Over the years, digital transformation has been on the to-do list of many companies, especially small and medium businesses, but it also has often been overlooked in favor of more pressing matters. However, since the pandemic started, it became a hot topic again and pushed organizations to fast-forward their efforts.
Furthermore, the focus on the relevant technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, SaaS products, and so forth, led to their accelerated advancement and democratization.
This means that, in 2022, the digital transformation trends are something that every business owner should care about.
So what to look forward to?
Read on to find out!
Digital Transformation in a Nutshell
Before we focus on the nitty-gritty of the latest trends, let’s first establish what digital transformation means for companies.
The term has a broad scope, but when it comes to business, it refers to how well an organization has adopted new digital technologies in its operations in order to simplify processes, increase profits, and accelerate growth.
Depending on the company, digital transformation may be implemented in many different ways. Furthermore, as digital technology is an ever developing field, it’s not a one-off event but an on-going process.
While digital transformation has been on the rise lately, there are still many businesses that are reluctant to adopt new technologies due to anxiety, lack of information, or limited resources. However, as the tech becomes more affordable, it can help organizations improve their operations and provide them with a competitive advantage.
The Hottest Digital Transformation Trends for 2022
Without further ado, here are the hottest digital transformation trends for your business in 2022:
1. Creating New Digital Business Models
The switch to digital pushed many organizations to become creative with the ways they exchange their products and services for money. Although there are many one-fits-all digital business models, the most successful way towards digital transformation in 2022 is to create a unique model that suits your own business specifics.
Customers nowadays want a seamless digital experience and favor brands that are ready to deliver. To that end, it’s vital to understand how your expertise can be combined with online technologies to respond to your customer’s needs. This way, you will not only be able to stay relevant and achieve a competitive advantage, but may also be able to develop a completely new and successful commercial product or service.
2. Data-Driven Business Management
Digital technologies generate massive amounts of easily trackable and accessible data that, if handled properly, may provide invaluable business insight. However, even companies that are no stranger to digital transformation tend not to take full advantage of the data at their disposal.
This seems to be about to change in 2022 as data professionals are in high demand across all industries. More and more companies are shifting their decision-making processes towards data-driven business management, and are looking for ways to encourage a data-centric work culture.
3. Investing in Predictive Analytics
By analyzing data from past periods and the present, and correlating it with economical factors, the business environment, and consumer behavior patterns, modern predictive analytics tools allow businesses to make reliable prognoses of the future. They allow management to foresee upcoming trends, prepare actionable strategies, and be ready to respond to the market’s needs in a timely manner.
As AI and machine learning, the technologies that support predictive analytics, have seen rapid development in the past few years, so has the accuracy of the data that the tools provide. Furthermore, such programs are to soon become more affordable not only to large and medium enterprises, but to growing businesses as well.
4. Cracking the Personalization and Privacy Paradox
Nowadays, customers demand a tailor-made personalized experience, and the brands that provide it are always one step ahead of competitors. However, there is no way to achieve this without collecting customer data.
Yet, at the same time, people are wary of their privacy online and tend not to trust companies with their personal information.
This creates the so-called personalization and privacy paradox – one of the most pressing digital transformation issues. In 2022, cracking it will be a top priority for business, and those that manage will have a significant strategic advantage over competitors.
While this may sound like a difficult task, the key is to set the proper limits of what information you actually need, operate in full transparency, and respect what the customer wants and doesn’t want to share.
5. Delegating Funds to Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is another major digital transformation issue that companies face in 2022. With great data comes great responsibility and to retain their reputation and the customer’s trust, businesses need to be able to protect their databases from breaches and attacks.
To that end, they not only need to delegate the proper funds to cybersecurity tools and technology that protects and encrypts their data, but they also need to educate their employees and customers on proper data management.
Furthermore, more often than not, security breaches are inevitable. Therefore, companies also need to have a crisis strategy in place that allows them to handle difficult situations without compromising their integrity.
6. The Rise of Hyperautomation
Automation is one of the greatest benefits of digital transformation. It helps companies reduce the workload of their employees, streamline processes, and optimize performance and productivity.
As automation tools are not new to the digital world, the next logical step in their development is hyperautomation, one of the rising stars in the digital transformation trends in 2022.
Simply put, hyperautomation, well, automates automation. If this sounds cryptic, bear with us.
The technology uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA) to analyze and manage business processes. The tools operate with both structured and unstructured data to provide insight into optimization and improvement opportunities.
Furthermore, hyperautomation algorithms are able to analyze large amounts of data that a human is simply not capable of processing. As a result, they can provide in-depth observations and connotations between background processes that the company would otherwise not be able to identify. These can help businesses bring their data-driven decisions to the next level, understand business processes better, and improve.
7. Increased CDP and CRM Adoption
The customer’s expectations regarding digital experiences and brand services are higher than ever. When interacting with businesses online, people anticipate a consistent experience and want to feel appreciated by the brand. The opposite may lead to frustration and disappointment and can cause the client to leave.
To stay in the communication loop with clients, and provide them with a top-notch customer experience, in 2022, businesses should utilize customer data platforms (CDP) and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
Customer data platforms provide businesses with insights into their clients behavior and how they use their products. Leveraging this knowledge enables the company to improve onboarding, identify product issues, and reduce customer attrition.
CRM tools, on the other hand, gather information about the customer’s profile and their interactions with the company over their lifecycle.
Cross-referencing the data from the two allows companies to better understand their clients and improve the quality of their products, services, and customer satisfaction.
8. A Shift to Multi-Cloud Solutions
Cloud computing allows companies and their clients to access their work via the internet, and significantly reduces the need for on-site hardware and maintenance. The technology has enabled businesses with flexibility, improved collaboration abilities, new development opportunities, and has contributed to their accelerated digital transformation.
In 2022, companies are shifting towards using multi-cloud solutions. This means that instead of using a single cloud service provider for their work, they will utilize multiple public clouds. Furthermore, they can rely on hybrid-cloud solutions that include both private, on-site, and public clouds.
They can choose multiple providers simply for data backup or use them for the different services they sustain. In either case, the benefits of this arrangement include better security of data, easier migrations from one provider to the other, and a more competitive marketplace.
9. Digital Workplace Tools
The hybrid working model is the new normal in 2022. In it, employees can distribute their working days between working from home and the office. Depending on the company’s policy and the employee’s preferences, the hybrid model can involve a fully remote experience, regular office visits, and everything in between.
The pandemic has forced everyone around the world to test this approach en masse and the results show that it not only doesn’t hurt productivity but may improve it.
To support this type of working arrangement, companies are adopting digital workplace technologies that allow both management and employees to have their day-to-day activities organized and available, to keep track of processes, and stay in touch regardless of their location.
These types of technologies include business process management, communication, project management, workflow, time tracking, reporting, and other tools.
10. Focus on Employee and Customer Onboarding
To adopt new technology and benefit from it, companies need to invest the time and resources to onboard the people who’ll use it. Depending on the type of software, these can be the employees of the organization or the customers.
Rushed onboarding can result in low success rates, financial losses, productivity issues, and an overall waste of time.
By streamlining and automating the digital transformation process, companies can ensure that they harness the full potential of the new technologies they are investing in.
The digital transformation of business is an ever evolving process and, to keep up, companies need to stay in touch with the latest trends and upcoming innovations.
Some of the technologies mentioned in this article are not completely unknown and have been developing at a steady pace over the last few years, reaching their peak in 2022. Others are in their early stages and suggest exciting opportunities throughout the year.
And yet, we are only scratching the surface here. We are certain that the year holds many interesting surprises and new technologies to look forward to.