Are you keen to kickstart your digitalization journey?
It’s crucial for your business to keep in touch with the trends of digital transformation in 2021. Otherwise, you risk getting left behind by the competition and will keep on wasting resources on iterative tasks that could be easily automated.
Digitization trends, with artificial intelligence at the heart of it, are also key if you’re heaving under the weight of data compliance issues. It’s the answer as well if suboptimal business processes are keeping you up at night.
Above all, digitalization is the missing link between your business and compelling customer experiences. It may just be what the doctor ordered to turn around underwhelming sales strategies.
The potential of digital transformation is clear. However, how to put it into action might not be.
In this article, we’ll be going through the top digital transformation trends shaping the modern enterprise today, and how they work for your own business inspiration.
Let’s get started.
1. Customer Data Platforms
Do you handle your enterprise’s marketing?
If so, then you know the struggle of compiling data from various customer engagement touchpoints across endless silos.
With data spread out in structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data systems, it becomes hard to unify all this raw information into a single consumer database.
Lead conversion may certainly be among your business’s top priorities, but it’s hard to grow those numbers when dark data continually leads you astray on customer patterns and behavior.
This concept is further established by a Ruler Analytics survey, where over 200 marketers confessed that creating quality leads is a huge struggle.
To tackle market research, many businesses are implementing a customer data platform, which is fast becoming one of the digital transformation trends to watch out for this year.
A customer data platform (CDP) is basically software that enables your marketing department to compile historical data from various market sources into a single and highly accessible platform.
The data aggregated on such software covers:
- Browsing history
- Event data, e.g. clicks, downloads, etc.
- Demographic data
- Transactional histories
Thanks to this data, you can get a better idea of your business partners and build personalized customer profiles for targeted marketing, in line with today’s digital transformation trends and tastes.
Some gift stores are using customer data platforms to create agile marketing strategies across multiple channels.
As a result of considering the latest digitization trends, these businesses noticed a remarkable increase in customer conversion and reactivation rates.
2. Behavior Modeling Cyber Security
What do your cyber security strategies entail?
You probably have in place measures against various cyber threats, as the situation has gotten a lot worse in 2021 given that the pace of digital crime continues to get out of hand.
In particular, a study by the University of Maryland estimates that there is a hacking attack every 39 seconds, which means there are approximately 738 cyber hack attempts every time you close shop for at least 8 hours.
Cyber attacks are getting more sophisticated by the day, with criminals also leveraging the vulnerabilities that come with digital transformation in 2021 to steal personnel credentials. These are then fraudulently used to log into your systems, meaning you may be having a hard time keeping up.
In which case, it might also be prudent to check out this article on the top cyber security trends in 2021 to ensure your business doesn’t fall behind.
Additionally, to counter this, the modern enterprise is turning to machine learning cybersecurity strategies to better anticipate and discern a hacking attempt when it takes place.
In particular, certain modern-day protection software is channeling an AI concept called behavior modeling. Here, machine learning algorithms learn the logout and login patterns of your staff and flag down exceptional behavior, e.g. after hour logins, for review by your security team.
As an example of digital transformation trends in action, Darktrace works on a similar behavior modeling concept to offer all-around protection
This enables the AI-powered antivirus to filter hacking attempts by scrutinizing the patterns of information across your network traffic. Therefore, even if a cybercriminal gains access to unauthorized credentials, it would still be possible to identify this threat.
3. Multi-cloud Service Strategies
How does your business store data?
If you’re anything like the tech-savvy businesses of today that are already aware of digitization trends for offsite storage, I bet you are already sold on the cloud and use a PaaS or SaaS to offer service delivery.
However, conventional cloud options have their limitations, and at the top of that list is business downtime resulting from sudden server failures.
A single hour of downtime alone can be devastating for your business, with an industry survey by Gartner establishing that businesses lose $336,000 within that period.
On top of lost business, other cloud disadvantages include high latency periods which affect user experience for your customers.
As a result, multi-cloud service delivery is among the top digital transformation trends shaping the modern enterprise, enabling your business to not only bolster reliability but also improve access speeds.
In the basic sense, a multi-cloud strategy involves combining different cloud solutions into a single, interconnected pipeline where one complements the other.
Consequently, your system users can enjoy low latency periods as they are automatically connected to a server nearest to their location.
Moreover, because these servers are from different providers, one failure in the network doesn’t cause a cascading system failure. The troubled server is instead bypassed until it comes back online once more, and a service disruption never occurs.
Approximately 9 in every 10 businesses today have already embraced multi-cloud solutions in an attempt to capitalize on the latest digital transformation trends.
These findings are in line with a Flexera report titled “State of the Cloud,” which substantiates just how big a deal multi-cloud strategies are as far as digital transformation in 2021 is concerned.
4. AR-enhanced Retail Shopping
Do you have an eCommerce front?
It may be the case that your business has a nice eCommerce setup, but that may not be enough in today’s high-stake online shopping world.
For the longest time, the biggest stumbling block between your business closing and losing leads has always been the inability to test-drive purchases.
A Contentsquare industry report emphasizes just as much, with the analytics company revealing that 47% is the average bounce rate for eCommerce websites.
Among the reasons behind this staggering statistic, is that customer indecision often leads to procrastination.
The answer to reducing bounce rates lies in providing a better on-site customer experience and one of the ways to do that is through augmented reality (AR) shopping.
AR technologies enable your business to do away with the cost restrictions of experiential marketing and make your purchase journey more interactive.
Furthermore, by making online products more tangible, AR shopping increases the possibilities of a return purchase because it settles any doubt in your buyer’s mind.
IKEA is one brand making waves with its augmented reality shopping experience, which enables customers to pick and place various furniture and home accessories from the eCommerce store into their living spaces.
This is made possible by a true-to-scale 3D renderer that, in addition to projecting store products, also alters item dimensions to perfectly fit in with the room’s size and environmental attributes.
By allowing customers to try out different products, designs, and styles, the retailer noted a bump in its conversions.
5. Content Intelligent Workflows
Is your workflow very paper-based?
If your document processing strategies involve lots of paperwork, or manual data sorting for electronic files, your business is prone to many risks.
For instance, there is a 40% probability of human error if your employees are hand typing data into a spreadsheet, and the error rate goes up by 2.5 times for more complex structures. That means for at least every 100 data cells, chances are 40 of them contain clerical mistakes.
These findings are in line with a whitepaper by the University of Hawaii on the dangers of human error in manual data entry tasks.
Consequently, digital transformation trends such as content intelligence are enabling the modern enterprise to get rid of manual data entry in favor of intelligent document processing.
Here, a software suite uses machine vision to scan your enterprise’s network of unstructured data. Afterward, it finds and converts previous non-searchable content formats into a file type that is text-searchable.
On top of that, content intelligence platforms further tap into machine learning to automatically classify your business files for easy structured data management.
Business processes reliant on manual data capture are also getting abandoned in favor of digitization trends like optical character recognition.
As an excellent example of content intelligence and digital transformation in 2021, one insurance company recently implemented intelligent document processing software to convert native file formats into a single stream of searchable PDFs.
This transition enabled the insurer to better integrate its workflow with various other repositories it previously had in place.
6. AI-Powered Employee Management
How much time do you spend overseeing workers?
A manager’s job can get complicated, and at the top of those complications is ensuring that your staff are constantly doing what they should be doing.
If an Office Team survey is anything to go by, then the situation is quite dire as more than 8 hours of a workweek are lost during business time as a result of general workplace distractions.
Some of those distractions include visiting non-work-related websites such as YouTube, mobile games, and personal errands, among others.
It is for these reasons some organizations are turning to the latest digital transformation trends and in particular, AI software, to help manage workforces without having to resort to tactics that involve a lot of legwork.
A great example of artificial intelligence for employee monitoring in action is how Microsoft Workplace Analytics helps managers to effortlessly keep tabs on staff activity.
Using machine learning algorithms, the software is able to track website browsing, and even break down the time spent on various tasks. This includes the number of hours spent drafting emails and working on different office tools.
Additionally, it enables you to gauge personal priorities and employee relationships to get actionable insight on how you can improve your employee experience.
Employee fates can also be analyzed, as the platform taps into predictive analytics to monitor behaviors and single out unreliable workers.
Unreliability here refers to the likelihood of quitting, which therefore enables your business to anticipate resource shortages and draft timely contingency plans.
7. Mobile POS Service
Do your customers often have to wait in long lines?
If so, your customer experience may not be the best and you may be losing a lot of business due to bounced leads.
The case is particularly dire if you’re talking about restaurants where the average wait time stands at about 23 minutes, going by an LRS survey.
With the study further establishing that wait times are getting longer, it’s quite clear that the customer experience for these types of establishments hasn’t always been the best.
Additionally, during peak periods, this often means there’s increased pressure on staff, who need to ensure satisfaction by speeding up services.
To tackle long waiting periods, your business could tap into one of the latest digital transformation trends, by adopting a mobile point of sales terminal (mPOS).
An mPOS basically takes the convenience of a typical cash register and packages into a mobile device. This enables your business to accept payments on the go, or reduce time spent in queues.
Aiming for a solution to take pressure off employees and increase customer satisfaction, Honest Burgers has implemented a mobile POS ordering system.
In one of the most exciting examples of digital transformation in 2021, the mPOS enables customers to pre-plan their orders ahead of time. This gave staff enough time to prepare orders and reduce waiting time during the fulfillment.
Additionally, the new system allowed the restaurant to offer a previously unavailable takeaway option at six locations, therefore hastening the company’s service across its supply chain.
Digital transformation is like the industrial revolution of the 19th century.
As businesses continue to embrace new digital technologies, those that do not will be left behind and rendered obsolete when consumer taste gravitates toward new directions.
So have you started on your digitalization campaign?
If not, there’s plenty of time to lay the groundwork, and the top digital transformation trends shaping the modern enterprise that we’ve looked at today can serve as a guide.
Speaking of which, you should also check out some vital machine learning predictions for 2021 that business owners should know about.
Packed with information on other digitization trends, like the rise of conversational AI tools, the article offers more excellent ideas to kickstart your digital transformation journey.