Top Digital Transformation Trends that will guide 2020

Digital transformation 2020: in the year 2020, we’ll be entering a new decade that promises to be marked by digital metamorphosis.  As we look forward to 2020, we are interested in the technologies, trends, and developments that will become the priorities of the 2020 Digital Agenda. From AI to machine learning, to multi-cloud computing, the focus is on a wide range of technologies that share the same mission: to simplify and improve the experience of users and companies.

But which trends will ride the wave of Digital Transformation in 2020? In this post, we will identify the top trends that will be influencing technologies, business strategy, and the market itself.  

 

Digital transformation: what you need to know for 2020

A recent survey from MuleSoft found that while 97% of IT decision makers are involved in their organization’s digital transformation initiatives, many are struggling to define a clear strategyThe research identifies 7 digital transformation trends for 2020, exploring their impact and benefits, starting with data from more than 850 global IT leaders and 9,000 consumers: 

 

1. The Customer Experience beyond the consumer’s borders

Ensuring an excellent consumer experience remains the constant challenge that companies will face in the new decade, which will directly impact business performance. Delivering a personalized and reliable customer experience, according to 93% of business executives, will be critical to the overall business performance. In addition, consumer expectations are rising rapidly. Users are focusing on products and services that meet their needs and expectations through smart, immediate, and easy-to-use procedures, with no friction between different channels and no geographical constraints.  

 

2. Data leading to innovation 

Digital Transformation has a beating heart, made of numbers and data. The most successful organizations are unlocking data to innovate faster. According to 83% of IT managers, breaking down data silos improves business performance, while 55% report that their organizations planned to invest in big data and analytics in 2019. It’s a clear indication of a growing awareness of the importance of data.  Translated: An approach based on data analysis is essential for making business decisions based on objective data. 

 

3. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning 

Businesses are increasingly investing in AI-based solutions to improve and customize customer services, reduce human error, and increase productivity. Research predicts 95% growth in AI adoption by 2020, based primarily on machine learning applications, simple operation automation, and the use of chatbots. In Retail, AI is used primarily for personalized offers and promotions. In fact, 53% of consumers allow retailers to track their purchasing behaviour, in and out of stores, to get personalized offers and promotions. It is clear that AI and Machine Learning are a great opportunity for companies, making it possible to optimize various business processes through the use of data, which feed and catalyze this system. The processes are thus faster and optimized, reducing the potential bias arising from the interpretation of data, ensuring a personalized customer experience. 

 

4. Multi-cloud computing 

No single cloud platform can meet all of your enterprise workload requirements. In fact, 84% of companies with more than 1,000 employees adopt a multi-cloud strategy, despite the challenge of addressing the complexity and cost of ownership. Research also estimates growth of 165% over the next 18 months for companies that manage their environment using containerized applications. A container is a standard unit of software that packages the code and all its dependencies so that the application runs quickly and reliably from one processing environment to another. 

 

5. IT is the main enterprise business enabler 

We have already mentioned the decisive role played by IT in digitization processes. Businesses have also understood this and started to work with IT in order to fully exploit the potential of new technologies and boost their business.  As a result, there is increasing pressure on IT to release more, faster. Features such as agility, speed, and, innovativeness are becoming necessary, if not indispensable.   

 

6. Co-create value with stakeholders  

In an increasingly interconnected world, digitization provides companies with advanced tools to collaborate with partners and external stakeholders to co-create value: it feeds a winning business ecosystem, stimulating the market with more competition and the introduction of new services. Here, a mental shift to a perspective of interdependence with stakeholders is necessary, supported and fuelled by digital innovation, which streamlines and simplifies complex relationships. Value can be created, for example, through open source solutions, platformification or by making open APIs available. According to the Forrester Global API Strategy And Delivery Service Providers report for Q2 2019, the use of external APIs triples the possibilities of increasing business revenues by 15%, if not more.  A collaboration, therefore, that must be supported with suitable tools and which must understand the value and potential in the long term. 

 

7. Feed business performance with APIs  

The term API, or Application Programming Interface, is a type of application that exposes the functionality of other applications through standard procedures. This allows you to make use of different applications, avoiding redundancies and replications in programming codes. Business support APIs can improve productivity and returns, giving space to innovation. In fact, 91% of organizations that have set up a strategy on public and/or private APIs are achieving excellent results. 

Advantages include: 

  • Greater personalization for customers;
  • Improved user experience;
  • Automation and efficiency of business processes; 
  • Best Digital Employee Experience; 
  • Lowering barriers to digital innovation.

In light of this overview, we can already see the benefits of investing in APIs, which are an essential step to fully take advantage of the improvements offered by digitization for the near future.  

The 7 trends outlined by Mulesoft offer interesting and plausible forecasts on the adoption of different technologies for 2020. The results of this report suggest that to offer a customer experience, companies must support the development of a data-driven culture and use revolutionary technologies such as machine learning and AI, in multi-cloud environments, to accelerate and amplify value co-creation within their ecosystems, working closely with IT to better exploit the extraordinary power of application networks. 

But it doesn’t end there. Forbes magazine has created its own list of trends. 

 

8 more digital transformation trends for 2020

According to Forbes, 2020 will be a game-changer. The scene will be dominated by new classes of technologies, some unexpected, but still in line with the technological developments of recent years. Let’s take a closer look: 

1. 5G for all 

2020 is the year of 5G. The major telecom leaders are already moving in this direction. 

 

2. Faster Wi-Fi for a Faster World 

5G and WiFi 6 will co-create the perfect end-to-end combination of ultra-fast connectivity for home and office. Expect a download speed up to three times faster than you could get with WiFi 5. The real value of WiFi 6, however, will be its ability to extend higher data rates to many more devices than WiFi 5 was able to handle.  

 

3. Blockchain  

2020 could be the beginning of the rise of Blockchain: not only payments and cryptocurrencies, but it can also be used in food security, in real estate or wealth management, or even in intellectual property or royalties. It’s an interesting perspective, so much so that some companies, including Amazon Web Services, are already working to make it as concrete as possible. 

 

4. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) 

Although it is the simplest form of AI that a company can implement, automation of robotic processes will continue to grow. 2020 promises to be a year of major investment in RPA. 

 

5. Conversational AI 

Siri is still imperfect, and it’s still almost impossible to use voice-to-text to create a decent chat message. However, at least some form of Conversational AI will be useful in 2020. On the software side, projects like Microsoft Conversational AI are working hard to build platforms that can follow complex conversations and capture the nuance of emotions. In addition, chipsets and SOCs developed specifically for intelligent devices are becoming exceptionally adept at isolating human voices from noisy backgrounds and at accurately processing language in real-time.  

 

6. ACPCs transform the laptop market forever 

We’re always connected, so we also need PCs that are always connected. This year, we will see an expansion of ACPC with 5G connectivity and built-in LTE that will finally make this possible. ACPCs, in fact, tend to enjoy a battery life of almost a full day and could even extend battery life to several days, making laptops like never before. 

 

7. Connected vehicles, self-contained drones and Smart Cities become the new reality 

The combination of edge computing and 5G will bring us significantly closer to truly autonomous cars, drones, and smart cities. Tesla is clearly the name at the top of the list, but Elon Musk isn’t the only one trying to address this problem. In fact, car manufacturers and technology manufacturers are becoming increasingly aligned on this. Companies like Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, BMW, Volvo, and Ford are working together, while Uber is building its own autonomous army and Amazon is bringing autonomous drones to delivery.  

 

8. XaaS, UX/ CX, and privacy 

Adjacent technology trends will also be in focus in 2020. Let’s face it: digital transformation is much more than the sum of its technological parts.

Change itself is a key factor in digital transformation and it almost always transcends the tools that enable it. For this reason, it is important to mention the adjacent trends that will dominate the discussions on Digital Transformation in 2020: in pole position, we find XaaS, UX/CX (user/customer experience) and digital privacy. 

Can we consider these predictions definitive and exact? Absolutely not, things could change and in many different ways, but the starting point is stimulating, and we are excited to see where it will take us.