When considering how digital technologies are transforming markets, where do we start? There's been so much change over so short a time. With everything the past few years have thrown at us, we've seen a faster progression in technology than we may ever have seen.
Digital transformation is no longer a choice for most businesses; it’s a necessity. The time has come to embrace the digital environment or prepare to disappear from a competitive landscape.
When it comes to technological transformation, what are we actually changing? The way we do business, how we build the products, how we attain the results, and the needs that drive them.
Digital technology trends set to boost how we do business
We strive for better business outcomes through enhanced systems, solutions, and smarter decision-making. But we’re also digging deeper into how we provide each development by considering how it affects our customers.
New technology has got to deliver better customer and employee experiences if we’re going to retain loyalty and interest. We need data-driven decision-making for accurate forecasting and pinpointing where we’ll achieve optimum results.
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We’re also going to turn how we drive transformation on its head with result-driven applications. So instead of asking ‘how can we use these new tools?’ we’ll be asking ‘what tools do we need?’ to find the agile, flexible solutions that drive our operations into the future.
With all that under debate, here are our top 10 digital trends for the coming year that will enhance your digital transformation journey.
1. Automation, Artificial Intelligence, BI, ML, and data analytics
We can guarantee that automation will play a massive part in the operations of all the practical digital transformation topics. With the emerging technology – artificial intelligence, business intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation – integrating into more of our processes, automation is a significant investment area for most CEOs.
Digitizing processes in sales and marketing, finance, and customer service have been helping workflow for some time, but further movement into the rest of our processes—including retail, manufacturing, and cybersecurity—will bolster the speed and efficiency of operations. So regardless the industry you're in, make sure to include implementing automation practices to your business objectives in 2023.
2. 5G for business
With digital disruption and transformation set in stone, each company will demand easier, faster, and more secure access to its platforms and performers. 5G delivers all of that and more.
5G operates over various frequencies. They range from the lower bands, delivering over longer distances, to the highest bands—including mmWave—offering massive capacity over shorter distances.
5G is the technology that will make moving data—personal, private, or business— without glitches or delays. The return for those businesses is greater security, more robust, stable systems, and the ability for enhanced processing, distributing faster and smarter deliveries.
3. Blockchain, crypto, and digital banking
Most of us are well aware that blockchain is playing a huge role in the next stage of the Internet—Web 3.0. However, crypto and digital currency are making steady waves of their own, with major governments accepting the system as the only path forwards.
El Salvador made Bitcoin, now a trillion-dollar asset, legal currency last year in an attempt to quell unbridled inflation. Other third-world countries will likely adopt the same or similar practices.
It’s not so much as an if but a when, and as far as digital transformation ideas go, blockchain and crypto will play a big part in the change.
4. Customer data platforms (CDPs)
Data is at the root of our operations, it seems, and its collection is monitored continuously from every angle to learn as much as we can about customer behavior. Customer behavior is paramount to predicting and producing amplified sales figures, so unquestionably, data is increasingly significant in the way businesses operate.
There might not be too much data to categorize and understand for smaller niche outfits. However, with masses of sales, inquiries, reviews, and interactions for the bigger businesses, it’s a vast task in an almost bottomless pit.
Thankfully, CDPs integrate with other emerging technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, and predictive analytics. These technologies enhance the capabilities of CDPs by providing deeper insights into customer behavior, enabling personalized marketing campaigns, and facilitating data-driven decision-making.
Artificial intelligence can weed through the best of it, spotting the patterns and predicting better practices, but customer data platforms are going to be where your marketing departments thrive. And it won’t stop there; CDPs as a digital transformation trend, will benefit other departments too.
The magic of CDPs is how they gather and cultivate data. No longer will you buy extended figures from outside sources; your customer data platform collects customer data from all your sources, including social media, online resources, buyer behaviors, email, and more. Then, it's all analyzed and categorized into as many segments and practices as possible.
A customer data platform always delivers a better-organized data structure with more insightful analytics than ever. It covers all the latest privacy regulations and is becoming a leading tool on each industry's digital journey to market one's business and products and structure many of our business practices.
5. Semiconductors and chip technology
2020, and its dramatic impact on our working lives, pushed us into more computer-based operations than ever, enabling us to continue our commerce, communication, and productivity from various locations over all kinds of connections.
But unfortunately, the impact of such change hit our resources harder than anticipated and the flow and pace of digital transformation trends in business. This fact puts a massive demand on the chips that run those operators and the semiconductors they’re built on.
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With a world shortage of semiconductors and chip production, many of the most prominent industry players are investing billions of dollars building new fabrication plants and into research, boosting production to meet the needs of the masses.
Because almost everything in today’s world runs on some sort of chip, the impact of such digital transformation has hit the production of everything from cars to mobile phones. Although we won’t likely benefit from this investment until after 2023, the current shortage and its impact on production lines will push the development of more innovative tech as a solution. It’s undoubtedly a space to watch.
6. Cybersecurity and privacy
With digital transformation pushing boundaries like never before, there will be a resurgence into cybersecurity to ensure each of our new practices is safe and secure. With cyberattacks reaching record highs during COVID and our work habits changing, the digital environment needs to work harder to protect itself and all our operations from such fraudulent and abusive attack attempts.
It’s not going to be so much a question of ‘how can we use technology to improve our operations?’ but ‘how can we use technology to improve our operations safely?’
One of the answers is, of course, machine learning. ML plays a significant role in enhancing cybersecurity measures by enabling advanced threat detection, behavioral analytics, anomaly detection, automated incident response, and fraud prevention.
You should never underestimate the strength of well-incorporated ML into your digital products. If linked and taught correctly, machine learning can only strengthen your security practices and ensuring the safe implementation of digital operations.
7. Legislation and regulation
With courts and governments determining how the top digital transformation companies are behaving is fair and above board, we'll likely see just as much action in the courtrooms during 2023. Moreover, with GDPR having delivered a healthy blow into how companies handle our information and the question of trust, more regulation will be abundant to keep the biggest practitioners in check due to a seeming lack of transparency.
With AI creating new ways of collecting and managing increased amounts of data, surely the legislation of how it’s handled will need careful consideration for how we opt into new practices, how the data is managed, and other critical areas of mismanagement concern.
8. Simpler contactless processing and payment solutions
Yet another area the pandemic highlighted was just how handy and advantageous digital payments and transactions have become. Boosting the ease of ordering takeaways, groceries, and top-up guerrilla shopping was only part of the movement.
Yes, less physical contact with shared terminals, coins, and cash was one way of slowing virus transmission rates. However, new ideas and adapting lesser-used existing opportunities into the mainstream also made massive differences.
In-seat ordering and payment with online menus delivered by QR codes, cut-out queuing, and celebrated social distancing are seamlessly facilitated by the ability to generate a QR code for a contactless and efficient dining experience. As a society, we seem happiest staring at our tiny screens, so why not utilize that instead of having theater, sports, and dining parties stand in line or queue for concessions and tickets? These digital transformation ideas will likely bolster hospitality and entertainment in all kinds of venues and centers.
9. Digital diversity
There is perhaps one of the more overlooked opportunities of digital transformation that is likely to hit our workforces – the expansion of communication and monitoring of less-obvious roles and positions.
There are so many active roles that are yet to be re-purposed by digital means. A vast 'deskless' workforce has yet to be issued with digital tools to replace existing paper-based, manual, and analog options.
Whether for monitoring, reporting, streamlining, or automating old processes, new digital tools and digitalization trends should unlock value and increase the experience of those workers and their customers.
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10. Multi-cloud architecture
With so many of our on-the-fly processes operating in the cloud, it’s no surprise that different software and workloads are running in various cloud environments. This multi-cloud architecture, shared between public and private clouds, has enabled a safer model for remote working, and once again, there are no surprises where that need came from.
Despite the complexity of each infrastructure, the system offers plenty through disaster recovery, data residency, and resilience. All companies going through a digital transformation will need new and appropriate management, automation, and delivery practices for cloud computing.
Digital transformation themes and beyond…
With W3.0, blockchain, NFT, crypto, and even quantum computing delivering some of the most significant digital transformation themes and conversations over the past year, it’s likely we’re set for more of the same through 2023.
So much can happen in the digital world over what always seems such a short period. Despite our predictions, don't forget about the sustainable approaches to any digital transformation trends you implement in your business objectives. Also, expect just as many surprises in the ground-breaking advances we may have failed to spot and include in this our top 10 business trends for information technology.
Want to implement any of the mentioned trends to your digital transformation strategy? Hit us up and for an product idea validation and implementation of innovative tech to your digital products!