing to shop primarily online post-lockdown. This has led 56% of businesses to predict that the majority of their revenue will come from digital channels within three years.

While businesses shouldn’t completely forgo traditional channels, like face to face and the telephone, it’s clear that we’re moving towards a digital-first world. Most customers will interact with your business online before they call or come into your store – if they ever do that.

According to research from Zendesk, high-performing businesses are 6.8 times more likely to use messaging channels for customers or allow them to seamlessly switch between service channels for one query and are 2.9 times more likely to use innovative tech like chatbots.

Changing consumption habits

The way we consume information is changing. Video is becoming a popular form of consumption, with 81% of US consumers using YouTube and TikTok becoming the fastest-growing social media platform. Research by Activate further shows that our daily technology and media consumption is heavily dominated by video, beating out audio, messaging, and gaming media.

Many businesses are capitalizing on the growing consumption of video and allocating more budget to video marketing. A huge 96% of people have watched an explainer video from a business on their company, products or services, so it’s clearly the place to be. Marketers need to invest in video across multiple platforms in order to reach audiences in the way they want – 73% of people want to find out more about your products and services via videos.

This is an important trend for customer and prospect engagement, but it’s also having an impact on businesses internally. If your customers are engaging with video more, so are your people. Use this to your advantage by delivering important business updates via video. Enterprise video streaming solutions that allow you to stream video to multiple end-points without compromizing network performance will be essential.

Digital transformation is here to stay. While many businesses accelerated their adoption of innovative technologies and processes to see themselves through the pandemic, we shouldn’t consider it a done deal. Our ever-evolving economy, communication channels and consumption habits require constant adaptation from businesses. These three areas will be key for businesses looking to build upon their digital adoption in 2022.