Back in 2019, who could possibly have predicted just how tumultuous the early 2020s would be for digital transformation?
When the pandemic hit, an urgent acceleration of digital transformation initiatives followed. Companies of all sizes, across a broad range of industries, were forced to invest in advanced, collaborative technologies in an effort to adapt to the new normal. Covid was certainly a shock to the system for those organisations that had not previously invested heavily in digital. However, it helped many to establish a solid foundation to begin building towards a brighter future, driven by technology.
As so much has changed over such a short space of time, and with firms now more reliant on technology than ever before, the big question that business leaders will be asking themselves is: what key digital transformation trends will 2023 bring?
With the New Year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to ponder this question.
Doing more with less through automation
It is certainly true to say that UK businesses are facing a decidedly bleak economic outlook. With the country in the throes of a crippling cost-of-living crisis, as the effects of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine ripple across the globe, the UK is expected to remain in recession until well into 2023, and perhaps beyond. Amid these financially turbulent times, companies are being forced to make difficult decisions when it comes to their budgets, and how they can aim to drive efficiencies in the most cost-effective ways possible.
Automation adoption is often viewed as one of the best methods that companies can employ to streamline processes and boost revenues without causing their costs to spiral out of control. Recognising the benefits that can be brought by automation, 54% of organisations have already begun implementing robotic process automation [RPA] into their processes, according to a Deloitte survey. However, with the economy in such dire straits, and the landscape continuing to look so grim for businesses, it is highly likely that we will see a greater number of companies investing in this technology than ever before. Not only will implementing automation be an affordable alternative to investing in a full digital transformation project for many businesses, it will also provide a basis upon which to create new efficiencies in the years to come. Indeed, Gartner predicts that, by 2024, hyper automation will enable organisations to lower their operational costs by 30%.
At a time of great economic uncertainty, when every penny that businesses spend needs to be clearly justified, automation is a proven and dependable cost saver.
As the world faces a growing climate emergency, and with recent events like COP27 shining a light on the urgency for nations to take action, sustainability has become a major topic of discussion in recent years.
While the onus for addressing the crisis lies largely with those countries that are producing the highest levels of pollution, there is much that businesses can do on an individual level to play their part. This has seen organisations introducing a wide range of sustainable initiatives, such as modifying production processes to emit less waste or emissions, and implementing conservation techniques, like using less energy and water at their premises.
One of the other key initiatives that businesses are employing is becoming more reliant on technology than other, less sustainable practices and processes. As such, in 2023, it is likely that more companies will seek to drive sustainability in their operations via the implementation of composable enterprise strategies. By doing so, businesses will be able to unlock and integrate data and applications and apply automation and analytics to derive insights.
With VentureBeat reporting that, currently, around 90% of tech leaders recognise sustainability as a key objective in their organisation, we can expect to see a greater portion of business budgets being allocated towards this cause over the next 12 months.
Technology tailored to remote work and culture
As previously mentioned, the coronavirus crisis placed technology centre stage for many businesses. With the introduction of stay-at-home directives that the pandemic brought, organisations were forced to move many of their processes online in a bid to keep physically dispersed teams connected digitally.
Miraculously, the great work from home experiment that Covid brought has proven to be far more successful than many predicted, with numerous organisations planning to make remote working a permanent part of their pattern. After all, Office for National Statistics [ONS] figures show that, as of February 2022, 84% of workers who had to work from home during the pandemic said they planned to carry out a mix of working at home and from their place of work moving forward.
With work flexibility clearly here to stay, and becoming increasingly central to company culture, staff productivity, and inclusivity, there is a good chance that we will see the gap between those organisations that have embraced long term hybrid working, and those that have shunned it, continue to grow. Furthermore, tech developers will work hard to tailor their collaboration and flexible working tools to meet the increasing demand for such products. By investing in these technologies, businesses can empower their teams to continue working seamlessly together across multiple locations, thereby solidifying their distributed flexible workforce.
All eyes on 2023…
Considering how much has happened in the world of digital transformation over the past few years, it is not a leap to think that the next 12 months will also bring their fair share of technological advancements.
With the pandemic having fundamentally changed the way that many of us work, we will continue to see the evolution of solutions specially designed to empower teams to choose where they work from, without causing undue harm to operational efficiency.
However, with all the ways that the world around us has changed so far this decade, there are bound to be a few digital transformation surprises in store for 2023 that no one could predict.
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