Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how a business operates and delivers value to customers. A business may take on digital transformation for several reasons. But by far, the most likely reason is that they have to: It’s a survival issue for many!
When thinking about 2020, IT leaders should be prepared not only to lead a greater cultural shift in the enterprise, but also to prepare for DT-centric shifts in the IT service provider sector, get real about data governance, embrace AI and insight-driven innovation, and explore more fully the benefits of public cloud adoption. Moreover, because of the pandemic COVID-19, business owners have to prepare for disruption in their business as well as prepare to protect their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. Let’s dig into these trends and takeaway advice for IT leaders in the second half of the year 2020.
*2H20: second half of the year 2020.
1. Better use of AI and machine learning
Machine-learning algorithms have also matured and expanded over the past year. AI will be the key to delivering business outcomes with digital transformation. According to PwC analytics, by 2030 AI Products will contribute more than $15.7 trillion to the global economy. IT leaders should incorporate them into their business-driven data analytics strategy in 2020 to more quickly and effectively synthesize and present insights gleaned from the massive amounts of enterprise data – far more than teams of human data scientists can ever hope to assimilate. This will provide their business stakeholders with a competitive first-mover advantage.
Post-COVID-19, consumer behaviors won’t go back to pre-pandemic norms. As companies begin to navigate the post-COVID-19 world as economies slowly begin to reopen, the application of artificial intelligence (AI) will be extremely valuable in helping them adapt to these new trends. AI tools analyze large amounts of data to learn underlying patterns, enabling computer systems to make decisions, predict human behavior, and recognize images and human speech, among many other things.
2. Expanding public cloud adoption
Over the past few years, most of the focus on moving to the cloud has been around adoption of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS as companies look to leverage the efficiency, scale, and elasticity of cloud services to optimize their spend and reduce cycle times. In 2020, the focus will shift more to enabling innovation. IT leaders will want to look at how they can leverage public cloud capabilities to accelerate value rather than investing time and money building them internally.
In the post-COVID-19 world, cloud technology is likely to receive a surge in implementation across all types of apps. As the virus spread, people were forced to work from home (WFH) and online learning models were implemented, the demand for cloud-based video conferencing and teaching has skyrocketed. Various cloud service vendors have actively upgraded their functions and provided resources to meet this demand. Moving forward, businesses and educational institutions are likely to continue to make use of this technology. As demand for this technology continues to grow, implementation of this technology into mobile applications for easier access will be key.
3. A shakeout as those that have invested in big data governance and analytics leapfrog their competitors
Big data is about to get even bigger. The amount of data that needs to be stored doubles every six months, and it’s increasingly in unstructured formats that make it difficult to integrate and synthesize into something meaningful.
During the COVID19 pandemic lock-down, when thousands of people are forced to work remotely, volumes of private data may become totally vulnerable or at least not protected in a proper way. New regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) demand more careful data management, according to analysts at Technology Business Research Inc (TBR). Without proper planning and management of data streams going in, numerous accessibility issues can result. Not only are they incredibly complex to get right, but over-preservation of data can result in significant data privacy and compliance risk.
4. Continued merger and acquisition activity in the IT outsourcing industry
Merger and acquisition activity in the IT outsourcing industry has accelerated as traditional IT service providers are acquiring engineering and digital marketing firms to bring new capabilities to their clients. Three-quarters of the 2,200 tech acquisitions made in the last year were analytics firms, digital solutions providers, engineering firms, or digital agencies. The M&A activity will be a major source of disruption for CIOs as they are challenged to recognize potential synergies, but more importantly, to integrate digital capabilities into their product lines.
5. Consultancies forming new digital partnerships
Those service providers that don’t acquire their way to digital prominence will partner to do so. No vendor can do it all, despite many positioning themselves as end-to-end service providers. Technology partners are and will remain an integral part of India-centric and consulting vendors’ go-to-market strategies, especially as clients seek off-the-shelf, minimally customizable solutions.
While alliances within the sector are nothing new, the digital transformation era may see vendors teaming up on marketing and developing dedicated, branded spaces within their innovation hubs or design studios. Some consultancies will likely need to become ‘frenemies’ and create three-way federated partnerships where each party plays to its strengths and provides depth in domain and delivery expertise, the report adds.
6. IT leaders take the long view on digital insights
Unfortunately, many early digital initiatives were reactive responses to a need in the moment. At this point in time, however, it makes more sense to take a step back at the start of new projects to ensure they deliver maximum value.
IT leaders should embrace what is called “insight-first” innovation. Insight-first innovation focuses not only on solving the immediate need, but also on maximizing the long-term potential of organizational data. By intentionally building in data capture, every digital initiative presents an opportunity to improve and democratize business intelligence across the enterprise.
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