Business Support Manager, Mike Barclay takes us through some of the business trends we can expect in 2022.

Yes – it’s pretty much on every trend list for everything! But that’s because it’s a legitimate trend that people (from Governments to Gen Z) care about. Businesses are becoming experts at sustainability messaging but whether this translates to real self-accountability is yet to be seen. The importance of sustainability is both about Marketing and Regulations, with plastic tax and more on the horizon. Adding to the complex navigation of this trend is what happens Globally, we have already seen the landscape change with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the availability of fossil fuels.

The Metaverse Is Coming in 2022?

The metaverse is a hypothetical single, universal, and immersive virtual world focused on social connection. If you know the film Ready Player One – exactly like that.  Now, we’re sorry to tell you the metaverse isn’t coming in 2022, it simply not ready. However, as technology develops to facilitate the metaverse we will see it used in business practice, so, think if my business was completely digital what would it look like?

Robots -V- Humans

Now I’m not talking about a Terminator-style war here, but if we look forward to beyond 2022 we will start to see mass changes in jobs due to automation.  McKinsey and others predict upwards of 800 million jobs will be lost due to automation by 2030.  Governments across the world will be tested on how to deal with companies looking to save/make money by replacing human costs with robotics. New skilled jobs may be created but these will be beyond the means of those who will be made redundant. This will also challenge the income that Governments receive from PAYE. Perhaps in the future, we will see companies taxed for not employing.

The way we interact is also ever-evolving. AI is continuing to change interfaces faster than many of us can keep up with.

When combined with AR, VR and the Metaverse, we will start to see virtual interfaces pop up everywhere.

There has also been a slight shift in the AI bot trend seen on websites. Many of us will become ever so frustrated by having to explain our problem to a bot 50 times before explaining it to a real human. Companies are taking advantage of this and switching to a human solution. But with AI becoming smarter and far outweighing the cost of a human, will the bots win?

Data Analytics

Data and in particular the protection/privacy of data is an ongoing trend and often a hot topic in the news (due to Facebook mostly). Data is almost absolutely the new currency of business and analytics will continue to evolve. Machine learning will assist in providing advanced insights to companies

More G’s

The world will always want more bandwidth. From Smart Homes to Cars to now even clothing being connected, bandwidth needs to get broader and fasters. Currently, we have 5G, but no doubt 6G is just around the corner.

Supporting Local

The combination of the pandemic and the impact of Brexit has naturally sped up the market demand for locally made items. This trend was tracking this way anyway, but it has rocketed at a speed no one could have predicted. Including supply chain issues, and the increased cost of importing it’s not surprising to see that businesses are scrambling to ensure their whole supply is local.

No one knows your business like you do. But for those times when you need advice, support or just a fresh pair of eyes, turn to your local Business Adviser. Make an appointment with us and we will work with you to understand your goals and discuss what support is available.

STEP delivers Business Gateway services in Stirling which is fully funded by the Scottish Government, and free of charge for you and your business. To book an appointment, please contact

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