Among the countless tragedies of the pandemic, many businesses were lost. They included some that may have been struggling already, as well as those that were doing well but — for various reasons — couldn’t adapt to customer needs. Some of the adaptation was technology-related and companies that were able to accelerate their digital transformation found ways to thrive.
But, because those transitions may have been rushed or incomplete, companies are now taking a look at what comes next. For many of these operations, post-pandemic, digital transformation may look very different, given how much more important digital interaction has become. The following video explores post-pandemic work trends that are driving needed transformation:
Here we present some of the digital transformation technologies companies should be considering in 2022.
The pandemic made things like contactless payments and curbside pickup essential for retail establishments for health reasons. Now that the pandemic is receding, these features are still essential for convenience reasons. Customers have gotten used to them and they don’t want to go back.
Savvy companies must not only make these amenities available but — given that consumers are now basing their store preferences on their digital experiences with retailers — they must make them work flawlessly.
Dependence on Cloud
Moving operations to the cloud enables companies to improve cybersecurity, flexibility, and efficiency, and lower costs. For these reasons and others, businesses will continue to rely on the cloud for both systems and storage.
To eliminate data management barriers and avoid vendor lock-ins, many will use multiple cloud systems to distribute applications, assets, and software. Both public and private cloud infrastructures, as well as hybrid public-private configurations, will become essential for these purposes.
Proliferation of the IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) — that is, the collection of internet-enabled devices — will grow exponentially in 2022 and beyond. In addition to being part of a new breed of consumer products, IoT functionality can be helpful for a variety of business uses, including manufacturing, inventory, and equipment servicing.
For example, sensors on machines can tell operators when servicing or replacement is needed, saving the costs associated with inspection, and making replacement expenses more predictable.
5G makes it possible for more IoT devices to operate in any given environment and without any performance hiccups. It also offers increased bandwidth compared to 4G and lower latency (meaning less delay in data transfer).
5G is already available in many areas but will become even more widespread in the coming years. Businesses may also benefit from the networks and devices that will be developed for compatibility with 5G.
Additional AI Uses
As the amount of data being generated each day continues to grow, the number of ways in which it is used is increasing as well. In that context, artificial intelligence (AI) is crucial to support these new processes and help companies solve problems more quickly and easily.
For example, businesses can augment their workforce with machines, create better voice-commanded software, build machines that formerly needed human operators (such as cars), and improve cybersecurity.
Automation is using machines to complete difficult or repetitive tasks that humans have performed in the past. Often, machines can execute tasks more quickly and accurately than humans, so companies that automate benefit from increased productivity, improved efficiency, and creating a better customer experience.
For some companies, automation can solve staffing issues in that they require fewer humans to perform the work and people get to stop doing unpleasant, repetitive, or boring tasks. What’s more, automation allows employees to focus on tackling more strategic and complex tasks, thus generating more value.
Analytics Across the Board
Analytics can be used to enhance the way business is done throughout the enterprise. Operations can use it to examine and improve various processes, including manufacturing and logistics. Marketing can use it to find the most likely customers and create highly targeted messages for them.
On the other hand, executives can use it to determine the next best store location or learn that it’s time, instead, to move toward an online-based approach. All these uses can help companies do their best work and stay ahead of the competition.
The Ease of EaaS
Everything as a Service (EasS) refers to the ability of just about any service being delivered on a subscription basis. For example, companies can take advantage of Power as a Service (PaaS) to create a more consistent payment model for their electricity use or Robotics as a Service (RaaS) to gain access to machines for limited periods.
In 2022, more such models, including data software, desktop virtualization, and more will begin to emerge. Businesses should consider using these services and also offering them to take their businesses to the next level.
Ongoing Remote Work
Remote and hybrid work arrangements will continue into 2022 and beyond. Now is the time for companies to address any challenges they had with transitioning away from fully staffed offices. That means ensuring employees have access to robust communication platforms, secure connections, and the IT support they need.
Because of the importance of communication, collaboration, and productivity, companies will continue to make improvements in their platforms and embrace new technologies and tools to foster this new way of working.
The success of all the digital transformation technologies and processes mentioned here will depend on robust cybersecurity, so this area is another that will be critical in 2022. In a way, it’s a continuation of the increased focus on protection we’ve been seeing over the last few years.
Remote work in particular is subject to security breaches, so will be a focal point for this essential component of modern businesses. This element is so important that every company’s digital acceleration plan should center around strengthening cybersecurity.
The Right Fit
In 2022, we will see the continuation of technology trends that started before the pandemic as well as some that were prompted by it. While many of these solutions could be beneficial, companies should be wary about adopting any just because they are the next great thing. Instead, they should carefully evaluate what problems need to be solved and where they want to improve and grow, then find the right combination for their needs.