This is good news for companies that are engaged in certain kinds of digital transformation efforts.
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It means they are on the right track and can keep pursuing their current projects.
Companies that haven’t yet started their projects should watch these trends carefully…
Digital transformation trends in 2019 will shape the competitive landscape of the 2020s.
Digital Transformation: 2019 Trends
Below are some of the biggest trends driving the industry today:
The Customer Experience
Research has demonstrated the importance of managing the customer experience.
- Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends report showed how Spotify’s customer satisfaction directly impacts the cost of user acquisition.
- Adobe’s 2019 Digital Trends report indicated that 50% of its respondents planned to increase customer experience spending in 2019
- Top priorities for this report included customer journey management (33%) and delivering personalized experiences in real time (37%)
- Companies claiming to be “very advanced” at customer experience were 3X more likely to have exceeded their top 2018 business goal by a significant margin
It’s easy to see why so many companies prioritize the customer experience: it delivers outstanding results.
The Emerging Digital Workplace
The workplace itself is undergoing massive digital transformation.
According to a report by Deloitte, this is driven by ongoing trends such as:
- An aging workforce
- Information overload
- The need for speed
To adjust and accommodate for these transformations:
- Support changes in working styles
- Unify online and offline communications
- Focus on employee experience
- Support virtual work environments
- Minimize spending and enhance productivity
- Win the war on talent
It should go without saying that technology itself is also an underlying factor in these transformations.
The internet, mobile technology, and emerging technologies are the foundation of digital evolution.
They enable, fuel, and disrupt the status quo, helping organizations to build new workplaces and workflows.
Digital technology is the backbone of the digital marketplace.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that digital adoption is a core pillar of digital transformation efforts.
There are a number of reasons why digital adoption efforts are so critical:
- Technology can disrupt industries, offering growth opportunities to early adopters
- Laggards who fail to adopt can quickly be left behind
- The modern workflow is complex, often implementing multiple software programs and platforms
- Technology advances are increasing the need for digital skills training, reskilling, and upskilling
Several solutions have arisen to meet the needs of digital adopters:
- Digital adoption solutions and platforms, software that speeds up training and offers in-app guidance and contextualized learning
- Learning management systems and other online course management software, which helps enterprises create their own educational content
- Third-party online educational institutions, such as Lynda and Udemy
- Outside training firms, consultancies, and agencies
- Sponsoring employees to obtain certifications or degrees
Given the accelerating pace of digital adoption, organizations should prioritize skills development in 2019 and beyond.
After all, career development doesn’t just help individual employees … it helps companies retain talent, improve productivity, and stay competitive.
Without a shift in thinking, it will be difficult to transform processes and technology.
A great deal of B2B research highlights this:
- According to an Altimeter report on digital transformation, nearly half of its survey respondents were building cultures of innovation
- The aforementioned report by Adobe suggests that creating a “customer-first culture” is the first step towards adopting new technology and ideas
- A report by Jabil pointed out that cultural changes are the hardest part of digital transformation – which also suggests that it should be a special area of focus
This indicates that cultural transformation is a top challenge for transformation – but also that it’s necessary to achieve any real results.
There are a few ideas that companies are inculcating into their organizations to enable transformation:
- Data – “Data culture” aims at democratizing data and increasing data literacy throughout a company. Including data in everyday workflows, therefore, should be the norm.
- Innovation – Innovative cultures are open to creative ideas and accept new suggestions from any level of the organization.
- Customer-First – As mentioned, customer-centric organizations prioritize the customer experience. Successful companies devote time and energy to analyzing, understanding, and designing this experience.
- Digital-First – Digital fluency is a must in today’s organization. It is also critical to develop digital-first strategies that exploit modern technology to its fullest extent.
To succeed, a cultural transformation should be focused on organizational strategy – that is, it should aim to help the company succeed in today’s competitive landscape.
These are some of the most important digital transformation trends emerging in 2019.
As we have seen, companies are racing to improve the customer experience, the workplace, and technology adoption programs.
However, with the emergence of new technologies – such as AI, RPA, AR, and IoT – companies should redouble their efforts.
Guiding change in the 2020s will be more difficult and more important than ever.
In the coming years, the landscape will become more digital, more competitive, and more fast-paced.
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