In the second half of 2020, the digital transformation of businesses has gained dizzying pace. The pandemic has forced a different perspective on the functioning of businesses, and even entire industries and sectors of the economy. Many companies have implemented digital technologies, which have become a necessity overnight. It is worth noting that some entrepreneurs over the past year have launched solutions which were planned to be developed in the next few years. What is important is that the investments not only made it possible to maintain continuity of operation or adapt the organisation to the mode of remote operation, but often to stand out from competitors, for example, thanks to even better customer service. In this respect, the unexpected shock that occurred in the first half of the year translated into a dynamic increase in the number of innovation processes started and successfully completed in these areas.
Will there be a continuation of this trend in 2021?
The American research company Forrester estimates that in 2021 more than one third of office workers will be continuously working remotely, and two thirds of B2B sales companies will use tools and mechanisms based on artificial intelligence and automation processes. Companies are already focusing on cloud-based platforms that will provide fast access to data. It is worth noting that work in a distributed structure requires special attention from entrepreneurs in the areas of secure access to company resources and operational tools. This requires a constant search for technologies that respond to these challenges.
In the forecast 'Future Disrupted: 2021”, prepared by NTT, identified technological trends that will drive change after 2020. These forecasts largely reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on accelerating digital transition. The technologies that will certainly determine the introduction of changes in the market in 2021 include: robotisation and automation of processes, cobots, IIoT), blockchain, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, deep and machine learning, 5G, cyber security, autonomous vehicles or digital twin.
What functions will most often be transformed?
In NTT's 2020 Intelligent Workplace Report, it was emphasised that the business strategies of companies in the coming years will focus in parallel on employee and customer experience. The 2020 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report emphasises that as much as 70% of organisations recognised that improving customer service processes is the most important driver of their digital transformation.
We observe that companies are increasingly interested in verifying their business models. A new source of revenue in the coming years will be data. Knowledge and information are becoming a market value and a key attribute allowing companies to build competitive advantage. An interesting trend is related to the concept of the Internet of behaviors (IoB). It means collecting, combining and processing data in order to use them to change behaviour. It is worth stressing that these data may come from various sources, including social media channels. More and more companies are also recognising that by collecting and analysing data from their activities, they have unique knowledge on which to build an additional revenue stream. The ability to see the value of data will certainly be a challenge for managers in the coming year.
Digital Innovation Hub Coordinator
Head of Sales & Research Commercialization Department
Poznan Science and Technology Park