Digital transformation trends have been changing every year. However, this year, we'll see some significant changes that will turn the tables and change our lives completely.
While technologies like IoT, AR, VR, etc. will continue to bring digital transformation in 2020, technologies like AI, 5G, and advanced data analytics will be the game changer ones.
Top 12 Digital Transformation Trends
1 - Customer and User Experience (CX/UX)
Any updates in digital transformation trends are tightly coupled with the customer experience and user experience. Every investment made in the area of digital transformation is directly proportional to CX/UX.
On the one hand, this is particularly true as companies increasingly transition from establishing internal competencies and enhancing efficiency to executing on their vision.
On the other hand, improvements in connectivity with 5G, computing capabilities with cloud and ML, smart automation with AI and RPA, and intuitive UIs with AR and AI will combine to make 2020 an articulation point for CX and UX across a variety of industries ranging from transportation and healthcare to retail and hospitality.
2 - XaaS (Everything as a Service)
The concept of Software as a Service or SaaS got popular in 2019. An extension of it, Everything as a Service, will gain more popularity in 2020.
Tech Giant HP announced that they would offer everything in their holdings as a service by the year 2022. Apart from this, many big corporations are planning to move on-premise as a service, along with Blockchain, analytics, big data, and more.
Everything as a Service has been growing up to this for a few years now. However, 2020 will be the year it goes entirely mainstream.
As technology grows, data protection and privacy regulations also get updated. Companies are getting more and more serious about data privacy regulation now than ever.
The adoption of transparency and privacy will be used as a brand differentiator, allowing customers to opt-out or in of data collection schemes with more awareness and ease compared to the past.
However, the question still continues whether companies like Facebook and Amazon will join the movement or continue to collect user data as before.
Moreover, there is a massive opportunity for companies high-tech companies like IBM, HPE, Cisco, and Dell to develop a meaningful structure around data privacy and security.
The concept of smart cities and autonomous vehicles was introduced many years ago. Ever since the first concept of autonomous vehicles, the research has been going on for its commercialization.
The combination of 5G and cutting edge computing will make our dream of truly autonomous vehicle real. Google and Tesla are undoubtedly the top players working on it for a long time now.
However, truly autonomous vehicles are only possible with the strategic alliances of technology makers and automobile manufacturers. Tech giants like Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Intel are partnering with auto manufacturers like Ford, Volvo, and BMW to get their autonomous fleet up and running.
Now that we're always "connected," we require PCs, that are always "well-connected," too. This year, we'll see an expansion of ACPCs with embedded LTE and 5G connectivity.
The partnership between Qualcomm and Lenovo will work amazingly out of the box as ARM-based technologies will hit the market. Users will enjoy a full-day or multi-day battery life in their PCs.
While Siri still sucks (most of the time), it is nearly impossible to craft a decent chat message with speech-to-text. However, with the rise of conversational AI, this problem can be solved.
Voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant, will be not only able to follow complex conversations but also be able to understand the nuances of emotions.
Currently, the SOCs do not offer a dedicated section for voice assistants. However, this year we'll get to see a change in that. Silicon companies will start to provide a dedicated section in the SOCs.
RPA is considered as the lowest hanging fruit in the field of AI. However, it has remained a hot topic at manufacturing and tech for a long time now.
Investments and research in RPA have been increasing every year since its inception, and it is going to increase this year as well. Companies like UiPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere have made big investments in RPA.
Moreover, companies like Cisco are already using RPA to augment and upskill the value of their current workforce.
The name of Blockchain has been tight-knit with cryptocurrency ever since its inception. However, this year, we'll get to see many more useful applications of Blockchain beyond cryptocurrency.
AWS is democratizing Blockchain technology with its subscription-based Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform. Moreover, many other global players are also working in this space, including Alibaba, Samsung, IBM, and Microsoft.
In the future, we'll see Blockchain being used in real estate/asset management, food safety, intellectual property, and royalties, for instance.
Using AI and ML for data analytics can help companies bring value to their customers like never before. The value of ML and AI to data analytics can be concentrated into three value propositions: speed, scale, and convenience.
Scale and speed speak to the benefit of automating the analysis of large data sets as argued to assigning human data analysts to the task.
Thanks to ML and AI, complex data sets can now be analyzed in less time compared to earlier. This is not because PCs have become better or faster, but rather because AI and ML algorithms have gotten quite good at data analysis, and because it can easily be scaled in the cloud.
On the other hand, unlike data analysis tools of yore, the implementation of AI and ML to analytics tools has made them easy to use, intuitive, and more reliable.
The chances of companies to get out of business increase when they do not implement analytics to their business. Modern analytics tools offer a competitive advantage to companies by collecting user data and turning it into insightful information.
With Salesforce acquiring Tableau and Microsoft building its own Power Platform, every major tech company is trying to figure out how they can use data to overcome various limitations that the companies faced until today.
The speed of WiFi connections has been growing exponentially with every new technology upgrade. Despite being completely different technologies than each other, 5G and WiFi 6 working in unison will create a perfect end-to-end combination of ultra-high-speed connectivity for office and home.
The true value of WiFi 6 will be its capability to extend faster data speeds to far more devices compared to WiFi 5. This is crucial for two primary reasons.
The first is that the number of connected devices on an average WiFi network is expected to rise from roughly 10 today to 50 over the next few years. That increase will require smarter, faster, and more efficient WiFi capabilities.
The second reason is that the volume and quality of data consumed via WiFi networks are both growing as well, and WiFi 5 can not handle the load all that well.
5G is going to be a huge highlight in 2020. Almost every tech and even non-tech companies are banking on 5G for business enhancement.
Telecommunication giants such as Verison, Qualcomm, AT&T, Huawei, and Nokia Ericsson are assuring the pace of global 5G deployments. Moreover, this year 5G phones are will be hitting the market.
5G will not only provide us high-speed Internet but also fuel the advancements in IoT, such as smart manufacturing, smart vehicles, smart cities, and more.
While older technologies and digital signage solutions will continue to evolve and remain a part of digital transformation, the trends mentioned above will dominate the digital transformation discussions across the globe.