5 Digital Transformation Trends for 2021 and Beyond

Of all the phrases that have popped up with increasing frequency in the times of face masks and hand sanitiser, ‘digital transformation’ has to be pretty high on the list of overuse. Often peppered into blog posts about general business innovation and not used in its correct context, it’s a word that’s frequently misunderstood as a result. Not too dissimilar to its bedfellows ‘digitisation’ and ‘digitalisation’, it would seem.

To quote from evergreen authority Gartner, it “can refer to anything from IT modernisation (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimisation, to the invention of new digital business models. The term is widely used to refer to modest initiatives such as putting services online or legacy modernisation”. So, now that we’re closing in on the correct ballpark, let’s dive deeper into digital transformation trends for 2021…

1. The prominence of digital-ready culture

Consumers want consistent engagement with brands across their preferred channels and this isn’t something new. For some time, shoppers have been utilising more than one channel during their buyer journey. However, after the pandemic pressure has increased IT leaders to deliver on digital initiatives and give consumers the communication options they require. For example, use of messenger apps for support has increased enormously alongside live chat. Cross selling via these channels has also increased, as businesses adapt to a lack of brick and mortar opportunities.

In a recent piece in ZDNet quoting Gartner, 2021 may see the rise of ‘citizen developers’ in order to meet these digital requirements. The pandemic has accelerated all automation and digital transformation programs forward by several years. And according to the study, by 2023 the number of active citizen developers at large enterprises will be at least four times the number of professional developers. In this sense, the digital-ready culture extends beyond just the consumer-business relationship but also into how we work too.

2. Accelerated automation

To innovate, one has to automate. It really is that simple. Automation is changing the daily work activities of everyone: from coal miners and construction workers to commercial bankers and C-Suite high flyers. The adoption of automation technologies — including robotics, autonomous vehicles, and AI-driven software — has accelerated during the pandemic, although admittedly to a lesser extent than digitisation. Even as a potential vaccine is rolled out worldwide during the next 12 months it’s highly unlikely these accelerative shifts will slow down.

Companies across sectors are experimenting with automation. Across all industries, there’s a common consensus among executives that users that an inability to connect systems, applications, and data hinders their automation initiatives. If an important 2020 lesson has been that every business must be a digital business, then for 2021 the message is that every business must be able to create value at the speed of need. Tying in with trend number one, the future of business is digital and automated.

Read the full article at: https://thescalers.com/5-digital-transformation-trends-for-2021-and-beyond/