Business disruptions are often catalysts for massive innovation. So when the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe in 2020, digital transformation in all types of businesses went from trendy to—well, viral.
The pandemic taught companies that commercial digitization was essential to survival. With brick-and-mortar stores closing, supply chains disrupted, and consumers suddenly fearful of even leaving their homes, rapid digitization became the last line of defense against permanent closure.
But 2020 didn’t create a need for digital transformation. It only accelerated the inevitable.
“As the world is recovering from a roller-coaster year, almost all industry trends in technology center on digitizing business tools and processes. In fact, many experts estimate that business digitization has sped up three to seven years in a matter of months in the wake of the pandemic,” Says Abby Prince, CSS ProSearch Managing Director.
Among the top digital transformation trends of 2021, here are several to keep a close eye on:
Increased AI Integration
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a staple of the tech industry over the past decade. From chatbots to advanced speech synthesis, AI enables computing devices to better “understand” human needs and meet them with precision. Smarter AI integrations not only mean creating better customer experiences, but they also help organizations make more accurate data-driven decisions.
Internet of Things (IoT)
In an increasingly digitized world, Internet of Things (IoT) technology provides a system of internet-connected devices that gather and communicate data among one another—usually by way of cloud integration. Businesses are harnessing the power of IoT to personalize digital products and services, including smart home technology, self-driving cars, and even automated markets.
As machine-to-machine communication has become faster and more comprehensive, leveraging IoT is a must for creating better, more personalized customer experiences.
From link clicks to time spent watching videos, customers generate massive amounts of data from an event as simple as online shopping between meetings. Thanks to the standardization of predictive analytics tools, businesses can harness customer-generated data to not only build robust customer profiles but also predict customers’ future needs.
On a broader scale, implementing predictive analytics gives businesses game-changing insights into specific demands within their target markets—before those demands even surface.
Most people understand the term blockchain in the context of cryptocurrency. However, blockchain technology has made its way into virtually all areas of the tech industry due to its versatility and security advantages.
Blockchain is primarily used for encryption and decentralization of sensitive data. It can be applied to cross-border trading, supply chain and distribution management, advanced cybersecurity, protection of intellectual property, and more. In fact, businesses are forecast to invest nearly $16 billion in blockchain technology by 2023, compared to just $2.7 billion in 2019.
The Future of Digital Transformation
As the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, a digitized business is a surviving business in 2021. The technology industry is transforming B2C interactions through tools and integrations that enhance customer experiences and, on the flipside, provide companies with exponentially greater insights into their markets and business networks.
Most importantly, these four digital transformation trends—along with many others—remain interdependent (AI and IoT in self-driving cars, for example), creating an ecosystem in which each tool enhances the functions of others.
And the ecosystem keeps evolving.
CSS ProSearch is a sales recruiting firm that places top sales and marketing talent for growing businesses in the healthcare, technology and consulting verticals.
Our sales recruiters take a consultative approach to recruiting, acting as a true partner in the success of both our clients and our talent. With over 50 years of combined experience, our team combines best-in-class recruiting practices, technology, research and innovative approaches to deliver exceptional service with every engagement. Learn more here.