Over the past few decades, we have seen the rise of the internet, mobile technology, and AI … among other things.
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Today, new technologies continue to emerge and transform the economy.
Currently, AI and automation are making their debut, promising new levels of efficiency and convenience.
In the years to come, we will also see the spread of AR, VR, drone technology, and autonomous vehicles.
These technologies will continue to revolutionize the way live, work, and conduct business.
The Evolution of Digital Transformation
The adoption of new technology is a rocky road.
Digital disruption has upended entire industries, thanks to innovative companies such as Amazon.
New industries, such as the mobile phone market, have been created seemingly out of thin air.
Each new industry evolution compels new transformations in business technology and strategy.
Here are a few examples:
The World Wide Web
The emergence of the world wide web itself marked a watershed moment in history.
It opened up new avenues of communication, collaboration, and business.
The Dot-Com Boom (or bubble) launched countless new businesses online.
Though many failed, it transformed business strategies from offline endeavors to web-centric.
The Mobile Revolution
Mobile technology marks another evolution of digital transformation strategies.
As customer eyeballs moved from desktop screens to mobile screens, companies began realizing the value in “mobile-first digital strategies.”
Mobile-first still predominates today.
However, it is being replaced by another approach…
The AI Revolution
Today, we sit on the cusp of an AI revolution.
Automation, machine learning, and deep learning hold great promise for businesses.
This technology trend opens up many new growth opportunities – from brand-new technologies to enhanced efficiency in existing processes.
Many also expect that it will disrupt the job market, particularly low-skilled positions.
For this reason, it is critical to train workers – through digital adoption platforms (DAPs), for instance – to meet marketplace demands.
However, the AI revolution isn’t the end of the road.
There’s still more to come…
The Future of Digital Transformation
In the coming years, we will see many other technologies disrupt, transform, and evolve the global economy.
Here are some of the biggest upcoming trends:
The Internet of Things (IoT) represents the integration of machinery with sensors and the internet.
This technology will fuel the growth of new industries and a new way of life.
At the consumer end, IoT can mean extra levels of convenience – such as refrigerators that automatically order milk when you’re running low. Or AC units that tell you when they need repair.
In the B2B space, the cost savings can be immense. Sensors embedded in power grids, for example, can identify points of failure, speeding up recovery time.
There are countless applications of this technology.
And, when its potential becomes fully developed, expect IoT to disrupt industries across the board.
Drone technology will also have a significant impact on daily life.
With the funding of giants such as Amazon and Google, this technology will further cement the dominance of online retail.
Today, for instance, Amazon aims for 30-minute drone delivery.
Drone technology can also be applied to other areas – Amazon has also proposed using its drones to passively monitor homes for security purposes.
Autonomous vehicles will also overturn many of today’s biggest industries.
From automated freight delivery to automated taxi cabs, self-driving vehicles will significantly affect any business that relies upon human drivers.
As with the other digital transformation trends mentioned here, there will be pros and cons.
Along with significant savings and convenience come displaced jobs.
Businesses, though, should keep their eye on the prize and stay focused on new opportunities.
After all, in an evolving world, those that adapt are the ones most likely to survive.
VR and AR
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two other trends that will drastically change our daily lives.
Today, VR is not mainstream. But its applications are being researched in a variety of areas, from online shopping to healthcare.
Many of us know about games – and that will certainly be a massive industry.
However, it is also finding a foothold in other industries, such as construction.
3D printers can reproduce solid objects out of plastic, metal, and even glass.
There are many, many potential applications of 3D printing.
It can be used to fabricate construction materials, machine parts, and more.
In the coming years, we can expect this technology to continue evolving.
As it does, its applications will also continue to evolve.
Conclusion: Technology Drives Strategy
Digital transformation is driven by technology trends, such as those covered here.
These trends are disrupting businesses in every industry, of every size. And they will continue to do so in the coming years and decades.
To keep up, businesses must evolve their digital transformation strategies.
They must adopt digital technology early, innovate, and push new ideas into the marketplace quickly.
In a world defined by speed and change, only those with the most digital dexterity will survive.
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