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The 5 most notable digital transformation trends

by Casey Schmidt  |  December 23, 2019

4 min. read
Workers using a magnifying glass to examine trends.

The overarching trend of digital transformations is they’re increasing. The inevitability of new technology is driving the need to undertake serious digital changes. These evolving landscapes are also beginning to deviate from past digital transformations. What types of ways is this happening? Here’s a brief rundown of digital transformation, followed by some vital trends to note.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the changing of current business models, procedures and elements into contemporary digital technologies. It’s typically a company change going from traditional physical formats into digital ones. Digital transformation ushers digital technology into different company departments.

Now that you have a strong understanding of digital transformation, here’s five of the most unique digital transformation trends.

1. Increased focus on customer experience

Businesses are realizing customer experience is of utmost importance, especially with the evolution of customer expectations in the modern era. On the surface level it seems confusing – have customer expectations not always been high? Have they not always expected a lot from companies they patronize?

People shaking hands and working together in a workplace.
Customer experience is a central focus of companies.

The answer is that the digital age has brought about heightened customer expectations. Whether it’s a bank or a grocery market, businesses are forced to meet new demands of how customers believe transactions to complete. This is based on their experiences elsewhere, with increasing simplicity to previously strenuous transactions. For these reasons, digital transformations are sure to continue to trend in a direction destined to improve customer experience.

2. More areas using AI

The growth of AI is bound to be seen in most departments of a company throughout extensive digital transformations. As it continues to increase in capability, its abilities will surely extend to business functionality. There are a lot of things AI already does that companies continue to strive to obtain during their transformations.

A picture of a digital head with the letters 'AI' in the skull.
More companies are going to rely on AI in the future.

This trend actually feeds into and off of others on this list. For example, things such as data analysis and customer experience are affected by the development of AI. AI is able to navigate endless seas of data much faster for companies. It’s also capable of transforming customer experiences through things such as chatbots.

3. Sophisticated data analysis

Data continues to grow exponentially and companies are still scrambling to keep up. With all the new tools created to better handle this data, it goes without saying that data analysis will be at the forefront of each company’s digital transformation.

A group of people examining data.
Data analysis requires constant adaptation.

So why will data analysis be such a large part of digital transformations? The answer lies in the value of the analysis. Companies are now able to use effective data analysis to predict customer trends and behavior. Data was always valued by companies but never before has it been so incredibly valuable.

4. Diminished IT budgeting in favor of new tech

One would think that with the increase of digital transformations, the natural response would be an uptick of IT budgeting. However, it’s trending in the opposite direction. Unfortunately for IT departments, the increased use of digital technology has produced a need for companies to have their data and other assets managed elsewhere. Enter the cloud, the culprit for lessened IT spending.

IT support finding solutions.
New technology often creates lower IT spending.

As companies gravitate towards hosting more and more data on the cloud, they further restrict their IT spending. Why is this happening? Shouldn’t more digital tech require more IT spending? The reason an increase in cloud usage results in lower IT budgeting is because companies are now having a lot of their IT services handled via the cloud.

5. Customer privacy

Certainly it appears that customer privacy is merely a thing of the past, crushed by big corporations’ willingness to extend their reach into private lives to gather information. This is a fair assessment. It’s also a fair assessment to assume this lack of privacy will not only continue but get stronger with increasing digital transformations.

A digital padlock.
Customer privacy has renewed corporate interest.

However, all these increases in privacy have led to negative reviews and outlooks from customers. Therefore, even though a lot of companies will continue to invade customer privacy, others will use their digital transformations as a chance to brand themselves a transparent, less-intrusive company. Look for a lot of companies to offer optional customer opt-ins with new technological data advancements.

As with any type of trend, there’s always the possibility of drastic change. Take these potential trends with a grain of salt and be ready to pivot focuses as the technological landscape continues to evolve quickly.