6 Digital Transformation Trends That Will Shape Businesses In 2020

It’s 2020, and some organizations are already experiencing digital fatigue. That’s an understandable reaction. There’s just too much happening in the digital transformation space. 2020 is promising to be a year full of reckoning for those looking to have successful digital initiatives – which is a good thing. Across industries, there’s going to be some rapid scaling of digital initiatives, and in most areas, CIOS and organizations have already aligned their organizations for digital change but still lag in transforming their culture to fully welcome the change. For most businesses keen on digital transformation, there’s a lot of enthusiasm as to what 2020 has to offer in terms of digital transformation.

Digital transformation trends for 2020

As the year matures, IT leaders should get ready to lead greater cultural shifts in the business, get more serious about data governance, advocate for DT-centric shifts in appropriate sectors, and lobby for acceptance of AI and insight-driven innovations. Furthermore, they should get ready to fully examine the benefits of public cloud adoption. These changes are just scratching the surface, considering every digital transformation to come in 2020. Let’s dig in and learn what’s in for IT leaders and digital transformation advocates.
  1. Digital operating models will go beyond suggestions
Industry leaders, including ISG, predict that there’s going to be more rapid adoption of digital operating models including integrated cross-functional teams. In fact, the advice they are putting out to CIOS is to make them more proactive in leading their organizations to initiate the culture change from within. CIOs must facilitate their organizations ability to create digital backbones as well as underlying capabilities to fuel the transformation. As it is currently, CIOs who have taken a backseat on digital models, or are resisting it, risk falling out or losing the trust of their boards and putting the long-term health of their enterprises at risk.
  1. More data, more problems
The challenges of big data are not going away. Instead, in 2020 and beyond, big data problems will be compounding.  There’s going to be increased volume, velocity, and variety, in addition to enhanced mobile data, voice data, and sensor data, with more types continually being added to the list. Experts believe that the amount of data that needs to be stored by organizations will be doubling every six months, with an increase in unstructured data formats that are always problematic to integrate and synthesize into useful items. Today, the trend is that those who have invested resources in data governance and analytics will always be ahead of the competition. Cheap data storage encourages massive data collection, but it’s slowly becoming unpopular. Data governance champions are advocating for organizations to build more data insight engines, as these have become a tool for survival in competitive markets. New regulations have also been introduced to foster more careful data management, as can be seen from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Consequently, data lakes are going to be a thing of the past with increasing accessibility issues resulting from inadequate planning and management of data streams. Incoming data streams are incredibly complex to get right, and organizations risk falling into data privacy and compliance battles for those over-preserving data.
  1. AI takes center stage (for the better)
Even for those who have successfully managed collection of big data, making sense of it in such scales will require the help of machines, which is how AI makes the difference. As far as digital transformation goes, delivering business outcomes will largely be decided upon by AI. As an emerging technology, AI will be the key reference in standardizing the digital transformation market. As such, ‘digital’ will now yield tangible business results because AI will be infused into all functions, from HR and finance to sales and marketing. On the other hand, machine-learning algorithms are maturing up fast and expanding quickly. Experts are now urging IT leaders to incorporate machine learning algorithms into their business-driven data analytics strategy. This does not only yield more effectiveness and quick synthesis for presentation of insights gleaned from all the vast amounts of enterprise data, but is also far better than what teams of human data scientists could possibly assimilate. If that’s achieved, then business stakeholders can be sure of a competitive first-mover advantage. At the same time, leveraging machine data and AI within data architecture paradigms could lead to automation and mitigation of data governance problems. This, in fact, is possible right from aggregation and cleansing, to extraction hence yielding an analytics-ready format that’s easily usable.
  1. Merger and Acquisition (M&A) shakes up IT services
A new trend is fast accelerating in the IT outsourcing industry, and especially with IT service providers. Have you seen traditional IT service providers make mergers and acquisitions with digital marketing and engineering firms to bolster their clients’ efforts? About 75% of all the 2,200 tech acquisitions that happened in 2019 were either engineering, analytics, or digital solutions providers. That speaks volumes, and it’s obvious for CIOs that M&A activities will be a major source of disruption. At this rate, CIOs will have to rethink their landscape and reevaluate the kind of service providers they partner with. In the end, they will be forced to recognize potential synergies and integrate digital competencies into their product lines. digital transformation      5. The arrival of New digital transformation allies According to digital transformation experts, 2020 will see lots of service providers who didn’t think their way to digital transformation would force them to partner with others in order to make their way to digital prominence. It’s a fact no vendor can tick all the boxes with regards to digital transformation, even though most of them front themselves as end-to-end service providers. Technology partners will remain key for most organizations lagging in digital transformation. This is even more critical now that most clients are looking for off-the-shelf, customizable solutions. This kind of partnership in the IT service sector isn’t anything new. This wave of digital transformation will compel vendors to team up with marketers. Some will go the extra mile and set aside dedicated, branded spaces in the design studios or innovation hubs. Consultancy firms are not left behind either. Most will have to conform to the concept of ‘frenemies’, creating three-way coalesced partnerships. Each party will then be required to play to its strengths and deliver depth in domain and delivery proficiency.
  1. Public cloud adoption fast expanding
Over the past few years, a lot of talk about cloud has been centered around PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS as organizations seeking to leverage the scalability, efficiency, and elasticity of cloud services to reduce cycle times and optimize their spending. In 2020, the talk will be around using the cloud to enable even better innovation, Cloud service providers have upped their game and are now working to create intelligent automation and service capabilities on AI, customer engagement, analytics, and machine learning. For IT organizations, leveraging this new move will allow them to drive business value more efficiently and quickly. IT leaders are now busy looking at how they can leverage this new trend of public adoption of cloud capabilities to drive value, instead of investing money and time to create such internally.

What else?

Well, a lot. 2020 will witness the emergence of new digital transformation metrics so that CIOs can quantify their progress in digitizing their organizations. Digital projects will now be evaluated based on three key proficiencies, which include velocity, intelligence, and experience. Velocity will consider the speed of processes and how quickly that facilitates work to be done. Intelligence will concentrate on the area of analytics being able to automate and improve the effectiveness of decisions, while experience will look at how experiences drive the right economic and behavioral outcomes. Lastly, there’s going to be more insights-first innovation. Most digital projects in the previous years focused on solving an immediate need and ignoring the future. In 2020, IT leaders will not rush digital projects but will look at how the projects can solve a present need and optimize solving future needs. Innovations will depend on future insights rather than reacting to current trends.

Wrap up

There’s more that’s yet to be revealed as far as digital transformation 2020 is concerned. Tangible trends have already been unearthed, and we can only look forward to even more revolutionary trends for the better. More is going to happen with DataOps, 5G, containers and microservices, and in immersive experiences with AR, VR, and mixed reality. Plumlogix partners with organizations to help drive their digital transformation strategy.