The COVID 19 pandemic has propelled digital transformation to the top of the must-have in the minds of CIOs. It has been a go-to to allow organisations to enhance their customer experience and generate higher ROI. Businesses with a brick-and-mortar presence have changed their approach to developing a digital presence to remain competitive and ahead of their competition. Many have already started their journey of digital transformation, although others are in the development process.
The landscape of technology is diverse. While the pandemic pushed companies to embrace digital systems, such as automation, big data, digital workforce, etc., they were soon replaced by the next major wave of digital transformation. This new wave has introduced new patterns to shape the next standard. Here are the top ten digital transformation trends for 2021.
- Mainstream 5G:
We’ve heard about the benefits of 5G for years now. Still, it wasn’t until remote work, video conferencing and digital communication became the centre of our lives this year that the need for reliable access and more bandwidth became a true, tangible advantage that we could all wrap our heads around. Our dependency on phones, tablets and other devices – including an ever-increasing number of smart sensors – illustrates the need for a multi-lane highway that telecommunications companies already knew we would need. Businesses can not continue to be disconnected today, and 5 G deployments have become a crucial part of the solution. As we continue to work together and run a school from our homes, the importance of 5 G will become more and more mainstream in 2021.
Hyperautonomy is a hyperautomatic derivative. With end-to-end intelligence and digital automation, machines can become more and more autonomous, needing less manual intervention.
Progress in the field of self-employed cars is only one such example that will revolutionise the world of mobility and the logistics business. Such automated, autonomous devices prove to be important in the implementation of strict measures in situations such as the outbreak of COVID-19.
AI and machine learning approaches are now being developed and applied on a wider scale. The buzz associated with intelligent test automation attracts tremendous interest from global IT leaders. As the advantages of integrating AI and ML capabilities into processes such as test automation become apparent, the upward trend is anticipated in the coming months.
- Data and User Privacy:
As a result of the privacy issues of digital users, we can see organisations concentrating on user privacy and data privacy. Soon, this will become a unique selling proposition for many to jump over their competitors. This may mean that users would be able to allow/deny access to their data on apps, the web and other digital platforms in the next normal way. The user will be the owner of his results. Data protection has shaken even multinational associates, pushing them to comply with the latest rules laid down by the authorities. The EU has already joined the Compliance Policy with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other regions have followed suit.
- APIs – The Road to Cloud:
Cloud has already been incorporated by most organisations to create a smooth business continuity and to fasten the market. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are essential to developing economies of scale. From transforming legacy infrastructure to micro-services, APIs can help companies minimise data silos and create a collaborative experience. It will also help them turn fragmented applications into one data mart behemoth, allowing them to make important business decisions and growing their overall ROI.
- Remote Workforce:
What has been regarded as a potential transitional approach for the post-Covid world seems to evolve into a prolonged pattern. In addition to helping preserve employee wellbeing, this trend of operating remotely is fuelled by the performance and productivity improvements made possible by remote technology. While the pendulum will inevitably swing back to a balance between higher productivity and the importance of face-to-face collaboration, it is likely to shift the way we see work in the future permanently.
- Driverless Cars, Drones and Smart Cities:
I know we’ve been talking about them, literally, for years. But I think that with edge computing rowing and 5 G finally about to burst, we’ll see some innovations in the 2021 digital transformation trends in driverless cars, drones, and smart cities. Companies like Intel / Nvidia and BMW / Volvo are collaborating to put these emerging innovations into practice for real.
Due to COVID-19, eLearning has made a breakthrough. Many people around the world are now learning online. eLearning solutions will continue to be the first option for organisations to train their employees as they provide greater flexibility and are easier to deploy.
In response to the effects of coronavirus on work, organisations like LinkedIn are trying to keep up with recent developments by taking steps to inform their users. Professionals across the globe continue to adapt to the new standard by constantly using online learning and learning new skills that are the most in-demand.
No wonder LinkedIn ranks # 1 among the top 10 most influential eLearning organisations. However, some 3500 organisations from around the world are collaborating on and implementing strategies for digital learning.
- AI Conversational:
I know, Siri still sucks, and it’s still hard to use voice to text to write a chat message. However, I do believe that in 2020 at least some sort of conversational AI will become useful.
Microsoft Conversational AI is working extremely hard to develop a platform that can not only hear correctly but also follow complex conversations and understand the complexities of emotion while continuing to evolve over time. Are we going to see it in everyday technology in 2020? Possibly not — but I hope the roots of this will be improved in the coming year.
- Blockchain beyond Crypto:
Blockchain was a 2019 failure. But coming in 2020, I do believe we’re actually going to see some practical use of blockchain cases outside cryptocurrency. We know that Amazon Web Services is already working hard, as are tonnes of other global leaders, including China’s Alibaba. What’s more, they’re actually putting together real-time use cases to go along with technology, particularly in terms of intellectual property, royalties, etc. I assume that things are finally going to take off this coming year.
- Reimagined Customer Experience:
It’s not just all about making the best products. The latest generation of millennials prefers comfort over loyalty. Build digital experiences that help modern web in the form of progressive web applications, true native UX-class mobile apps, smart chat-bots, conversational apps, wearables, and interactive experiences that exploit augmented reality. Organisations are seeking to optimise the use of components and back-end integration, contributing to cohesive and consistent experience across networks.
The next big thing in Customer Experience (CX) is to develop beautiful applications for any audience across any platform with no restrictions on user experience taking full advantage of the existing OS device for the native and full power of modern web browsers.
In short, a new wave of digital technology trends will reduce human interactions, increase efficiency, initiate automation, and make life simpler. Organisations need to realise the value of this technology paradigm shift and exploit it to build digital communities and become future-ready firms to embrace the new standard with both hands.