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How has COVID-19 influenced Digital Transformation for 2021?

 


 

2020 brought events that nobody could have expected – with business globally having to suddenly adopt new digital techniques and platforms – 2020 alone produced more digital transformation that any of us could have expected - with many of the digital transformation trends for 2021 being closely linked to the recent pandemic.

But what is in store for 2021?

 

  1. Continuation of WFH

2020 introduced a new way of working for many of us across the world. Short commutes to the kitchen table with video conferences and collaboration platforms becoming apart of our daily routines, we have seen businesses introduce new ways of working for their employees throughout 2020 – in a way many businesses have never considered before.

The question is, will working from home last?

Huge tech companies (such as Google and Facebook) have introduced new working from home policies into 2021 for all employees – but what does this mean for the rest of us? As the majority of 2021 is already set to see a continuation of working from home for many. The quick transition to digital proved many businesses operate just as effectively in remote environments than situated in the office – with 26% of Brits planning to continue to work from home permanently or occasionally after lockdown. Also revealing, 75% of workers say they will be more productive due to reduced distractions in the continuation of WFH, and 83% of employees feel they do not need an office to be productive.

2020’s new norm caught many organisations off guard, with the implementation of collaboration platforms reaching staggering numbers. Microsoft Teams saw an increase of user downloads from 32 million users in March 12th 2019 to 75 million as of April 30th 2020 – with numbers still rising. Zoom also saw an increase in daily downloads from 26,000 in January 2020 to 2.13 million in March 2020 with a customer growth of 354%.

The rise of collaboration platforms has proven the need for innovative effective technologies in today’s digitally fueled society.

 

A survey of just under 1,000 firms by the Institute of Directors (IoD) shows that 74% plan on maintaining the increase in home working.

 

 

  1. Digital-ready culture

Today, 59% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service than they did a year ago – making the digital-ready route the one to take. The desire for customer service to be taken digitally is only growing, with 87% of shoppers now beginning product searches online. The desire for quick, effective engagement across all digital channels is reaching an all time high as  75% of consumers expect a consistent experience across every channel they choose to engage with. Customers and consumers are now expecting services to be available across all devices, with a swift customer service response time with high engagement. As the pandemic has turned the world digital, the desire for improved customer service and increasing customer satisfaction will see an increase throughout 2021.

 

89% of all companies have already adopted a digital-first business strategy or plan to do so.

 

 

  1. Customer Data Platforms

Customer data platforms have seen an increase in popularity over recent years, proving time and cost savings while ensuring efficiency for organisations globally - although many aren’t on this trend yet. Currently, 40% of leads contain inaccurate data and every year while 25-30% of data becomes inaccurate leading to less effective sales and marketing campaigns.

With the recent pandemic allowing businesses to reflect on their digital platforms and customer engagements, a growing trend in the industry is prioritizing customer data platforms and ensuring customer experiences are at a high standard. Currently, there is an 80% increase in revenue for businesses that focus on improving customer experience – through multi-use channels, improved customer service and eliminating bad data with future-proofed CDP’s.

High expectations from consumers are now putting pressure on organisations to invest in new customer data platforms, with Microsoft being heavily involved in the production and creation of new CDP platforms. CDP’s provide a simple solution to organization, tagging, filing and accessibility for those who need it. As 73% of customers agree that customer experience helps to drive their buying decision – CDP’s are a growing trend for digital transformation in 2021.

 

Nearly half of all companies say improving customer experience and customer satisfaction were the leading influences to start a digital transformation.

 

 

  1. 5G

What is 5G? The G meaning generation, this 5th generation of network is going to prove faster with zero latency, immediate and offer real-time connectivity. With the rise of remote work and the world turning to digital throughout 2020 – the desire for connectivity and more bandwidth became a visible benefit for us all.

By 2024, 5G networks are expected to cover 40% of the world while handling 25% of all mobile traffic data, proving a more flexible and fluid generation of technology – 5G performance is set to be 100 times better than the current, most common, 4G technology.

 

According to a November 2020 report from Ericsson, 5G will reach 3.5 billion subscriptions by 2026, making it the fastest generation ever to be rolled out on a global scale.

 

 

  1. AI & Machine Learning

The recent pandemic and continuation of remote working has proved the desire for many trends appearing this year. With that includes AI & Machine Learning. The growing use of AI will be seen throughout the year to recent awakenings and beneficial uses being discovered with 2020’s events, finding purpose in our everyday lives. Revenue generated by AI hardware, software and services was expected to reach $156.5 billion worldwide in 2020, up 12.3% from 2019.

AI will focus strongly on usability and ease of use, being inserted into many apps we are familiar with today. AI for 2021 is set to focus on how businesses engage and understand their customers - using the recent pandemic and digital overhaul as a push to encourage businesses to continue their digital upkeep and customer relationship focus. 'Tools providing organizations with self-service access to this technology will become increasingly prevalent throughout 2021, as small and medium-sized enterprises are seeking to establish their competitive edge.'

 

 

At least 90% of new enterprise apps will insert AI technology into their processes and products by 2025.

 

 


As a recognized digital transformation provider and partner, our expert team are available to assist in any projects or consultancy you may need this year.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have expertise in cloud technology, collaborating with SharePoint and Microsoft Teams, and enhancing customer relationships with CRM systems and portals. Get in touch with our team to learn more at sales@blacklightsoftware.com.

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