The rapid pace of digital transformation, which began in response to the pandemic in 2020, is expected to continue to transform how businesses operate in 2022 and beyond. To remain competitive, organizations are growing their investments in digital transformation strategies.
IDC projects that worldwide digital transformation technology investment will reach $2.8 trillion in 2025, more than double the amount allocated in 2020. That massive figure is not surprising considering that 91% of organizations have adopted or have plans to adopt a digital-first business strategy. And, according to a report by Deloitte, more than three-quarters of CEOs surveyed expected their organizations will change more over the next five years than they did over the past five.
Better efficiency, more productivity, increased revenue and reduced operating costs are a few of the reasons why digital transformation remains a top strategic priority for enterprises. According to a PwC Pulse Survey, 60% of executives say digital transformation is their most critical growth driver in 2022.
There are several key technology trends that will continue to influence how organizations build out digital transformation to ensure their growth and success. Some, like 5G, remote and hybrid work enablement technologies, cloud technology, low code/no-code tools, and omnichannel platforms are here to stay, while others, such as treating cybersecurity as an afterthought and not prioritizing compliance, are gone for good.
Here for the long haul
With lower latency and unmatched speed, 5G is going mainstream. According to the GSMA, 5G connections will surpass 1 billion in 2022 and 2 billion by 2025. By the end of 2025, 5G will account for over a fifth of total mobile connections.
Advances in 5G communications technology have enormous potential to make remote work faster and more stable. A wide range of new business opportunities is also emerging as a result of 5G’s ability to offer richer, more responsive data-driven services to consumers.
Offering enhanced mobile connectivity, 5G also better supports cloud technologies that are becoming nearly ubiquitous in enterprise digital transformation initiatives.
- Remote and hybrid work enablement technologies
Remote work is here to stay. An Upwork study revealed that by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely, an 87% percent increase from pre-pandemic levels. The study found that “hiring managers are seeing the positive benefits to a distributed workforce and plan to continue leveraging remote talent.”
Enterprises are investing in technologies to support remote and hybrid work and enable high-functioning distributed teams. A critical digital transformation priority, collaboration technologies are functioning as the engine for effectively supporting workflows and communication anywhere of work.
Industry-leading collaboration and productivity solutions are maximizing operational agility and flexibility, providing seamless digital experiences to optimize remote and hybrid work.
- Cloud technology
Cloud technology is also playing a key role in digital transformation. The scalability, reliability, and anywhere, anytime access of this technology are transforming the way businesses operate.
According to EY, “14% of IT spending is forecasted to be allocated to cloud technologies by 2023, as enterprises focus on customer experience and operational-led digital transformation initiatives.”
Cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) solutions are driving the adoption of the technology. Enterprises are turning to these usage-based models, which can scale up or down as business needs change, for all-in-one solutions that support mobile messaging, videoconferencing, and collaboration needs of distributed teams.
- Low code/no-code tools
Low code/no-code tools are helping digital-first enterprises improve customer and employee experiences at scale. Low code/no-code platforms allow organizations to accelerate software development, reduce the cost of this development, and speed up digital transformation.
- Omnichannel platforms
As part of digital transformation strategies, enterprises are investing in omnichannel platforms to connect with customers across all digital channels. Omnichannel platforms allow companies to deliver on customer expectations for real-time, seamless, 24/7 communication. According to a 2021 Connected Retail Survey, 68% of consumers surveyed purposely seek out retailers that offer omnichannel experiences.
Forrester notes that “a truly omnichannel operation that spans the customer lifecycle will optimize revenue, deliver capital efficiencies such as cost savings, spawn operational efficiencies, and improve the customer experience overall.”
To provide true omnichannel experiences at scale, organizations are turning to secure, compliant solutions that effectively orchestrate the customer journey across digital touchpoints.
Gone for good
- Treating cybersecurity as an afterthought
Treating cybersecurity as an afterthought is gone for good as digital transformation introduces new security vulnerabilities that increase the cyber threat landscape in enterprises. With the digital-first nature of work today, cyberattacks are increasing in number and sophistication. This environment of cyber risk makes strengthening security posture and practicing good security hygiene a bottom-line issue for organizations. Consider that the cost of cybercrime rose 10% in the past year and the average cost of a data breach reached $4.24 million.
As digital transformation initiatives continue at a rapid pace, organizations recognize they are only as secure as the digital solutions they deploy. Enterprises are working to prioritize cybersecurity and close security gaps by ensuring that the digital transformation solutions they select take a security-first approach.
- Not prioritizing compliance
Data privacy and security regulations continue to evolve, creating new compliance risks. Governments around the world and across the U.S. have passed or are considering laws to protect private data. One of the regulations on the horizon is the European Commission’s Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) legislative proposal aimed at ensuring that all participants in the financial system have the necessary safeguards in place to mitigate cyber-attacks and other risks.
According to Gartner, by 2023, 65% of the world’s population will have its personal data covered under modern privacy regulations.
The developing patchwork of regulations makes compliance a continuing challenge and mission-critical priority for enterprises. A 2022 Data Privacy Benchmark study by Cisco found that 91% of security professionals consider privacy a business imperative.
As compliance becomes increasingly mission-critical today, enterprises will need privacy-guaranteed digital technologies that transform business processes and keep all data secure.
Digital transformation is more than just a buzzword. It is the engine that transforms enterprises, driving organizational efficiencies and increasing revenues. According to Statista, in 2023 digitally transformed enterprises are projected to account for $53.3 trillion, more than half of the overall nominal GDP, signaling that “digital supremacy in the global economy is near.” To succeed today, enterprises will need to embrace the technologies that are successfully powering digital transformation and leave behind organizational mindsets that treat cybersecurity as an afterthought and give low priority to compliance.