The next wave of industry leaders and successful brands will be those empowered by digital transformation.
With breakthroughs in technology and the evolving needs of customers worldwide, companies need to be fully aware of the growing scale of digital advancements becoming available today.
Some of these offer the potential to completely revolutionise the playing field for businesses, which is why it’s crucial to stay informed about what’s happening.
To help you navigate the latest digital transformation trends seen this year, we’ve compiled a list of those that can grow your business in 2020 and beyond.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technology to disrupt an organisation’s systems, operations, culture and customer experience to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of the market.
Digital transformation involves reshaping how services are delivered, reorganising how teams collaborate and refining how your business makes decisions.
Digital transformation is also about harnessing new technology to equip your audience with the ideal level of customer engagement and experience.
For more, read: What is Digital Transformation? And What is it Not?
What makes digital transformation important?
Digital transformation drives positive change and growth in businesses like yours.
Through the tools you utilise to the ways it enhances how your staff work, digital transformation allows you to tap into beneficial business outcomes such as higher levels of productivity, cost savings and excellent customer service.
To make the most of digital transformation, you have to view it as an investment that will provide long-term returns, rather than a short-term cost centre you expect the IT or Marketing teams to facilitate.
Digital transformation is everyone’s responsibility, especially because it provides business with the following benefits:
Digital transformation enables you to identify both challenges and opportunities.
By using advance tools that review your processes and systems, digital transformation provides a clear view of the bottlenecks you have to resolve and the areas you can improve to help your business deliver better levels of service.
Digital transformation helps you eliminate redundant processes and time-consuming activities.
Digital transformation takes advantage of smart applications to perform repetitive and mundane tasks like collecting data and encoding – allowing your employees to focus more on important jobs that require strategic planning and critical thinking.
Digital transformation allows you to attend to customers more efficiently.
Through digital developments like conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI), you can now answer customer queries 24/7. With the right technology such as cloud computing or multi-cloud strategy supporting your processes, you can also perform tasks much quicker.
Check: The Truth About the Importance of Your Digital Customer Experience.
Digital transformation strengthens your organisational culture.
Digital transformation boosts team synergy by offering your employees new ways to remain engaged and collaborate no matter where they are. In fact, we are now witnessing how digital transformation is sustaining many of our operations despite the COVID-19 restrictions.
See: What the COVID-19 Crisis taught us about Digital Transformation.
Digital transformation can provide competitive advantages.
By streamlining your processes and improving communications, digital transformation allows your business to become more proactive and progressive.
For more, read: How to compete with digital disruption? Become the Disruptor.
What are the top 10 digital transformation trends for 2020?
Understanding the key digital transformation trends from 2020 will allow you to see what you can potentially adopt into your own operations.
#1: Focus on Value and ROI.
Providing sustained investment in Digital Transformation is paramount to achieving success. However, this is only possible when you can demonstrate the value add different workstreams are providing.
Organisations that are doing this well, and are consitantly reporting key metrics that prove ROI to an executive board or stakeholder group are more likely to continue to receive funding for future initiatives.
#2: Deeper Analytics.
Customer data is growing exponentially and organisations that know how to turn them into valuable insights have the advantage of making more accurate decisions. In fact, major tech companies have already been advocating that effective data collection and real-time processing of information are the keys to future business.
Utilising analytical tools to collect, process and interpret data can help your business determine problem areas, spot opportunities for growth and develop more relevant solutions.
#3: Machine Learning and AI.
Based on recent research by Accenture, 88% of companies who have maximised machine learning technologies for automation are now seeing 200% improvements in their process efficiency and Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Machine learning technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) offer opportunities for your business to create value from data, scale-up and provide customer service at a level not possible by human power alone.
Through advanced AI algorithms, your marketing team can optimise the right pricing and product mix. Your sales team can also identify and pursue clients who are most likely to convert. Your customer service team can even address client pain points more efficiently.
#4: Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
Robotic Process Automation refers to the application of technology through software robots to automate business processes. From well-known companies to growing enterprises, RPA has been changing the game by minimising the time spent performing manual tasks and reducing costs from redundant organisational processes.
With the help of RPA, you can also implement operational procedures that will be consistent and compliant with industry standards and regulations.
#5: Digital Privacy.
Digital privacy revolves around protecting users’ information as they use the internet on their computers or smart devices to interact with you.
With frequent issues of data breaches from even large and reputable companies, people now pay far more attention to how businesses enforce digital privacy and transparency. Due to this, you must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and prioritise implementing data security in your digital transformation agenda.
#6: Leading a Remote Workforce.
The biggest event to occur in 2020 was, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the majority of the workforce to work from home. While this was a growing trend beforehand, it has certainly been accelerated due to this.
Now more than ever, businesses must upskill management to be able to monitor, track, inspire and manage a team of people working remotely. Fortunately today, digital technology, smart devices and software platforms facilitate this to provide avenues for constant contact, communication, processes, resources, compliance and more.
Digital disruption has allowed the working from home trend to be far more relevant and applicable than ever before.
#7: Augmented Reality (AR).
Augmented Reality (AR) offers a powerful way to engage modern customers in this digital era. It provides an interactive experience by integrating digital elements like graphics, video, audio and sensory enhancements to the real-world environment in real-time.
You can utilise AR to bring your brand to life for your audience in many innovative ways, like through a product demo which allows them to see how a certain item will work or an augmented shopping experience like virtually sampling clothes and make-up.
A blockchain is a decentralised, distributed digital ledger of transactions that prevents suspicious parties from accessing, changing or hacking a system.
Through it, digital assets such as Bitcoin are monitored, allowing everyone to see who made certain modifications. It also prevents digital assets from being illegally copied or transferred.
Blockchain allows your business to establish transparency, trust and credibility in the eyes of your stakeholders.
Consumers don’t just expect you to be innovative - they also want you to be socially responsible. This is why sustainability is a key trend you can’t ignore.
While it can pose some challenges, sustainability is a way for your business to reduce its carbon footprint, decrease its operational costs and eliminate waste, while creating a greener image.
#10: User and Customer Experience.
Digital transformation should always centre on providing an excellent customer experience (also referred to as CX or UX). During 2020, that principle still stands – and will for years to come.
It’s important to prioritise what will be best for your audience when thinking of the various processes to automate, the different advanced tools to adopt and organisational changes to make. After all – success comes from providing them with a great customer experience.
What did you think of the top 10 digital transformation trends of 2020?
Digital transformation is an opportunity to disrupt your current processes and provide impeccable customer service while improving productivity and efficiencies.
That’s why it’s important to always review these top trends to see what potential they offer your organisation.
Always remember: the process itself goes beyond technology – it’s also about reinventing culture, improving your workforce situation and delivering value to customers as a group.
For more, read: Driving value from digital transformation.