Among business circles, digital transformation has been among the technology “buzzwords” for many years now. Yes, 2022 will also be about digital transformation, probably at a much larger scale. So, what has changed in 2022?
For a start, the COVID-19 pandemic has been such an “eye-opener” for businesses, as they begin to reflect on the new way of running their daily business. A Twilio study found that 97% of companies have reported that COVID-19 has accelerated their digital transformation initiatives. Amit Zavery of Google Cloud talks about digital transformation as “less of a technology project to be finished and more of a state of perpetual agility.”
How is digital transformation likely to look very different in 2022? Here are six of the top trends to watch out for:
The World Economic Forum reports that 80% of global CEOs are looking to digitize (or automate) their work processes using new technologies. Gartner projects that hyper automation is going to be a major technology trend for 2022, while another Gartner survey found that over 75% of business enterprises use a combination of automation and AI tools.
An interesting automation trend in 2022 is that even smaller businesses will use automation tools (like business process automation or BPA) to stay ahead of their competition. Besides that, more companies are now deploying AI and machine learning to automate manual tasks and improve their predictive analytics. Further, enterprises are adopting cloud-based automation solutions to improve their scalability and reduce their cost of ownership.
Mainstreaming of low-code tools
Be it 2022 or beyond, more organizations are growing their dependence on data to improve their business operations. This is further increasing the business value of data tools and technologies. With low-code or no-code tools, organizations can now invest more time and resource into business growth rather than focus on building business tools and applications.
Francois Laborie of Cognite talks about the importance of data-driven software tools and the need for “technology that makes working with data intuitive for a large group of users.” On their part, low-code solutions help in providing these tools at speed to various business users, including executives who can make faster business decisions without going through an elaborate learning curve.
According to Chris Bedi of ServiceNow, CIOs need to know how to “quantify their progress with AI and digitization technologies and effectively communicate this value to their stakeholders.” Among the top trends in digital transformation to look out for in 2022 (as reported by Gartner), Generative AI effectively utilizes machine learning to gain more information about objects from the generated data.
Going forward, Gartner projects Generative AI to account for 10% of all generated data in 2025, up from just 1% now. As digital technologies are reshaping more products, a generative design will enable more product teams to iterate on new ideas and develop more innovative products.
An increase in online transactions and remote working will continue to shape cybersecurity measures in 2022. Adding to that, the number of cyberattacks has continued to rise in recent years. For instance, data breaches in 2021 exceeded the number in 2020 by 17% (1,291 in 2021 as compared to 1,108 in 2020).
With cybersecurity gaining more importance, technology companies will hire more CISOs in their ranks. The global pandemic situation will require organizations to balance their security needs with user convenience. At the same time, enterprises are looking to keep up their security practices in the face of constant digital transformation. Enterprises are now looking to boost cybersecurity by integrating AI and ML technologies into their security solution.
Along with improved cybersecurity measures, regulations for data privacy and protection will also be at the forefront in 2022.
Customer data platforms
The global pandemic is also driving organizations to adopt a data-driven approach towards customer experience (CX). Be it through online shopping, digital banking, or virtual health checkups, more consumers today prefer digital channels when interacting with brands. As part of their digital transformation plans, companies will continue to leverage the value of customer data in 2022 and beyond.
Marc Benioff of Salesforce believes, “every digital transformation is going to begin and end with the customer.” With organizations having more access to their customer data, enterprises are turning towards customer data platforms (CDPs) to gain more information about their customer’s needs and purchase behaviors. For 2022 and beyond, companies will invest more into CDPs to design customized and personalized marketing campaigns for their consumer base.
It is not just customer data, but 2022 will be the year when more business enterprises will look to obtain high-quality data from varied sources of raw (or unstructured) data. Going by this Gartner prediction for 2022, 90% of organizational strategies will be driven by data (as a business asset) and analytics (as a business capability).
David Macdonald of SAS talks about digital transformation as being “all about unlocking value in your business processes – as well as being agile enough to use data and analytics to create new, innovative experiences.” Effectively, apart from analyzing customer behavior, data analytics is being used across business functions including in optimizing supply chains and sales pipelines. For example, just-in-time data analytics in 2022 will be used to address the global supply chain crisis.
What is the value of a digital-first mindset for organizations looking to embrace transformation in 2022? Here is a bonus trend that we are likely to experience more closely this year.
According to McKinsey, 96% of B2B companies are turning to digital technology as their go-to-market model during the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital transformation is not simply about “turning on” digital technologies or tools, but about adopting a digital-first mindset among their leaders and business teams.
This Deloitte article on digital experience found that three-fourths of surveyed business executives expect more business changes to happen over the next 5 years, while 50% of executives do not believe the rapid pace of changing technology is “not good” for their companies nor their customers.
To counter these perceptions, companies need a sound people-first mindset that can combine digital technologies with leadership and human engagement.
Even before the advent of the 2020 pandemic, many organizations had already ventured on their digital transformation journey. The pandemic has played its part in reshaping the transformation process.
In 2022, technology will continue to be the backbone of digital transformation initiatives. However, business success will depend on adopting the right “mindset” that can drive the organization on the right path.
At Heptagon, we enable our customers to pursue the right strategy in digital transformation and set up themselves for long-term success.
Here is a blog that will help you determine if your organization is ready for digital transformation.