2021 is a year for bouncing back for companies battered by the COVID19 pandemic. It is during the process; businesses will understand the importance of digital transformation.
You will see that digitally-prepared companies will bounce back faster than the ones relying on the traditional ways of doing business.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is about rethinking technology. It is about businesses using technology, people, and processes to deliver more value to customers.
You can define digital transformation as the process of using digital technologies and supporting capabilities to create a powerful business model.
Usually, higher operational efficiency is one of the benefits of companies actuating a digital business model.
What are the Top Digital Transformation Trends for 2021?
Now, you know that digital transformation is beneficial for businesses. Let us not stop here; instead, let us explore the top digital transformation trends for 2021.
The trends are:
Eruption of Customer Data Platforms (CDP)
Today is the age of data. Businesses produce vast amounts of data at various stages of operations.
Even events, like customers interacting with your salespeople or purchasing products or services, will generate vast data.
Businesses generate data regardless of their size, but the issue is how they use it to gain insights into their customers’ behavior and choices.
It poses no problem for smaller businesses with a limited number of products and services, but managing data is a big challenge for large companies.
Data comes from multiple sources for large businesses, such as products, marketing channels, and customers, and management of such data calls for advanced approaches.
To manage complex and vast data, a CDP can help by acting as a unified source of customer information.
Businesses can use the information to create personalized marketing campaigns with the help of the data to gain more customers.
In a study, Oracle found that companies using CDP are 2.5 percent more valuable in customer lifetime than those not using it.
There is also another thing to note: CDP is not only for the marketing department to use. Its usage extends to finance and IT departments to make quick decisions about services, products, and investments.
Refocus on Cybersecurity
The digital transformation started as an approach to develop processes and products a few years ago. Subsequently, businesses began putting into action initiatives like DevOps as part of their faster go-to-market strategies.
But one aspect was ignored by businesses, and that was – security. However, it is no longer an aspect to ignore as the number of cyberattacks is increasing.
In 2020 alone, more than 445 million cyberattacks were reported by the media. So, businesses have to keep a tight vigil over possible cyberattacks.
IT companies have already responded to the need with their Chief Information Security Officers (CISO), keeping cybersecurity at the top of their goals.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach against cyber attacks. Businesses can create a balance between people, processes, and technology to implement cybersecurity measures.
Businesses can no longer allow their security practices to move at a snail’s pace. The methods today have to move at the speed of digital transformation. The focus has to be not on speeding up a process but also on speeding up a process safely.
CISOs must act as advisors to the internal IT team, and their advice becomes crucial when deploying new technology.
Businesses should integrate new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the cloud into security solutions to guard their businesses against cyber attacks.
Given the growing cyber threats to businesses, cybersecurity is a critical digital transformation trend to watch out for in 2021.
Technological innovations have elicited the multi-cloud architecture from the single architecture variant.
Multi-cloud architecture involves distributing applications and workloads of an organization in one or two private or public clouds. It also provides more straightforward ways to manage remote work with security.
Moreover, the architecture serves multiple purposes, like resilience, data residency requirement, and disaster recovery.
Despite the benefits, the architecture also poses a challenge in the guise of higher complexity associated with infrastructure management.
Businesses can tackle the challenge by implementing cloud management and automation solutions to manage their multiple cloud infrastructure.
Democratization AI is one of the striking digital transformation trends to look out for in 2021. It can accelerate the speed of digital transformation within an organization.
It makes AI-based tools accessible to every person in an organization to identify patterns, make decisions, predict, learn, and improve.
Given the growing tech integration among businesses, enterprises of all sizes are likely to implement AI in their systems and processes.
Without the necessary resources to make the integration, firms can take help from AI-as-a-service providers and AI solutions from vendors like Google, Microsoft, and AWS.
Again, it is also not without drawbacks which include implementation complexity and expensiveness.
Of late, using contactless solutions is on the rise, primarily due to the restrictions imposed during the COVID19 pandemic.
Contactless dining and digital payments are the recent digital transformation trends that have attracted businesses the world over.
Due to the pandemic, restaurants have implemented contactless solutions to take customer orders during the prevalence of social distancing norms.
It includes the online mode of ordering and in-seat ordering, which involves customers ordering food from their seats using a mobile app or a QR code.
With QR codes, customers can browse menus, order food while seated, and even pay with a mobile device.
Similarly, people can avoid physical contact while shopping in a store with the help of digital payments, enabling people and businesses to access the digital economy.
Contactless solutions and digital payments have been playing a key role in accelerating digital transformation.
Automation and digital transformation go hand-in-hand. Adoption of one necessitates the implementation of the other. When businesses automate more of their processes, the speed of digital transformation also increases parallelly.
The Final Words
Digital transformation is a strategy that goes beyond technology. What is also important is the goals and statements you should set carefully before defining the digital strategy for your business.