During the past few years, digital transformation trends have gone mainstream. Early adopters have already snapped up these products and proven their value. So much so that 64 percent of companies agree that digital transformation is essential to driving profits.
Now it’s time for other companies to either initiate or speed up their digital transformation process. The technology is advancing so quickly that 80 percent of company officials charged with digital transformation fear they’re getting left behind.
The transition to digital technologies is ongoing and widespread. There’s a lot to consider, and several technologies and services out there will vie for your attention (and investment). That’s why we’ve narrowed down the technology trends that everyone’s discussing these days.
By 2020, there’ll be over 26 billion connected devices. We can already see the start of that in our homes. Smart devices paired with voice-activated virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Home have become commonplace. And if we’ve learned anything from other technological leaps, what’s adopted at home will creep into the workplace. We’ll see the Internet of Things affecting offices, allowing remote access to valuable data. That’s why 67 percent of executives have said say they have an IoT in place or in the works. It’s this development that will lay the groundwork for the other technologies listed here.
The Internet of Things is expected to generate more data than we could possibly process—an estimated 600 zettabytes by 2020. Big Data is how we’ll make sense of it all, which is why the industry is expected to reach $102 billion by 2019. Greater data and smarter analytics have already impacted the healthcare and manufacturing industries. As companies gain access to real-time data and smarter analytics tools, they’ll discover opportunities to recognize trends and reach data-driven decisions.
As devices become smarter and networks become swamped with data, the location of data networks will start to matter more. Rather than funneling all that data to the Cloud for storage, companies will want it available for real-time evaluation. They won’t want to wait for networks to send the data into the Cloud and then wait for the analytics to come back. Instead, businesses will push their data processing closer to the source of that data—to where the internet meets physical reality. Surveys have revealed that 64 percent of respondents have focused on combining their edge computing and datacenter analytics. A compelling 72 percent have already started implementing edge computing strategies.
All that raw data will require better networks with epic bandwidth. 5G mobile networks are supposed to answer that challenge, offering higher data rates, lower latency, greater energy efficiency, and lower costs. Because of that, you’ll start to see more excitement building around successive 5G deployments.
Greater data, better analytics, and epic bandwidth will also clear the way for the next generation of virtual assistants in the workplace. Companies are already turning to chatbots in their customer service and information technology departments. Right now, these bots typically answer common, easy-fix inquiries, or they supplement the efforts of human agents. But look for increasingly smarter AIs to show up in other areas, like marketing and healthcare—hopefully without causing a robot apocalypse.
Virtual reality is having a rocky time finding its feet in the business world. But that will likely change as the technology becomes more refined. Augmented reality, on the other hand, is finding a better reception since it doesn’t have VR’s cost or complexity. Much of the excitement around AR is how it will aid visualization of concepts during training, business pitches, and product planning. However, the general consensus is that we have yet to tap this technology’s full potential.
The point of many of these digital transformation technologies is to help companies make life easier for their customers. The modern customer sees coming into a store or office as a hassle. As a result, they expect to access the services they enjoy from wherever they are, leading to greater investments in mobile apps and other remote options. One of the exciting areas where we’re seeing activity is in the healthcare industry. Digital technologies that enable easier video conferencing is removing a lot of the friction involved in seeing a doctor. New “telehealth” and “remote medicine” options have 61 percent of healthcare organizations expecting to see an increase in customer satisfaction.
As you look into upgrading your technology, pay special attention to your security and your technology partners. The abundance of confidential data and the increase of mobility and remote accessibility will attract the digital wolves. Scammers see these as opportunities, making cybersecurity more of a priority than ever. Unfortunately, hackers already use many of these technologies to hurt people on an ever-widening scale. Look for companies to deploy AI and digital resources to protect themselves and their customers from cyber-predators.
When asked about effectively implementing digital transformations, 50 percent of organizations said access to effective technology partners was critical. Jive Communications partners with businesses to help bring their communications into the digital age. Check out our Hosted VoIP buyer’s guide to evaluate digital phone systems providers.