2020 begins a new era of digital transformation trends for the new decade. Following suit, customer identity and experience will take center stage.
To achieve customer satisfaction, companies should monitor customer identity and experience. This will allow organizations to understand how customers should be treated and what needs to be prioritized.
To help businesses put customers first, here is our list of technology trends that will shape digital transformation in 2020.
1. Blockchain will enjoy a competitive advantage.
2020 will witness blockchain rising above cryptocurrencies and leading the digital transformation drive.
With just a few days into 2020, Kadena, a crypto startup, has already announced the launch of the industry's first hybrid blockchain ensemble.
While similar blockchain trends are already in the making, we have listed down a few that are worth mentioning.
New business models and ecosystems are being formed. An example is Kodak's blockchain-based image rights management platform that manages business/government-related information securely and effectively.
Ricardian contracts are all set to use blockchain to record and read documents in a format readable by both humans and machines.
Wait, there's more.
According to a report by IDC, companies like Ethereum and Hyperledger have already invested over $1.5 billion on blockchain technology. Additionally, Amazon Web Services has pioneered a subscription-based blockchain-as-a-service platform, and this is only the beginning.
2. Everything as a service (XaaS) will redefine the service market.
Alongside blockchain, 2020 will be the year when everything as a service (XaaS) will indeed go all out.
If you are wondering what XaaS is – in the consumption and subscription market, XaaS is the ability to purchase any IT solution via the cloud.
The demand for the XaaS-based market is at an all-time high. More and more companies are investing in this technology to recur their revenue growth.
Additionally, on-premises providers are migrating to XaaS models to seize the digital dexterity "today" requires. Hewlett Packard Enterprise's announcement of projecting everything that it offers as a service by 2022 is an example excellent here.
3. 5G will roll out on a global scale.
5G is not just an upgraded version of wireless connectivity. Rather, it's been conceptualized to support billions of connected devices across a plethora of industry sectors.
Hence, 5G in 2020 won't be limited to phones but will go mainstream and support almost every industry that touches our daily lives – from smart vehicles to smart hospitals and cities.
It will bring together technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), and IoT (internet of things) and build a unified global marketplace.
With bigshots like Qualcomm, Huawei, AT&T and Verizon elevating 5G deployments on the global platform, business leaders will need to understand how 5G works and how they can use it to their advantage.
Speaking of which, as leaders, here are a few questions you need to start asking right away.
Do your employees understand why 5G is crucial to your business? Educate them about this upcoming superfast network.
Have you finalized a budget for 5G yet? Note that equipment will cost a bomb. Prepare in advance.
Do you use analytics to collect and process data? When it comes to acquiring data insights, flying blind shouldn't be a viable insight.
Are your machines automated? Look out for areas where you can implement AI and machine learning.
4. Voice assistants will witness substantial growth.
Voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa did an excellent job in 2019, and the stakes are considerably high for 2020.
Conversational UI will finally take off this year. For example, Microsoft is working on intelligent assistants that will understand the intent behind a customer's command and deliver results accordingly. It will create omnichannel conversational interfaces for faster delivery and with increased accuracy. These assistants will do anything they are asked for.
5. Voice search trends will impact search engines.
With smartphones dominating the market space, the evolution of voice search trends is creating headlines. Today, people are inclined to speak to physical devices, which is changing the entire dynamics of how we conduct a search online.
No doubt, businesses will reap the best out of this growing popularity. That being said, we have listed down some of the upcoming trends that will change the entire voice search outlook in 2020:
More streamlined conversations with smart speakers
Change in voice search behavior
Unique voice detection for a more personalized experience
The merger of voice and visual as one seamless entity
Robust speaker identification process for a more secure environment
6. Better connectivity will invite more engagement at the workplace.
Consumers have grown used to the habit of "buying stuff in one click and returning them in two." So, when they are at the workstation, they expect the same level of ease and collaboration.
Employee experience plays a significant role in creating a sustainable, productive environment in the workplace. But sadly, not many companies are equipped with new-age tools that keep employees happy – and, of course, productive.
Establishing an ideal digital landscape is critical for businesses to score efficiency and lower attrition rates. Employees expect enterprises to come up with policies backed by technologies where it is easier to collaborate from home. After all, why miss their kid's soccer match when they can work from the comfort of the audience's seat?
2020 will be the year when finally, there will be a wide-scale adoption of collaboration tools and software in businesses across the globe. Gartner estimates that the global IT spend will surpass $4.8 billion in 2023.
According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, companies that welcomed positive cultural changes to complement the digital transformation wave enjoyed up to 90% financial success compared to 17% that did not favor the same.
Customer identity and access management vendor LoginRadius, for instance, has been investing more in innovation and cultural flexibility than on managing infrastructure. They believe digital transformation is not only a technical upgrade but also cultural.
More trends to look out for
Here are other distinct trends that are likely to push digital transformation to the limits in 2020.
- Artificial intelligence will no longer mean innovation. Instead, businesses will require AI to survive in the competition and will occupy a considerable bulk of the market share.
- It will be a critical task for humans to keep up in the new world of AI, augmented reality and machine learning. While technology can deliver 80% of the job, the remaining 20% is up to humans. Enterprises will, therefore, reskill their workers around customer data centricity, empowerment and empathy.
- 2020 will be a big deal for personalized driving experiences. Think of it this way: AI will adjust your car seat, mirror and AC as soon as you are in your car. It will even read your behavior and alert you when you seem distracted or sleepy.
- Entities like privacy and transparency will act as a brand differentiator for the global market. The renaissance has already started, with CCPA going live on Jan. 1, 2020. It is regulations like the EU's GDPR and California's CCPA that will offer a superb opportunity for companies to provide a meaningful privacy structure for businesses and their customers.
- Investors will invest heavily in flying cars. Hyundai Motor and Uber's announcement as aerial ridesharing partners will usher in a new era of on-demand urban air mobility. Hyundai's S-A1 model is a testimony to the novel aerodynamic concept.
For 2020, massive technology gains are in order. Changing trends like AR/VR, cybersecurity, content management, ERP, voice and conversational UI, connected vehicles, smart cities, digital privacy, and AI personalization will gain momentum.
Companies looking to cement their place in 2020 will come up with new digital partnership ecosystems that can stand the test of time.