2020 gave businesses an opportunity to take the leap into digital transformation and accelerate the path to digitisation. But it also exposed those vulnerable, paper-based and siloed processes that could be compromised if running in isolation from centralised platforms. It’s safe to say that 2020 has been a transformational year for many, and a particularly good year for embracing new technology and platforms that keep systems connected and departments communicating, even if working remotely.
The sudden shock of the pandemic had organisations and Government agencies scrambling to adapt as quickly as possible. In many cases the adoption of new technologies was reactionary and patchy; organisations were simply trying to keep operations afloat. As a result many of the solutions put into place were not the safest, a good fit for purpose, or even the most cost-effective. At the time, it was about finding something that ‘did the job’.
According to MuleSoft’s Connectivity Benchmark Report, IT-led projects and initiatives are expected to grow by 40% in 2021. And business leaders will expect their IT teams to be ready, with 82% of them saying they will need to deliver connected digital customer experiences. The problem is, over half of the interviewed IT leaders said it’s difficult for their organisation to deliver connected experiences with the current systems and resources. This disconnect has to be a priority to tackle in 2021.
Looking to the new year, a major trend will be looking for technology enhancements that allow for businesses and Government to operate smoothly, efficiently, and without risks, in order to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
Here are the key characteristics of the new face of digital transformation in 2021.
Connecting the data silos
Digital transformation focuses on data and systems connectivity, ensuring businesses can have a centralised platform that talks to all internal systems in real time. Many IT leaders believe that data silos are their biggest challenge for 2021. According to the Connectivity Benchmark Report "nearly 9 in 10 IT leaders report data silos are creating business challenges for their organisations’ digital transformation initiatives”.
Data silos prevent internal platforms or software from accessing any data that hasn’t been captured by it. This leads to data mishandling, data management risks, and data loss, all of which ultimately lead to poor customer experience and compliance risks. Creating a safe flow of information across all internal systems has become the biggest priority for effective transformation.
Delivering outstanding digital experience
Most industries have taken very seriously the delivery of digital experiences that reflect their brand and level of tech adoption. Businesses and Government agencies have started to adopt tools like smart forms and other ways of communicating with their customers in their preferred channels.
Industries from retail to financial services are benefiting from smooth and frictionless interactions with customers through digital channels. For example, conversion rates are proven to be stronger when allowing customers to start transactions on one device and finish them on a different device.
Application Integration is key
Traditionally, organisations would build their own business applications internally. This meant that they needed internal resources that could develop and deploy such applications. Delivery would take months, when accounting for development, debugging, code-patching and other potential hurdles that come with building applications in-house.
IT teams would be then tied to serving across all business functions as the data management, data consolidation and application-builder leaving no space for creating real value.
But with organisations adopting new software across the organisation such as accounting and marketing platforms, HR and onboarding software, it makes sense that organisations stop thinking about “building” and more about integrating.
To make the investment in technology worthwhile, organisations need to set their systems up for seamless integration with other platforms and software. The top technology investments for 2021 include security (53%), big data and analytics (48%), multi-cloud strategy (41%), and AI/machine learning (41%).
Data security as a priority
According to a survey by Salesforce “84% percent of customers are more loyal to companies that have strong security controls”. In Transformd’s experience of providing cloud-based solutions to financial services and government, we know the crucial importance of data security and handling.
In 2021, data security is non-negotiable when looking for tech vendors, new software and platforms to onboard into their systems. In order to bring down the data silos and free up IT resources, organisations need to ensure that all systems are handled appropriately and in compliance with data security measures.
Just consider that, according to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, 43% of data breaches this past year were the result of a web application vulnerability. It’s likely that organisations are currently putting at risk their organisation’s and customer’s data without even knowing.
Transformd focuses on solving these exact three issues for organisations. Our platform provides a seamless digital customer experience; from onboarding customers and new employees to data analytics and data connectivity through internal platforms. If this is something that your organisation is thinking about for 2021, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
In the meantime, enjoy the holidays!