Digital Transformation Will Continue to Accelerate this Year. Here’s Why.
Before the year 2020, digital transformation has been on slow but steady growth both in Malaysia and worldwide. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 was a game-changer, with most companies embracing digital solutions to meet the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Most businesses in Malaysia began incorporating digital transformation programs into their programs as a strategy to facilitate business continuity after the start of the movement control order (MCO). Besides telecommuting and online meetings, organisations from start-ups to conglomerates found ways to digitally engage with their employees, customers, and the entire supply chain.
The increased pace at which businesses have been embracing a digital transformation will continue in 2021 but differently. In 2020, business leaders were concerned about how fast they could integrate digital initiatives to enhance collaboration and maintain workflow.
But in 2021, there will be a shift to a proactive posture with more focus on refined digital models, a culture that gives precedence to experimentation and establishment of competitive advantage through the use of data and technology.
Below are the digital transformation trends companies should expect in 2021.
1. More Focus on Cybersecurity
Some years back, the digital transformation began as an innovative strategy to process and product developments. Unfortunately, as companies were fast tracking initiatives, they overlooked security. As a result, cyberattacks have been on the rise, with over 445 million reported cases in 2020 alone.
In 2021, companies must be keen on cybersecurity and consider robust safety practices to match the accelerating digital transformation. Although it might not be possible to put in place a single solution to curb all security risks, companies need to create a balance between technology, processes and people. It is time for business leaders to consider integrating technologies such as machine learning (ML) and Artificial Learning (AI).
2. Multi-cloud Architecture
Due to innovations in the cloud, we see a shift from single architecture to hybrid clouds and multi-cloud architecture. The situation in 2020 pushed companies to adopt the multi-cloud architecture, which involves applying application and workloads in an organisation using one or two clouds.
As companies increasingly focus on facilitating remote work and security, they have been looking for convenient ways to manage the new working models while lowering business continuity risks. Unfortunately, they face challenges in managing the infrastructure and will have to seek cloud management and solutions to handle the multi-cloud environments.
3. Democratisation of AI
Democratizing AI involves promoting its accessibility to every company and, if possible, every employee within a company. Due to its capacity to nurture digital transformation speed, it is among the most significant trends to observe in 2021. The democratisation of AI may include using AI-based tools to see patterns, forecast, make decisions and improve.
4. Data Analytics and Customer Data Platforms (CDP)
In the era of digital transformation, companies are producing a lot of data at different scales. It could be when customers are purchasing a service or a product or having an interaction with your business. If your company has an extensive customer base, numerous product and marketing channels, it becomes a challenge to gain insights from such a vast pool of data.
For your business to realise the real value of data, it requires sorting, processing and analyses. Smart data analytics assists you to extract essential information from the processed data and enables better decision making. According to Gartner, 90% of organisation strategies will consider information a crucial asset, with analytics being an essential competency by 2021.
Your company can acquire a customer data platform that acts as a single source of information from customers. When your company wishes to create relatable and personalised marketing campaigns, you can conveniently access the information. CDPs are not only for the marketing department but also essential to the IT and finance teams as they make quick decisions about company investments.
The Process of Transformation
Before developing a digital strategy in a business, the organisation must set goals and create statements that clearly define the approach. After that, you have to develop ways to change your workforce’s mind-set since they are the people who assist you in achieving digital transformation goals.
Below are the steps any company looking to begin transformation should consider.
1. Reimagine the Workplace
For a successful digital transformation, companies need both digital-savvy leaders and employees to make the change happen. Due to the importance of technological trends, investing in radically different skills will be a priority. It is essential to think analytically about the short and long term impact of digitisation on the business, even if the company is yet to begin the transformational journey. Developing clear workforce strategies to help determine the available and required digital skills and capabilities is one crucial step every organisation must consider.
2. Upgrade the Organisation’s Operating Model
Digital transformation comes with several changes, including the way of working and the organisation culture. Therefore, your organisation must empower their employees to work differently and match the increased pace of business.
A great way to support the changes is by deploying digital tools, upgrading processes, and developing a more agile operating model.
3. Rethink Communication
Good communication is a key success factor, and organisations must begin to use new channels that facilitate faster working and quicker mindset change. The organisations must be ready to switch from channels that allow one-way communication to more interactive platforms that trigger conversations.
Leveraging Digital Transformation
1. Enable Digital Transformation Tools
One way tech start-ups can leverage is through enabling digital transformation tools. Due to the increasing pains in an organisation, solutions such as cloud-based applications are crucial. It offers adequate scalability and flexibility to address the inefficiencies of manual business processes, especially when competitors embrace automated systems.
Leadership commitment is essential to define and implement an organisation transformational journey. As a top leader in the organisation, you are in an excellent position to predict the company’s success, and you should be involved in every step of the journey. However, actions should not rely entirely on your judgment since you might not possess the adequate technical knowledge to decide on the company’s technological future.
It is recommendable to consult with experts who can offer insight and suggestions on both the immediate advantages and long term results of a specific technology.
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Digital transformation goes beyond choosing the technology and starting to use it. That means it can be overwhelming to business leaders since they need to focus on other business activities. Allo Technology provides the solutions Malaysian companies need for a better and more productive business.
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