The corporate terms you’ll be hearing in ‘22 – and which ones still linger from ‘20/’21
Welcome to Our Game!
Okay, executives, it’s time for everyone’s favorite game to play on the side during Zoom meetings and virtual events: BUZZ! WORD! BINGO! That’s right, we’re well into 2022 and can see new buzzword trends emerging that are sure to increasingly present themselves in any given meeting for the rest of the year. But what do they mean, not only as terms but as barometers for the corporate climate? Moreover, why are they so pertinent this year? Grab your Bingo Card at from bottom of this article and let’s begin!
An Ode to the Classics
Before we delve into the buzzword neophytes, let’s look at the pandemic-driven buzzword veterans that won’t fade quickly into the new normal. Speaking of which, you can expect “New Normal” to make a comeback this year. As COVID vaccinations rise in tandem with the attrition of a weary populace, people are feeling safer about going back to doing what they did before the pandemic. A recent Pew Research Center poll points toward this trend, showing 49% of workers are comfortable returning to the office, up 13% since October of 2020. If you’ve got “New Normal” on your Bingo card, you’re 40% of the way to victory!
Another “oldy-but-goody” COVID-sparked buzzword that simply refuses to go away (but, thanks to its versatility, doubles as a surefire mark on your Bingo card) is “Journey.” Be it your digital transformation journey, customer journey, or practically any business goal not yet achieved, no industry or role is safe from the heir apparent to “Pivot.” In fact, Bloomberg recently reported that use of the word “journey” on conference calls by S&P 500 executives “soared by almost 70% in 2021.” And don’t stop believin’ about its longevity, either – it may take years for these journeys to become completed goals.
Other noteworthy throwbacks:
Supply Chain – The world continues to wonder if the disruptions will ever end. And this is by no means hyperbolic.
Hybrid Workforce – As the return-to-workers separate themselves from the work-from-homers, a clearer picture of the hybrid workforce will present itself as ’22 unfolds.
AI/ML – Artificial Intelligence (and its less-famous cousin Machine Learning) have been around for decades. However, after recent advances in both, their industry-wide versatility is starting to take centerstage.
Buzzwords 2022: A New (Albeit Familiar) Class
At this point you’re probably thinking of a few of your own, so let’s see if they’re on our roundup. Get ready for some terms you may have already heard and prepare to hear them a lot more. For instance, “Data is the New Oil.” Although this term was coined back in 2006 by British mathematician Clive Humby (and is currently not embraced by all), it has been storming back into corporate vernacular of late as big tech companies buy and sell data while other organizations learn how to monetize their own. So, perhaps data is not the new oil, but it certainly is a hot commodity.
It’s only natural we address the buzzword responsible for all this data: Digital Transformation. No, you won’t find it on your bingo card this year…but you will find its successor, the key predictor of transformation success: Digital Maturity. In January of this year, Forrester reported 76% of organizations are either digitally mature or are well on their way. This drastically changes the narrative, so expect to put quite a few marks on “Digital Maturity” this year.
Other noteworthy newbies:
Techlash – While the public backlash against big tech companies has been happening for more than a decade, it has finally garnered enough momentum to make an impact. Take, for example, Apple’s “Self-Service Repair” program – a stunning reversal from their longstanding policy of closely controlling repair. Keep an eye on this trend in ’22.
Web 3 – The long-awaited next iteration of the World Wide Web is starting to take shape, this time with blockchain technology and integrated token-based economics. We anticipate a huge uptick in Web 3 mentions as the year goes on. See also: Metaverse.
Predictive Analytics – Sure, this buzzword has been tossed around a bit over the past two years. But now, with our good old friends AI/ML getting in on the action(ing of data), Predictive Analytics is looking to fully capture the spotlight, industry-wide.
Of course, this isn’t even half of what to expect on a typical 2022 Corporate Buzzword Bingo card, and that’s including the inevitable Free Space of “You’re on MUTE.” From “Real-Time” to “Zero Trust Model,” “Hybrid Cloud Environment” to “Omnichannel” and beyond, there are plenty of buzzwords to go round, regardless of industry. We also know there are plenty more out there, so we’d love to hear your buzzwords, as well as what you think of the ones on your card (and if you won!). Feel free to contact us here!
Thanks for playing, executives! See you next time on BUZZ! WORD! BINGO!!!
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