Heightened expectations for digital experiences, pivots to human-centered tech transformation, and anywhere-work strategies going sideways all have something in common — they’re just a few of the many critical business trends that will define 2022. Forrester’s 2022 Predictions help business leaders understand the key dynamics that will impact their organization in the year ahead. These disruptive forces necessitate bold decisions. Because 2022 will see more change (no surprise), savvy leaders are going to use what they learned in the past two years to create a more agile, more resilient, and more creative future for their organizations.

To give you a sense of how bold you’ll need to be, check out what we’re predicting for 2022:

  • Eight in 10 consumers will see the world as ALL digital. Consumers have rapidly increased their technology adoption and usage in the COVID-19 pandemic, with 63% of US online adults saying that they completed a new activity online, such as attending a religious service or exercise class. Forty-four percent upgraded their in-home technology. The takeaway? Consumers have much higher expectations that digital experiences work well. You’ve got to be ready to meet those expectations this year and in the future.
  • B2B marketers will shift to “always on” but will often miss ROI goals. In a post-COVID-19 world where buyer expectations for immediacy, relevance, and instant gratification have risen, Forrester predicts that 70% of B2B marketers will adopt an “always on” digital engagement strategy in 2022, with leaders putting more of their budget into the tech stack. But 75% of their efforts to create automated, personalized engagement won’t meet ROI goals due to inadequate buyer insight.
  • Accessibility will become a major customer experience (CX) priority for business. Accessibility has been a growing priority for CX leaders, but this year it will reach new levels. From July 2020 to July 2021, the number of job listings with “accessibility” in the title grew 78% — evidence that firms are putting budget behind their intentions. We predict that in 2022, $10 billion in design spending will shift to vendors and services that commit to accessibility as CX teams ratchet up their investments in these areas and hone their focus to make a targeted impact in areas such as accessibility and privacy.
  • Tech execs will leap from digital sameness to human-centered technology transformations. With higher digital expectations from customers, technology executives have to be bolder and more creative to meet those expectations. And we know the traditional “digital transformation” efforts are falling flat: In 2022, less than 15% of firms will nominate digital transformation as a key action to address business model change. Where will innovation come from? People. Your people. Leading firms will use emerging technology to unlock the creativity of their employees and drive innovation that focuses on outcomes, not just financial results.
  • One in three firms that make a new shift to hybrid work models will fail. Business leaders are grappling with big employee-related questions right now. When (or if) to return to the office environment and how? We predict that only 10% of firms will shift to a fully remote model, and 30% will go back to a fully in-office model. The remaining 60% of firms will shift to a hybrid model, and one-third of those firms will fail in their first attempt at anywhere work. Why? Because shifting to a hybrid model while still designing meetings, job roles, and promotion opportunities around face-to-face experiences will send productivity plummeting and lead execs to question the model instead of the processes they cling to.

As you navigate a new era where uncertainty is the new normal, Forrester’s 2022 Predictions can help inform your plan for the year ahead. To read more of our predictions, download our new guide, Predictions 2022: Disruptive Forces Necessitate Bold Decisions, and register for our Predictions 2022 webinar taking place in January.