In an increasingly technology-driven world, digital transformation is likely to become even more commonplace. Repetitive terms like edge computing, cloud, augmented reality and IoT are probably here to stay, but these developments could merge with even more prominent aspects of the business landscape.
Several core technological services appear set to dominate future discussions, making an impact on the fundamentals as we continue this journey of digital transformation. The modernization of legacy systems and even more digitization across the board appear set to take centre stage this year.
Here are a few digital transformation trends that could take off substantially in 2020.
1. The Arrival of 5G
5G has been a long time coming, and many consider this is the year of 5G. Telecommunications giants such as Verizon, Nokia, Ericsson, Huawei, AT&T and Qualcomm are working diligently to try and make sure global 5G deployments stay on track. Meanwhile, handset manufacturers are already releasing 5G phones. Malaysia has also witnessed the launch of the 5G Demonstration Project (5GDP) in Langkawi on 19th Jan 2020.
Aside from faster broadband (5G could be up to 100X faster than 4G at its theoretical top-speed) and stronger mobile networks, the proliferation of 5G also includes accelerated advancements in smart systems. Vehicles, manufacturing industries, cities and industrial operations could become highly IoT-intensive and connected. 5G is paving the way for true digital transformation (the likes of which we are likely to have never witnessed before).
Despite concerns around the possible environmental consequences of deploying 5G, industry leaders and corporations seem persistent about making 5G more widely available. In August 2019, data showed that only four months after local carriers commercially launched the technology, the number of 5G subscribers in South Korea hit the 2 million mark.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the rise of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
If you haven’t noticed, the adoption of AI has gained considerable traction recently and the mainstream media has homed in on its potentially transformative capabilities. AI is already around us, in many products that we use. Innov8tif is using image processing and deep learning techniques to automate cognitive intelligence in identity verification. Business decision making can also be assisted with smart data-driven suggestions or predictive analytics, as part of an automated workflow, realizing the future of “AI as co-worker”.
Presently, RPA is one of the major innovations that can be found out there. RPA uses bots to execute small, repetitive tasks and transactions with more precision and significantly fewer errors compared to their human counterparts.
Tremendous improvements to efficiency and workflow have been made as a by-product of using RPA.
It is estimated up to 40% of enterprises are keen on adopting some form of RPA in response to increasing automation to try to keep ahead of the competition.
3. Mobile Interaction
These days, precision seems to be the top of the game. In the mobile space, like many others, things are simmering down. Making a huge impact on a wide base appears to be out and instead, industries are likely to double down on the little details, using laser-like focus to fill tiny gaps.
Better digital experiences are being nurtured as customers demand seamless transitions between devices when accessing digital products or services. Security systems are being reinforced, payment methods are being refined and various parts between customer touchpoints are being improved for a better onboarding processes.
As mobile devices becomes increasingly more important than a physical wallet when a person leaves his/her home, this means that your mobile device/platform understands more about you, probably better than your spouse. The micro-difference in which each individual uses a smartphone, can be used as a unique signature that identifies each individual for enhanced user authentication. For example, typing biometrics or keystroke dynamics.
4. The Fusion of Edge Computing and Smart Tech
This feels like the year of consolidation and we can expect to see individual developments within each tech sector starts to come together. This year, expect to see a closer forging of ties between edge computing and 5G, and for drones, autonomous cars and smart cities to become core parts of our new reality.
Uber is building its autonomous fleet. Amazon is building on its autonomous drone delivery service. Large automotive, as well as tech companies (names such as BMW, Volvo, Ford, Intel, and Nvidia), are teaming up to bring smarter, faster and better tech-driven products to the market. The future is slowly taking shape.
5. The Optimization of Enterprise Search
Cloud solutions may have made their debut some time back, but it seems that a lot more work is waiting in the pipeline. Data revolving around user behaviour has been collected in massive batches, and this has powered better User Experience (UX) and design (including enterprise search).
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have taken enterprise search to a whole new level, helping people become even more productive. Projects like Microsoft’s Cortex and Fluent Design are huge technical endeavours aimed at organizing content and delivering precise and innovative search experiences. In 2020, organizational knowledge could become even more accessible than it previously was.
6. Turning Cybersecurity Up a Notch
In our technology-driven world, security has become a growing concern. Cybersecurity is becoming a top priority for small and medium-sized businesses, particularly since SMEs frequently become the targets of cybercriminals who have begun to turn their attention away from larger, better-protected organizations. 86% of businesses in the US have increased their spending on cybersecurity.
Antivirus solutions, firewalls and biometric security are now packaged with artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to help systems detect suspicious operations running in a network’s backend. Risk-based multi-factor authentication for online application systems is becoming just as important (if not more important) as the security of your physical office/premise.
7. Scalable Cloud Services
The cloud may be nothing new, however, it has gained substantial ground as enterprises of different sizes capitalize on the potential of cloud technology. Now, scalability is in demand. Advanced Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) models can help SMEs reduce costs and improve service delivery via elastic cloud provisioning.
Applications that can help businesses manage and move their systems and databases to platform-agnostic environments are now available. These can help them scale seamlessly and gradually.
The popularity of advanced cloud services has also prompted the inclusion of IoT, analytics and centralized development features in order to improve efficiency.
We’ve seen the end of a decade, and it seems that developments in 2020 are gearing up to take digital transformation to a new and powerful heights. This year, the theme appears to be stable, secure growth in micro (as opposed to macro) categories.