How Digital Transformation Accelerated in 2020
Digital transformation is on the rise as businesses had to accelerate their automation plans in 2020 to adapt to the changing climate. With continuous lockdowns and social distancing limitations, digitalisation is at the forefront of economic recovery.
Companies have become more dispersed and customer needs have evolved and are more demanding. There is an evolution taking place where automation and digital infrastructures are driving productivity and growth.
As the pandemic progressed, our dependence on technology skyrocketed as human contact decreased exponentially. Communication, work, learning, consumerism and other in-person habits seemingly disappeared.
We’re now in a state of digital habit and it’s going to determine the future trajectory of digital transformation.
How Companies Adapted to Changing Norms in 2020
Many industries chose to adopt digital platforms usage in 2020. They used their own apps or social media to bring their products and services into our homes. Here are some of the industries that used digital transformation to their advantage:
The e-commerce market is thriving. Despite being in lockdowns across the globe, online shoppers spent 44% more in 2020 than the previous year.
E-commerce adapted quickly using AI algorithms and machine learning. This made it easier for homebound people to shop, pay, and receive their goods. Digital marketing has also been a key tool in navigating the current business landscape. With everything moving online, businesses need to focus on digital marketing to reach their target audience and remain competitive.
Wellness and Fitness
Gyms, fitness centres, and other wellness practitioners moved from in-person classes to virtual classes. Zoom, apps, and social media made it possible for customers to attend their gym sessions online.
Many personal trainers were able to develop at-home workout programmes for their clients. For example, popular trainer, Kayla Itsines, used social media to launch SWEAT free weekly workouts. This generated over four million views.
Digital fitness was already on the rise but has accelerated during the pandemic. Businesses, like Peloton, have successfully moved their product into people’s homes. They provide access to digital fitness instructors to go with the equipment.
Millions of individuals found themselves out of the office in 2020. Businesses and tech support adapted quickly by finding online platforms to meet and work on projects. Platforms like Zoom were seeing between 200-300 million daily meeting participants.
There was a significant surge in the usage of video conference software, like Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. Remote digital transformation has kept working teams organised, visible and supported.
There was a massive move to invest in the video conferencing market. This is predicted to increase by over $10 billion in the next seven years. This is because remote and online working has increased productivity within companies. Employees are less distracted and can meet multiple times a day through video conferencing. It’s also lowered company costs as employers are no longer paying much for building amenities and cleaning services
Benefits Enjoyed by Companies Who Were Quick to Adapt
Organisations that were able to adapt quickly to digitalisation faced fewer delays and disruptions during the pandemic. They were able to continue operations and thus gained a competitive advantage.
Companies that automated manual tasks and integrated their workforce data into centralised systems were more productive. With the right digital systems, employees can access everything they need at their fingertips. This reduces the time spent emailing back and forth or finding documents. Thus, digitalisation improved productivity.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Industries that were quick to leverage digital transformation met consumer demands by personalising their customer’s experiences. They created a strong online presence as the need for e-commerce increased.
Heightened Data Collection
Companies that used AI and machine learning to analyse data and gather new insights streamlined business development and customer solutions. This made it easier for companies and their customers to enjoy the benefits of digital transformation.
Better Resource Management
Digital transformation acts as an integrated network that encompasses every area of an organisation. It connects its databases to its software and applications. This creates a central system for better business intelligence. Businesses with this digital synergy saw great efficiency across departments and innovative processes.
How This Will Continue to Change in 2021
In 2021, flexible working structures are likely to continue. This is because remote working has become more attractive to employees. It’s predicted that this trend will rise by 300% post-pandemic.
Businesses are understanding the need to push for digital transformation as the world moves online. They’re going to have to implement remote working software and tools that correlate with their workforce data.
The digitalisation of working infrastructure will become a vital necessity – especially seeing as 23% of employees would like to work remotely more often.
Industries that are slow to adopt new tech are going to lose to their digitally superior competitors. Many sectors need to find new and improved technologies to keep up with pandemic limitations and stay ahead.
For example, tour directors have begun to create virtual tours for those who are still in lockdown. There has been a rise in drive-in movie theatres in some countries. Here, digital transformation has taken an old concept and revitalised it into a modern theme for social distancing.
Students may be going back to school, but some have found they’re better suited for virtual learning. Online teaching proved to be more of a student-centred learning environment. It has also made it more convenient for students to access learning material and communicate with their teachers.
Rising digital transformation is evident in all industries. It is only going to continue evolving and changing to adapt to consumer demands in 2021.
Digital transformation has helped certain industries thrive in this pandemic. Those who have yet to make this change within their organisation will find it more difficult to meet current challenges.
There are new consumer expectations that businesses need to meet as we adapt to a more digital world. More and more people are choosing to interact and engage through digital channels. As such, businesses need to continue to adjust their digital transformation strategies in order to keep up.