The past couple of years have seen an uptick among businesses embarking on digital transformation journeys as companies have come to realize the need to have a digital-ready culture both to build resilience and to thrive even in the middle of unexpected disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic.
This acceleration of these digital transformation endeavors across all enterprises has also brought about massive changes to the process itself. And as the world is beginning to open up more in the midst of this “new normal”, we are beginning to see some trends that may shape the future of digital transformations, as well as some that are becoming obsolete in the wake of these changes. Here are five future and five fading trends to watch out for.
Future: A focus on resiliency and sustainability
The pandemic taught many businesses to be prepared for seismic shifts in the market dynamics and consumer needs. As such, businesses will focus on the ability to effectively pivot and deal with change with minimal to no impact to their staff and their customers/clients. Some analysts also believe that there will be an increased focus on experimentation to predict enterprise behavior using simulated environments, providing greater insight as to how they can make their organizations more resilient.
Sustainability is another area of focus for many businesses as they have become more aware of their carbon footprint with their operations and have thus begun working on reducing it. In the process, there is a conscious effort across organizations towards a holistic transformation through digital technologies that will have an impact on society and build a purpose-led organization. Such will entail building ecosystem platforms to drive innovation, internal transformation to align with this sustainable agenda, and a greater emphasis on harnessing enterprise data and assessing stakeholder expectations in ensuring the success of their sustainability efforts.
Fading: A narrow view of cloud benefits
With what has happened over the last two years, there is no disputing anymore the importance and the benefits a cloud-based infrastructure or application provides It has been deemed as a “life-saver” for businesses that have survived and thrived during such a challenging period. It goes without saying that the very few businesses who still dismiss the benefits of the cloud stand to lose out and be left behind as those that have embraced the cloud have outpaced them in terms of growth and innovation.
Future: AI-fueled enterprise automation
Analysts have predicted that the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) among businesses in their automation processes will continue to gain speed as the technology matures and companies face increased pressure to drive down costs, which process automation can help accomplish
Beyond production and core operations, it has been established that workflow automation will also benefit HR and recruitment departments as they can be faster and more efficient in the hiring process, finance departments in automatically updating payment records, and customer service departments in being able to respond to customer queries more quickly and efficiently.
Fading: Remote work as a special case
The pandemic turned things around as far as the attitudes toward remote working are concerned. If before the idea of remote work was seen as an afterthought or unnecessary, nowadays many companies are seeing that remote work is integral to ensure business continuity as the ongoing pandemic has shown. As a result, businesses have made significant investments into remote work technology and processes.
Even if a number of companies are beginning to transition back to the office, in this “new normal”, the lingering uncertainty of the post-COVID environment, as well as the growing number of employees preferring at least a hybrid work model which would allow them to work at home during certain workdays has made it pretty clear that the remote work setup is not a fad nor a short-term deal anymore.
Future: Managing the full data lifecycle
Data has effectively become the primary, valuable resource of any organization. As such, there is a need for new thinking about how to manage data. Experts believe that the tech organization plays a key role in architecting and harnessing the data for the enterprise to drive more sustainability-focused decisions and sustainability reporting.
Fading: Cybersecurity as an afterthought
As the complexity of cloud and distributed architecture increased, ransomware on the rise, and remote work has put the online infrastructure of businesses at greater risk, cybersecurity concerns have risen to the forefront of digital transformation. Enterprises are under pressure to deliver secure access across users, applications, and devices – everywhere. If there are businesses that used to take cybersecurity for granted, it is no longer the case today nor should it ever be.
Future: Building responsible AI
As more businesses are looking to adopt AI in their operations, CIOs are tasked to create transparency and guidelines around the application of AI in the enterprise. Thus the focus now is to build industrialized AI systems early on as opposed to proof of concepts. There is also a greater need to establish ethics into governance from the onset. The key is to bring in oversight that is independent of the AI project in order to constrain it to the proper use case, and design for inclusion and comprehensiveness.
Fading: Failure to account for the future state while addressing current issues
The events that have transpired in the last couple of years have made businesses realize the value of having a sound contingency plan, one that would take account and be prepared for any unpredictability. Because of this, more businesses are putting a great deal of weight on the future in addressing current matters. This is especially true when it comes to addressing technology-related issues, given that technology itself is constantly evolving and businesses stand to benefit if they are not able to foresee what is ahead but also be an early adopter in order to gain a huge headstart.
Future: Machine learning maturation
While AI still has a long way to go, it has evolved considerably in recent years that it is now being adapted across more industries than before. Machine learning capabilities are now integrated into major enterprise software platforms. The focus is now on providing viable predictive analytics and simulations, creating efficiencies by decreasing the traditional legwork.
Fading: Inability to link business goals to actionable technology projects
One important element in the success of a digital transformation campaign is the complementary nature between a business’ processes and the technology used within the organization. It is crucial that the technology in place not only helps improve processes. More so, the technology should be able to help the business achieve its target goals from improved performance or hit, if not exceed efficiency targets.
With many businesses that have begun to embark on their digital transformation journeys in the wake of the pandemic, some faced the hard truth that their technologies were not serving the business as efficiently as they thought. In the process, businesses have learned to be more strategic and prudent in their technology acquisitions.