Our world is increasingly digital. What does the future hold for individuals, companies, institutions, administrations living in this digital world? What are the new trends in Digital Disruption? In this post we will look at the 10 most important ones.
Nothing has changed the way human beings live in the world as quickly as the digital revolution. The digital revolution has triggered a radical transformation of the way we communicate as a society, and how we think about ourselves, about our identities. This revolution has resulted in a paradigm shift of our economic, social, productive, and administrative systems.
This has all occurred in a matter of years. We are only at the beginning of this period of “Digital Disruption.”
In this time of health emergency, moreover, digital has made it possible for essential services to continue in a way that has saved both human lives and the economy. And we are sure that the exit from this crisis will only accelerate the transformation that is already underway.
Digital Disruption trends
The challenges of the future will all be played out in this field. This is why it is essential to keep our eyes on the horizon in order to spot the trends on the horizon and beyond, before the competition.
Below, we will look at some of the most significant Digital Disruption trends impacting our world today. Some of them are already on everyone’s lips; others are still waiting to reach the general public…
1. Beyond Big Data
If we had to sum up the digital revolution in one word, it would be “data.” It all starts here.
Today, we all leave ”digital traces” from every device that we use: from Google searches, to geolocation data, from social network posts, to performance statistics recorded on your fitness app. This list could go on forever. It’s this gigantic and potentially endless mine of information that lies beneath the label of “Big Data.”
The challenge for companies in every sector, therefore, is to learn how to collect this data. Above all, companies must be able to organize and interpret it in the most effective, deep, and intelligent way, according to their business needs.
In short, competition is played out in the field of analytics. This isn’t necessarily new. However, what is necessary is that companies go beyond the simple “Big Data” and move towards “Smart Data” or “Deep Data.”
This is the reason for the huge investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning technologies: they are now indispensable to refine this type of analysis. They will be even more so in the future.
2. Personalization, personalization, personalization
To put it briefly: data analysis serves brands (in addition to optimizing internal processes) by helping them get to know their actual and potential audience. Allowing them to divide it into increasingly specific and dynamic targets, to be hit with tailored actions.
Can more be done? Yes: you can target individuals.
That’s what marketing and personalized Customer Service do, and it’s here that specialized companies like Doxee come into play. The real turning point, in this sense, is the transformation of “cold” data into personal relationships, with a one-to-one perspective (even when addressing a very large number of people).
Without a doubt, this is one of the Digital Disruption trends that will be reinforced in the coming years.
3. IoT: from micro to macro
There is a large part of the world that is not yet connected to the network, and is not yet part of the “digital world.” But things, even in this area, are changing rapidly.
That’s why everyone’s attention is focused on IoT, the internet applied to “things.” From the large machines of the 4.0 industry to household items. Not to mention the huge Smart City theme, which will literally take off with the development of increasingly efficient connection technologies (starting from 5G).
In short, from local to global, from micro to macro. Again, the advantages are many, but they are concentrated around two areas: the optimization of functionality and efficiency and a new well of data to exploit.
4. Digital to wear
Among the most promising objects to transfer into digital are wearables.
Everyone is now familiar with Apple Watch or Google Glass. But the market is rapidly expanding. Think, for example, of applications in fitness and sportswear (Nike, in particular, is very active; see here for an example); then there’s gaming, of course. But think also of wearable devices in the medical and health field, another sector with enormous expansion potential, and which, in these times, is becoming even more decisive.
5. Voice will be more and more important
Here, we’re not talking about the voice of brands, but about technologies that exploit the voice dialog between human users and computer interfaces.
The voice assistants of Apple, Google, or Amazon still have a long way to go to be fully effective and functional. But you only have to look back a couple of years to see how far they have already come. And we’re just getting started. Today, there are projects like Microsoft Conversational AI that are showing very promising results.
This will certainly be one of the next frontiers of digital interaction that are more and more “tailor-made” and more and more personalized. In just a short time, it will be one of the cornerstones of the most advanced User Experience (with possibilities still to be exploited in terms of engagement, Customer Care, and extension of omnichannel optics).
6. AR, VR, MR
Speaking of broadening the experience in the digital world. Here are some acronyms that you will increasingly hear:
AR stands for Augmented Reality, VR for Virtual Reality, MR Mixed Reality. Technologies that until yesterday seemed science fiction, are now reality, and that tomorrow will be accessible to everyone.
There are already some interesting experiments of applications of these technologies in marketing and customer service. See this post for a deeper look at these technologies.
Another trend is around “blockchain.” Not everyone, however, is clear about the true scope of this technology. Often the discussion is limited to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, however, blockchain technology has potential that goes far beyond this field.
Blockchain, simplified, is a distributed register that tracks transactions in a secure and permanent way that does not require a centralized control body to validate the processes.
All of this points in the direction of disintermediation, even for sectors like banking and insurance known for traditional processes and heavy regulation. These are fundamental and strategic sectors that, not surprisingly, are investing heavily in the possible applications of this technology in order to stay competitive.
8. Digital Employee Experience
Digital is becoming key for the internal organization of companies in every sector in terms of workflow and productivity, and in terms of the Employee Experience, where Business to Employee, or B2E is gaining traction. (Learn more about B2E in our free ebook).
Finally, the recent health emergency has brought the topic of smart working and the tools to make it really functional and effective, and not just a fallback, back in focus.
9. Digital and the Public Administration
Digital disruption is not only affecting businesses, but it is also impacting the Public Administration ecosystem, which is traditionally slower in embracing innovation.
Here, the keyword is dematerialization, which differs from simple “digitization”. On this topic, check out our free eBook.
One of the most interesting turning points that brought Digital Disruption was the passage from the centrality of the product to that of the service.
The examples, in this sense, are many: you no longer buy a record, but you subscribe to a service that provides access to hundreds of thousands of playlists (like Spotify). The same mechanism is the basis of Netflix’s success. But it also applies to very different fields, from mobility to enterprise software in the cloud, as well as platforms for servers, storage, and sharing, to name a few. This trend will only continue to grow.
This is what XaaS stands for: one of the most important new trends in Digital Disruption, “Everything as a Service.”
In conclusion: we live in an increasingly digital world. But, beware, it is a world that is constantly changing, by definition. That’s why you have to keep your eyes open at all times to be able to see, and then ride, the newest trends ahead of the competition.