Tech Trends 2021
2020 has been a year like no other. This year will probably go down in history due to the unprecedented changes brought about by the pandemic, also consequently impacting the way enterprises function. An increasing number of enterprises across industries and geographies are accelerating their digital transformation initiatives not only to make their processes more efficient but to respond to unpredictable fluctuations in demand and customer expectations. Let us focus on enterprise strategies and technology trends that will redefine businesses in 2021.
Strategy Development Transformation
Technology allows organizations to maintain competitive advantage over their rivals and as a result the line between corporate strategy and technology strategy is blurring. Astute strategists are contemplating their organizations’ current technological capabilities to review a broader range of technologies that can support in reshaping their competitive advantage and make it more resilient. Enterprises are therefore looking at strategic technology platforms equipped with end-to-end automation, analytics and artificial intelligence that can analyze massive data sets to infer patterns, make proactive decisions as well as monitor results. Enterprises are making strategy development a continuous and dynamic process.
Modernizing legacy applications and migrating them to the cloud helps improve system performance and enhance productivity. For many enterprises, the price of needed cloud migrations and other core modernization can be out of the budget. However, some enterprises are beginning to use adept outsourcing arrangements to redesign traditional business cases for core modernization. Some enterprises are also exploring opportunities to shift core assets to increasingly powerful platforms, including low-code options. Finally, many enterprises are trying to make do with addressing technical debt in ERP systems and migrating nonessential capabilities to other platforms.
Supply Chain Resilience
The supply chain is an integral part of most organizations and is important for achieving success. In fact, according to a recent survey, 79% of companies with superior supply chains achieve revenue growth higher than average within their respective industries. Forward looking manufacturers, distributors and retailers are exploring newer ways to transform the supply chain cost centre into a customer-focused value driver. These stakeholders are effectively analysing the data they collect and share. Some of these enterprises are exploring possibilities of using robots, drones etc. to make physical supply chain efficient and safe for employees. Supply chain teams that can leverage advanced automation will stand to immense benefits as they gain huge shifts in efficiency, achieve faster working capital turnaround and getting closer to their customers.
COVID-19 has forced a radical shift in enterprise working habits and has forced businesses to let their staff work remotely. Post pandemic, when things slowly start getting back to the old normal, enterprises will have to ponder if permanent remote workforce would be sustainable and will the productivity and employee well-being be affected. Enterprises may be able to overcome the challenges brought about by digital workplace by including the data generated by workers’ tools and platforms that can help organizations optimize individual and team performance and customize the employee experience through personalized recommendations, enabling remote work to be far more than a forced substitute for the traditional office.
Digital interactions have left many of us longing for the days of in-person interactions. Consumers will no longer be satisfied with distinct physical or digital brand experiences: They will expect an amalgamation of both the models—in-person experiences without sacrificing the convenience of online transactions. In the coming couple of years, in-person and digital experiences will become more seamless. Online and offline interactions would be intentionally designed to create a seamless brand experience that’s customized to individual customer’s behaviours, attitudes, and preferences.
We now look at top technology trends that will have substantial impact on how businesses operate in the next 18-24 months.
- Internet of Behaviours
- Distributed Cloud
- AI Engineering
- Cybersecurity Mesh
The internet of behaviours (IOB) refers to leveraging data to change behaviours and accumulates data from physical and digital channels to influence actions and behaviours through feedback loops. It combines existing technologies that focus on the individual directly – facial recognition, location tracking and big data etc., and connects the resulting data to associated behavioural events, such as cash purchases or device usage. IoB is still in its nascent stage but with prevalence of more and more data, enterprises should ensure they are aware of any consumer behaviours or trends. Strong data security guidelines followed by best data governance practices and awareness programs would help enterprises gain competitive advantage.
One of the key strategic trends for 2021, hyperautomation has seen incredible growth in the recent years. The transition to robotic process automation and the popularity of this technology should help drive innovation in the automation space and continue to provide enterprises value through process agility, time savings and scalability. Hyperautomation does not refer to one single technology or tool, rather it focuses on adding more intelligence and applying a broader set of tools to already established automation solutions.
Cloud vendors see massive opportunities as increasing number of enterprises move to cloud infrastructures. Public cloud providers will be able to distribute services to different geographical locations. According to a research global public cloud infrastructure market will reach US$120B at an annual growth rate of 35%, as the cloud continues to be in demand in the recovery from the pandemic.
A sound artificial intelligence engineering strategy is focused on the governance and life cycle management of a wide range of operationalized AI and decision models. Enterprises need a strong AI engineering strategy to ensure that AI projects do not fail and move beyond proofs of concept to full-scale production. Investing in an AI engineering strategy will considerably create the performance, scalability, interoperability and reliability of AI models while delivering the full value of AI investments.
A cybersecurity mesh is a distributed architectural approach to scalable, flexible and reliable cybersecurity control. An organization’s significant critical assets and documentation can be outside the physicals and logical security parament. The cybersecurity mesh will allow accessing any digital asset securely irrespective of where the asset or person is located.
The effects of COVID-19 are here to stay. Enterprises that leverage technology faster than others will immensely benefit in the form of making themselves future proof, adaptable and build resilience for similar uncertainties in the future. As they say, every event can be a bane for many but a boon for some. It all depends on how one perceives opportunities amidst crises and makes the most of it.