By: Guest Post
Since 2019, there has been a resurgence of digital transformation across industries, along with its fatigue. But looking ahead to 2020, digital initiatives will have good news, concerning this transformation, as well as having to deal with the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic and all the related issues and concerns that have arisen from this state of affairs.
CIOs are already starting to see the transformation, and want to do anything and everything to adapt to new changes. But the problem is, many of these CIOs have yet to make that full leap to fully embrace the changes. Therefore, IT should not only promote a greater cultural shift in their enterprises but also be ready for the following:
- DT-centric shifts in the IT service provider sector
- The emergence of data governance
- AI and insight-driven innovation
- Public cloud adoption
In this article, we will look at 8 of the transformative digital trends that have shaken up 2020 so far and will continue to do so heading into 2021 and beyond.
1. Covid-19 Reshaping the Digital World
Okay, let’s start with the big one; and there’s obviously a lot to cover. COVID-19 was unprecedented last year, which means that every business, big and small, was in no way prepared for what has happened. Imagine seeing COVID-19 on a list of trends of 2020 going into 2021. It just didn’t exist.
In many industries around the world, it has literally changed everything. Online shopping has taken off in a big way, which means more people are shopping online for essentials and non-essentials, robot/drone deliveries, and takeout deliveries, such as Uber Eats and Just Eat, have also become massive businesses.
Remote working is undoubtedly becoming the new, modern way of working as well. Hand in hand with what we said in the introduction, far more people are using video conferencing platforms (Zoom added 2.22 million monthly users in two months alone).
Outside the business world, the world of online digital content consumption has taken off massively. Since people are locked down and in isolation, video streaming services like Disney+, Netflix, and the sorts have had more viewers than ever before, but that’s not the only difference.
Social events, such as music concerts and festivals that would have otherwise been held open publicly but are now canceled have been transformed into an online format, as have other leisurely places like art galleries and museums now offer virtual tour experiences. Online gaming traffic has also skyrocketed around the world.
So, what does all this mean?
It means that people around the world, from all generations and all income ranges and basically any demographic you care to name, are adopting digital services and integrating them into their lives more than ever before. For businesses, being able to offer complete, streamlined, optimized, and more relevant digital experiences, solutions, and services, has never been more essential.
2. Mandating Digital Operating Models
Culture change starts within organizations, as digital operating models are being mandated. That’s why there has to be a digital backbone and underlying capabilities to make that transformation a reality.
All CIOs have to either adapt to this change or risk losing their boards’ trust and hindering their enterprises’ long-term wellbeing.
3. More Data Means More Problems
As big data grows more rapidly, so does the underlying threat of having more problems. From mobile data to voice data, as the list of different data goes on, now might be a good time to figure out how all that data can be stored.
All data governance has been talked about for years, now it seems like it’s mandatory to enable such governance. In fact, new regulatory bodies like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) insist that data management be properly planned and monitor every so often, to prevent data privacy and compliance risk.
4. AI Is Everything
Eventually, AI will be front and center in transforming how businesses operate and earn revenue, meaning that they’ll handle tasks like sales, marketing, finances, and behind-the-scenes HR stuff.
Incorporating machine-learning algorithms would benefit businesses greatly because AI has been proven to quickly and effectively synthesize and present insights that come from the library of enterprise data. This gives business owners and stakeholders a competitive first-mover edge against their rivals.
5. Merger And Acquisition (M&A)
M&A has been taking IT services by storm, with its outsourcing abilities that allow engineering and digital marketing firms to bring new capabilities to their clients. Many tech acquisitions are taking advantage of M&A: analytics firms, digital solutions providers, engineering firms, and digital agencies. Although the record pace of M&A will force CIOs to quickly adapt to this change, potential synergies and digital capabilities in product lines will be clearer once the dust settles.
6. Emerging Digital Transformation Allies
Service providers will most likely join forces with those that have already adapted to the digital transformation. Although companies forming alliances is nothing new, partnerships are expected to be more swiftly, as well as more “frenemy” type relationships. All in all, the purpose of these alliances is to (and supposed to) provide better shopping, delivery, and personal experiences for customers and users.
7. Expansion Of Public Cloud Adoption
Cloud service providers have been known for their intellectual automation, as well as their service capabilities: analytics, Artificial Intelligence(AI)/Machine Learning, and customer engagement (just to name a handful). But over the past few years, there has been more consideration for public cloud adoption, like with IaaS, PaaS, and Saas. Why?
Companies hope to move more data to the cloud to leverage the efficiency, scale, and elasticity of cloud services, in order to optimize their spend and reduce cycle times. Furthermore, incorporating more cloud space may save companies time and money in the long-run.
8. Emerging Digital Transformation Metrics
Digital transformation metrics have already begun to take notice in the business world. Instead of neglecting business and technology strategies, CIOs need to know how to quantify their AI and digitization progresses, and know-how to show this value to key stakeholders. Therefore, the “metrics” will depend on three key areas to measure such proficiency:
- Velocity: How quickly processes with be, from start to finish
- Intelligence: Using analysis to automate and improve decision effectiveness
- Experience: Brainstorming ways to drive the right behavioral and economic outcomes
9. IT’s Long-Term View On Digital Insights
Insight-first innovation is when digital initiatives take a step back and look at their projects as a whole before moving on. It focuses not only on the immediate solution but also the long-term goal with that solution. Every digital initiative will have to build in data capture, in order to improve business intelligence, and make it more accessible to people everywhere.”
So, it’s no surprise that these eight trends (as well as other ones that weren’t mentioned on our list) continue to dominate digital transformation discussions and forums, while older, more mature foundational technologies try to get with the times. If you’re looking for ways to spice up your enterprise digitally, and prepare for and invest in 2021, then you came to the right place.
Michael Dehoyos is a writer and editor at Academic Brits. As a content marketer, he helps companies improve marketing strategies, and adopt new concepts. In his spare time, he logs his marketing accomplishments, in hopes of helping the next marketing expert.