Thanks to Covid-19, digital transformation was a popular business buzzword in 2020. It has redefined the how’s of many businesses. But with popularity arises confusion. Even today, not many are clear about what digital transformation means. To some, it signifies automation, while to others, it means implementing digital transformation technologies like artificial intelligence.
While all of these do come under digital transformation, the concept of digital transformation is not limited to just this. It is a much broader field that we will explore in this blog.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation can be defined as the process of combining digital technologies into business operations with an aim to fundamentally change the way businesses function.
And what is the purpose of this transformation? Is it a move designed to employ the latest technologies in all fields? This is where most people misinterpret digital transformation. The focus of digital transformation is on delivering exceptional value to customers and not merely on using cutting-edge technologies.
Digitization is an ally of digital transformation. Often, it is a necessary step because to provide more value to the people associated with a business, it’s imperative to rewrite old business processes and create a new system.
Digital transformation is about finding new opportunities in an existing business to redesign the way of delivering value to customers. And with the array of digital transformation benefits that it offers, there is no doubt that it is a technology that will empower businesses and customers.
Why is Digital Transformation Important?
There are several answers to this question, but the most important answer is that it is crucial for the survival of businesses.
Digital transformation is the driver that carries businesses forward into the future.
As times advance and new technologies arrive, customer behavior also differs. Satisfying customers is at the crux of all businesses today. Thus, adapting to digital transformation is key for providing exceptional customer experiences.
And not just that, digital transformation technologies empower businesses to embrace innovation and improve the efficiency of their work. It enables them to make better decisions, strengthens their business relationships, and overall helps a business board a safe flight into the future.
Top 10 Digital Transformation Technologies for 2021
2020 has been a fortunate year for digital transformation. Digital transformation strategies that have been under consideration by businesses for years finally saw the light in 2020. With the accelerated pace at which it grew, the face of digital transformation changed.
Today, new digital transformation technologies are emerging, existing technologies are strengthening- the concept of digital transformation is under full swing in 2021.
What digital transformation trends will dominate 2021?
1. Big Data and Real-Time Analytics
The increase in the number of connected devices in recent years has resulted in the accumulation of data like never before. At this rate, we are creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, in the form of structured, unstructured, and raw data. This exponential growth of data is expected to further increase in the coming years.
Now, data is great. It is essentially a game-changer that can give businesses great insights and facilitate their working. But the challenge lies in the processing of this data.
Data in fragmented forms can be difficult to organize and can even have adverse effects on organizations.
According to IBM, these fragmented data cause businesses in the US to lose $3 trillion annually. So the organization of data is the need of the year. This is where big data and analytics make things easy.
By implementing big data analytics, it is possible to process the humongous amount of data to extract the right information for a particular business to help them model their strategies and take relevant decisions. By providing tangible results, big data empower organizations to carry on with their transformation strategies more effectively.
2. Internet of Things and 5G
IoT and 5G are two revolutionary digital transformation technologies that promise to bring excellent efficiency across several industries.
With the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the manufacturing industry is taking leaps in digital transformation. This technology is helping manufacturers update their operations and make them more flexible, innovative, fast, and safe.
In the retail industry, IoT plays a significant role in increasing customer satisfaction by delivering valuable insights.
In healthcare, telemedicine is able to prosper and provide valuable services, thanks to IoT.
And with the deployment of 5G, IoT applications will reach a new standard. In this era, where businesses have to stay connected at all times, the 5G network with its high speed, greater capacity, and lower latency is the technology that we need.
IoT devices need more bandwidth, fast transmission capabilities, and seamless connectivity- all of this can be achieved with the integration of 5G.
Mobile applications bring adaptability and portability to businesses. In today’s times when remote working is thriving, and flexibility in work schedule is becoming more common, mobile is a powerful technology that will help people stay connected with a finger touch.
Mobile is also a powerful technology that is a basic necessity for many other technologies like AR, IoT, etc. Mobile enables people to work on the move, gives them more control, and improves their operations.
It facilitates real-time communication, which is a great boon in several industries like manufacturing, agriculture, etc. The portability offered by mobile devices empowers people to perform tasks, co-ordinate, and communicate, even when on-field.
4. Augmented Reality
AR is already a well-established technology in several fields but has immense potential for the future as well. The way it takes human-machine interaction to another level and provides seamless connectivity between the physical and digital worlds is set to remain in trend for years to come.
AR aids businesses improve productivity, quality and provide knowledge transfer, training, and excellent customer support. It paves the way for more intuitive methods of dealing with technology– a transformative approach that will revolutionize how we interact with digital systems.
AR will transform management in industries with its analytical outcomes. Manufacturing, health care, retail industry, etc., will enjoy the benefits of AR technology.
5. Cloud Technology
A key digital transformation technology that provides flexibility, scalability, and agility- Cloud is an inevitable component in digital transformation.
To handle large amounts of data cost-effectively and securely, traditional storage services are not enough. This realization has led industries to move towards Cloud technology. According to reports, in the next five years, the manufacturing industry will be adopting Cloud technology to a surprising extent.
Organizations can also choose between public, hybrid, or on-premise Cloud services according to their requirements. Hybrid Cloud is gaining popularity from the three options and is expected to be a significant digital transformation technology in 2021.
6. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence is no longer a fancy technology but is becoming the core of most businesses today. Organizations of all sizes are implementing artificial intelligence to aid their business operations and decision making.
With the extended availability of data, machine learning technology, and high-performance computing power, artificial intelligence is being used like never before to provide excellent analytical insights. This gives rise to new methods of solving problems, which opens up a door of vast possibilities in the future.
Automobile, healthcare, retail, IT industry, etc., are already utilizing AI and ML to improve their performance. AI will soon impact every significant decision that organizations and individuals make. The transformation that it is bringing about is so advanced that it will disrupt our lives in a good way.
7. Digital Twin
The digital twin is another digital transformation technology that will help reduce the gap between the physical and digital worlds. It is already making a great impact in mainstream industries.
In simple terms, we can define a digital twin as a digital copy of a physical thing such as products, processes, or tasks. Using this digital twin, you can simulate, collaborate, measure, predict and output information from the shoes of its physical counterpart.
It finds several applications in different fields. In healthcare, digital twins are being used to create a better diagnosis. In the automotive industry, it is being used to optimize manufacturing.
This technology is so promising that its market is expected to reach $35.8 billion by 2025.
To make real-time data-driven decisions, design new processes, explore new opportunities, and improve existing processes, digital twins will be used at an accelerated pace in the coming years.
8. API based Integration
When we are looking at a future that projects connectivity, API based integration is a much needed digital transformation technology for businesses.
Its benefits are numerous and include reduced market time, rapid development, and increased accessibility of information. It empowers businesses to make smart decisions, drive innovation and improve customer experience- which are the very goals of digital transformation.
It is a flexible digital transformation technology that businesses can use to implement small budget investments. Popular e-commerce store eBay achieved a 60% increase in revenue by implementing API based integration.
9. Robotic Process Automation(RPA)
One of the first steps of digital transformation for most industries is automation. And RPA is emerging to be an effective tactic for automation. With the expectation of a $2.9 billion market in 2021, RPA is expanding rapidly.
When RPA is integrated with other digital transformation technologies like AI and ML, the value it can generate is incomparable. Robotics can take the burden of mundane tasks off employees’ shoulders and help them focus on work that demands their expertise.
With RPA, Robotics grows beyond just this repetitive task automation and finds space in areas that need more human capabilities like analysis and decision making. It aids humans in their operations by bringing efficiency, speed, and accuracy to the tasks and empowering businesses through the robotic process.
10. Additive Manufacturing
A promising digital transformation technology, additive manufacturing, or 3D printing is expected to grow tremendously in the next five years. It is a technology that will revolutionize the manufacturing industry like never before.
It helps to speed up traditional manufacturing methods, aids in making operations more efficient, and overall reduce the cost of operations.
According to research, 36% of people think that additive manufacturing has changed the way their industry operates, and 55% think that it will soon bring a change to their processes.
These are the top 10 digital transformation technologies for 2021. The power of digital transformation is more evident today, and there are several digital transformation consulting services that will help your organization execute the transformation.
It is important to remember that just implementing one or two of these technologies does not mean your organization has achieved digital transformation. Digital transformation is an ongoing process that requires continuous work. The strategies that you deploy must be in accordance with the needs of your organization and the end-goals you wish to achieve.
MindsterDX is a digital transformation company that has helped numerous organizations worldwide to improve their business. If you want to deploy the best of digital transformation technologies for your organization, get in touch with us, and we will help you with the best solution that is tailored for your needs.