As 2020 draws to a close, it’s time to look forward. Every year, IT plays an increasingly important role in the business world as more tasks and functions begin to depend on digital tools. From automation to security and organization, the tech world keeps moving forward.
Here are the top trends shaping digital transformation in 2021:
Automating routine tasks is what allows employees to innovate and push the company forward. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, while automation does negatively affect low-skill workers, it also raises overall GDP growth.
When employees are no longer weighed down by mundane tasks, they can focus their efforts on higher-value activities. For example, an employee that no longer needs to manually organize stats in a spreadsheet can instead focus on more innovative ways to apply those stats to company growth and innovation.
According to the Harvard Business Review, more than 70 percent of customers use multiple channels during their pursuit of a product purchase. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to force more sales online, even traditionally in-person purchases are seeing an increase in multi-channel retailing.
Into 2021 we can expect to see more businesses embrace omnichannel retail strategies as a fundamental part of their sales experience and not just a temporary reaction to the current state of the world.
Advanced security measures
Security is integral to online success. Clients and customers don’t come back to businesses that they fear might expose their data. With the average number of endpoints growing, businesses with the savvy to invest in stricter API security are the ones that will succeed into 2021 and beyond.
According to Verizon, there were over 2,000 confirmed data breaches in 2019, with API abuses fast on their way to comprising the majority of these attacks. Data breaches can cost millions of dollars and destroy customers’ trust in a business. As companies rely more and more on various web applications to support their business model, API security becomes one of the most important investments a company can make.
Tech is a fast changing world, and businesses need to stay on top. Companies are expected to deliver fast, dynamic innovation as the corporate landscape changes around them. To do so, they can’t be building tools from scratch every time a change of course is needed. This is where intelligent dataops platforms come into play.
According to Gartner Research, this “Composable Enterprise” is the future of applications, and it’s not hard to see why. Having a platform with built-in data orchestration tools as well as services for analytics and automation greatly speeds up data analysis, engineering and preparation.
Cloud technologies allow companies a greater freedom and a larger scalability potential. Freeing the business world from the shackles of legacy applications allows unparalleled agility and the ability to respond more quickly to changing technologies and market trends. 2020 has seen renewed interest in the cloud–itself not a new technology–and that interest will only grow in 2021 as more companies embrace cloud storage and software as a service.
According to Microservices.io, microservices are an architectural style that enables the “rapid, frequent and reliable delivery of large, complex applications.” Microservices render data as a collection of loosely related services, which allows companies to very quickly adapt to new customer requests and create an ultimately smoother experience. Because each service is independently deployable, problems can be more easily localized and the entire infrastructure is more easily testable and maintainable.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
The ability to mix real and virtual experiences is in increasing demand. While the retail and real estate industries have been on top of this trend for awhile, VR and AR are becoming increasingly important in other sectors, as well. Customers are coming to appreciate these tools as a way to plan out hypothetical purchase journeys and companies can use them for internal testing and training, too.
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown businesses into a world of uncertainty. An increased investment in scenario planning software has allowed organizations to develop post-Covid scenario reports. This technology can remove a small bit of the uncertainty in post-Covid decision making by plotting out likely scenarios and giving companies a chance to prepare properly for them.
If we’ve learned one thing from 2020, it’s that no business can afford to stand still. There must be constant innovation and flexibility. Those businesses that stay ahead of the curve by utilizing the scalability and dynamism of new technologies are the ones that succeed. The lesson is that the future is now, and there’s no time to play catch-up.
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