2020 was full of uncertainty, turmoil, and health concerns. And we are still dealing with post-covid situations that devastated almost every industry. However, in 2020, the whole world witnessed multiple digital transformations that changed the digital strategy for businesses despite all the negativity.
From Chinese hospitals using 5G powered robots to conduct health operations to giant manufacturers in the world announcing the launch of 5G phones in the upcoming years, 2020 was all about digital power. Because of this big digital wave, different organizations are shifting their business online and building digital presence to remain relevant in the market. This new digital wave has introduced us to new technologies that will take care of businesses.
Whether you are planning to implement CRM software, a project management tool, team collaboration tool, or maybe an online survey tool, here we’ve mentioned the most popular ingredients to accelerate digital transformation in 2021 and beyond. But, if you’re not a tech person or have no idea about digital transformation, relax! Because here we’re going to talk about the basic definition first. So, why waste time? Let’s dig in!
What is Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is a process that leverages advanced technologies to modify existing business processes or create a new one. Reimagining business with new digital technology helps to meet market demands, enhance customer experience, and increase workforce productivity.
An effective digital transformation isn’t about changing just the technology. Digital transformation works on different aspects of an organization, including supply chain, workflow, customer and employee engagement, etc. In short, digital transformation is renovating business by transforming the way it used to conduct business and adopting digital technology to enhance business processes.
“To make a real digital transformation, think of how you can weave a ‘digital thread’ through your operations, products, and services to support new customer experiences you’re trying to create.”- Neil Ward-Dutton
Digital transformation can indicate anything. From digital optimization to IT modernization, it reflects an organization’s mindset to grow their business. If you are planning to provide customer service through online surveys, chatbots, video chat, and emails, then you’re thinking about digitizing your company. If you’re investing time and money in storing data in the cloud, that’s also a transformation. Advanced digital technology can change your business inside and out. It holds power to enhance both the internal and external work processes in your company.
Looking forward, here are some digital transformation you can expect to rule the business world in the upcoming years:
Use of Automation
Automation has become the most essential ingredient of modern business and the digital transformation in 2021. Automation has become a savior from all the mundane workloads, tasks, and business workflows. In short, automation is one of the key ingredients of digital transformation in 2021. According to Statista, the automation industry will generate nearly 214 billion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2021. From this statistic, it is clear that automation will continue helping businesses to run smoothly by shifting their focus from repetitive work processes to business growth.
Especially after the covid-19 outbreaks and disruption in business workflow, multiple brands are turning to automation to make sure their business stays afloat. The need for automation technologies such as AI, Machine learning, and RPA is now more popular than ever before. As businesses want to reduce cost and increase efficiency, RPA, or Robotic Process Automation, is also gaining popularity.
A recent research study conducted by Gartner stated that in 2022 the RPA technology is expected to reach $2.4billion. RPA can automate a rule-based and repetitive work process. Your business can use RPA tools to communicate with other digital systems, retrieve information, control transaction processes, capture data, etc. Though financial firms were the first industry to adopt RPA, in 2021, we can expect the expansion of RPA in other industries like healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and much more.
Use of Hybrid Cloud System
Businesses are rapidly moving towards a hybrid cloud infrastructure nowadays. With the development of SaaS and on-premise solutions, hybrid cloud systems are helping organizations to meet all their business objectives. Large cloud companies like AWS, Google, IBM, Oracle have made significant resource investment to bring hybrid cloud systems to reality. OEMs like Dell, HPE, or Cisco are also making massive investments to connect the on-premise and cloud tools together.
This massive investment is because the future of hybrid cloud systems looks promising. It handles the exponential data growth while also keeping the integrity of the system.
The Hybrid cloud system has expanded from traditional IT to industrial applications as well. However, it’s essential to consider how cloud-migration will affect the existing database and system performance. After-all, migration, and transforming into a hybrid cloud system can be costly affairs. As the cost of the hybrid cloud is associated with several other costs, such as storage costs, server costs, platform costs, software maintenance costs, and training employees, and much more.
Integrating a hybrid cloud system can be a costly affair. But when it’s implemented properly, businesses can reduce their overall IT expenditures in the long run.
The growth of hybrid cloud systems had been slow. Still, the sudden disruption due to coronavirus has forced organizations to adopt agile hybrid cloud infrastructure to develop and deploy different digital services quickly.
Chatbots will Continue to bloom
In the coming years, chatbots will continue to make their impact on digital transformation. Chatbots for websites and chatbots in general will play an important role in increasing customer engagement and customer experience digitally. According to Gartner, 47% of organizations will depend on chatbots for customer care. And the market size of chatbots will grow from $2.6 billion to $9.4 billion within 2024 at a 29.7% annual growth rate. Surprising, isn’t it?
Here are some ways chatbots will transform businesses in the upcoming years:
- Chatbots will help to manage simple inquiries from the customer by automating the process. It will allow businesses to provide an excellent customer experience in the future.
- Chatbots will decrease the number of human employees as employing staff 24×7 can be costly for different organizations.
- AI bots can give 24×7 information based, instant responses. So, customers who want fast replies will love the experience of chatbots.
- Chatbots can easily automate the sales and lead generation process by qualifying prospects into leads across your social media platforms and websites.
Chatbots are here to stay in the future as more and more companies are leveraging their enticing features to improve efficiency. For instance, The Deloitte Greenhouse team, a digital consultancy based in San Francisco, used SurveySparrow’s feedback bot to collect data effortlessly. This smart tool offers a sleek UI and a chat-like experience to add life to the boring data collection process. The team designed a chatty survey using the feedback bot to collect data effortlessly. And the result? Well, the Deloitte Greenhouse team witnessed a huge upswing in survey responses compared to the traditional survey forms. Here’s a chatbot created using SurveySparrow..
To create similar chatbots and surveys, you can sign up for free on SurveySparrow
Investment in Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity has never lost its relevance, and it will continue to grow more in 2021. With the covid crisis, cloud systems, and disparate workforce, cybersecurity has become one of the most critical aspects of digital transformation. In 2020, from January to April, the world observed an approximately 238% rise in cyberattacks on banks and a 630% rise in cloud-based attacks.
Amid the pandemic, with only a few employees working on the secure onsite network, organizations must upgrade their cybersecurity strategies. Businesses are at risk of getting attacked by outside hackers, but the danger of internal security breaches makes cybersecurity crucial. So, companies have to invest more in their system security in order to manage their work team.
5G will be the Future
We are already listening to a lot about the advantages of 5G over the past years. From ultra-low latency, increased availability, high network capacity, and increased bandwidth, 5G will enormously impact human life. Recently, multiple organizations started to realize the value of 5G as digital collaboration and video conferencing became the center of every remote workforce. Also, solid connectivity and more bandwidth became a genuine requirement in recent years.
During the pandemic, the world witnessed a 120% surge in smartphone usage and social media, which increased by 69%. We are dependent on smartphones, social media, and other gadgets. Modern-day organizations can’t deny the requirement of a solid network and couldn’t afford to be disengaged. That’s why 5G has become a vital part of the digital transformation roadmap. It is expected that by 2024 there will be 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions worldwide. As multiple organizations are moving from a traditional workplace to the home office, the value of 5G will be a mainstream ingredient to accelerate digital transformation in 2021.
In today’s world, digital transformation has become a buzzword. Businesses from every industry are going digital for leveraging the advantages of fast customer service, cost-effectiveness, and of course, data-driven business. If you’re still unsure about digitizing your business strategy, then here are some benefits to convince you:
Benefits You Can Expect from Digital Transformation in 2021
Digital transformation will help your business save a lot of time and resources by freeing your employees from daunting everyday tasks. From sending multiple emails, invoicing, and answering customer feedback, you can improve your business’s efficiency with automation. Also, shifting your important business data from private or public to hybrid cloud environments reduces operational costs. Here are some more benefits you can expect from digital transformation in 2021 and beyond:
Going digital will let you track and analyze the data you gained from several digital marketing efforts. You can use this data to optimize your business process to get better results. Businesses are driving major changes in costs and revenues by implementing data-based insights into their workforce. Also, using data-driven insights helps companies measure customer activity, employee engagement, inventory, and much more. By understanding your customers’ expectations and needs, you can create a customer-centric digital strategy framework for business.
Data-driven insights will let you create business strategies using both the personal customer information or structured data and social media metrics or unstructured data. And don’t forget the importance of data in business decision making. 90% of business professionals and data analytics have stated that data and analytics are the main keys to their company’s digital transformation initiatives. There is no doubt that data is one of the most valuable business resources.
However, after witnessing the vast popularity of powerful report-savvy data collection software like Surveysparrow, Zapier, SurveyMonkey, and JotForm, it is predictable that data-driven insights will continue to roar the market in the upcoming years.
Helping Employees Be More Productive
Workforce engagement has been a hot topic in 2020. The pandemic forced even the most traditional companies to face the fact– remote work is the future! And employees were looking for ways to increase their productivity while working from home. During the pandemic–
- 64% of organizations were concerned over employee productivity.
- 55% of companies were concerned about online communication while remote working.
From these statistics, it’s clear that organizations depend on digital technology to increase their growth and productivity. That’s why different tools like Microsoft Office, Zoom, Google Meet, and survey tools like SurveySparrow, Google Form, gained immense popularity during the pandemic.
Digital transformation will not only help you solve the communication crises, but it will help connect different departments within the same company. For instance, project management software has all the features a company needs to streamline its entire work process. From the project, tasks, and contact management to team collaboration, reporting, and billing, These tools can make every work easier
Transformed Customer experience
The world is obsessed with technology, social media, and digital lifestyle. Modern customers don’t care about having the best product anymore; they seek comfort while doing business, fast service, and valuable solutions to their problems. And in order to stay connected with these millennial customers, businesses have to integrate digital transformation within the organization. According to IDC, 79% of organizations said they increased their digital transformation budget during covid-19.
Companies are making multiple attempts to support progressive web apps, intelligent chat-bots, conversational surveys, native apps with world-class UX, augmented reality, etc. Because of the digital transformation, businesses will have access to customer data, and they can use it to understand their customers’ preferences and expectations.
Here’s an example: A Switzerland based open-art trading platform ‘Wydr’ increased customer engagement by 20% using SurveySparrow’s survey software. The company used different features like recurring surveys, audience management, and built-in-email, to create engaging surveys and send them to their potential customers. And this resulted in 20% higher website visitors and a remarkable online presence.
Updated Skills and Knowledge
Most of the companies fear investing in digital transformation, as they think it will be a cost-worthy affair. But, recently, the uncertain environment of covid-19 forced several companies to wake up and smell the coffee. They have realized the worth of digital transformation.
One such example is the clothing giant Primark. Recently, in April 2020 Primark has gone from £650m in sales a month to absolutely zero! The covid crisis forced the clothing giant to close its business in Europe and the US. The reason? They don’t have any click and collect service or online store for their clothes.
Let me give you another old yet popular example: Blockbuster, once a famous video rental company, was approached by Reed Hastings in 2000. He asked the company to pay $50 million for his company- Netflix. But, Blockbuster didn’t realize the true potential of an online streaming platform and simply rejected the offer. While Netflix focused on digitization, and guess what? $194 billion, that’s the worth of Netflix in 2020.
As the importance of digital transformation and new technology continues to grow in the market, there will be a huge demand for specialized skills for digital transformation management. Businesses will search for different skill sets, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, augmented reality, data analytics, and growth hacking. By implementing digital transformation, businesses will allow their employees to upgrade their skills for the upcoming years. This will open new opportunities for organizations to stay competitive in the digital edge.
Easy to Collaborate
Recently the traditional business has transformed massively. They had to learn how to grow their businesses amid this uncertainty and contactless interaction. This accelerated the need for advanced project management software, collaborative tools, survey software, analytical tools, and much more. Some examples of these tools are Slack, Trello, Asana, Google Sheet, Google Forms, etc.
Digital transformation makes it easier to collaborate with remote teams by keeping essential documents in the cloud and using project management tools to organize workload. With this software, you can collaborate with your clients and team members in real-time. And the best part is, these technologies are more scalable than any other traditional methods.
Wrapping it up..
These technologies, as mentioned earlier, will continue to grow in the future. If your organization has any interest in increasing leads and profits, then digital transformation is the ultimate solution. These ingredients will help modern businesses stay connected, and soon companies will discover different ways to leverage digital technologies to enhance profitability.
Companies have to encourage their employees with the right tools to adopt this new digital culture. It will help organizations to upskill and take advantage of the benefits of digital transformation. There’s no doubt that this new digitized culture of 2021 will drive a lot of change, definitely a big year’s waiting for all of us!
So, here you go! We’ve predicted the ingredients every business will need to accelerate digital transformation in their organization. But before leaving, don’t forget to mention what you think! Which technology will be the most important ingredient for this in 2021?