Digital Transformation: What to Look for in 2021
For the past several years, business change has been astronomical and marked by advances in digital technology.
In the last year, digital transformation has been marked, a more progressive form of digital technology that has quickly infiltrated nearly every department and system in business, making operations and communication run more quickly, efficiently, and remotely.
What Is Digital Transformation?
The origins of digital transformation can be found in its relatively young ancestors: digitization and digitalization. Yes, those are two different words.
Salesforce, a leading CRM platform for businesses, describes digitization as the move from analog to digital.
From letters to email.
From snail mail and the fax machine to digital scanners and PDFs.
Digitalization came next when businesses began utilizing the fact their data was now stored electronically.
Digitalization was not a huge leap in digital technology, rather it was a move toward using what digitization had put in place to perform simple tasks like organizing computer files and data on customers.
While digitalization allowed businesses to maintain their current systems more efficiently, digital transformation came along to change those systems altogether.
Digital transformation is the process of taking your business to the next level, or a different one altogether, depending on your needs, goals, and how existing and future technology can support them.
Digitization and digitalization laid the foundation for businesses to streamline and organize their communication and data. Digital transformation allows businesses to use digital technology to completely change how they do business and grow their efforts at an exponential rate.
Why Does Digital Transformation Matter?
If your business isn't focused on digital transformation, especially in 2021, you might want to reassess your priorities.
Digital transformation sets the competition apart in any industry. It is what allows companies to market more directly to their target market, process sales more efficiently, capture and keep track of their data, and pinpoint strengths, weaknesses, and where their business is headed in the future.
Digital transformation is where the money is. The IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Guide predicts $1.97 trillion will be spent on digital transformation in 2022.
A study by The Economist and DXC Technology found that 68% of senior executives have seen an increase in profitability in the last three years due to digital transformation, and 74% predict there will be a rise in profitability due to digital transformation.
Digital transformation is a train that's moving quickly. If you don't get on it, you'll be left behind.
Digital Transformation Trends for 2021
It's that time of year where tech industry experts are all weighing in on their 2021 predictions for technology, and digital transformation is something they're all talking about.
You will see many different predictions and opinions out there, but most experts agree that the following will be big for digital transformation in 2021.
AI, or Articifical Intelligence
AI, or artificial intelligence, is already utilized by many businesses for customer-facing endeavors such as online chatbots. Still, AI in 2021 and beyond will be making a big difference in-house as well.
Information Age predicts companies will be using AI more for their own marketing efforts to analyze data and streamline production. Different industries will utilize this technology in different ways. For example, the medical industry is predicted to use AI to help diagnose patients and determine the best treatment plans.
Forbes goes so far as to say, "Companies that still aren't investing heavily in analytics probably won't be in business in 2021."
Analytics are crucial for any business to grow and thrive today. Using data to analyze customer needs and trends is incredibly useful and necessary for growth.
Data analysis can also track trends within your business and industry and identify problem areas and growth opportunities. Using data critically through thorough analysis will continue to be the backbone of any business utilizing digital technology this year.
Wireless and cellular speeds get faster every year, and 2021 will be no different.
5G, the fifth generation of wireless technology and cellular data, became widespread in 2019 and is now standard with major carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and Huawei.
In 2021, 5G will be even more prolific and, therefore, necessary to keep business up to speed. As ACPCs (always-connected PCs) become more prevalent-a trend predicted by Forbes-we will likely see ACPCs with 5G capability.
Managed IT Services
Managed IT Services is a solidified "trend" by now, but many of them are upping the ante for 2021.
According to The Enterprisers Project, IT services are now big players in the mergers and acquisitions game, acquiring engineering and digital marketing firms to increase their offerings to clients. When CIOs are on the hunt for the right Managed IT Service for their company, they will find the competition to be even steeper than before. Still, they will also be pleased to find more departments housed under one roof, leading to more digital transformation opportunities.
Digital transformation is transforming businesses all over the globe. We'll be closely watching what happens in digital technology this year, and we hope for the sake of your business, you will be too.
To learn more about Wright Business Technologies and how we could support your digital transformation in 2021, contact us here.