Digital transformation is the adoption of digital technologies that help introduce newer business models or change how existing businesses operate. Earlier the pace of the end-to-end process from building a technology-driven strategy to its implementation would take years. Often, businesses would spend 80% of their budget and resources on KTLO (keeping the Lights On), i.e., maintaining existing systems and infrastructure. However, the impact of COVID-19 on businesses almost quadrupled the pace of adopting the latest digital transformation trends.
According to Statista, spending on digital transformation technologies is expected to reach $1.8 trillion in 2022. The chart below shows the change in spending on digital transformation over the years.
Spending on Digital Transformation Technologies and Services worldwide from 2017 to 2024:
If businesses prioritize spending on digital transformation in 2022, what technologies should they pick?
This blog gives a birds-eye view of the emerging digital transformation trends for 2022.
Top 9 Digital Transformation Trends for 2022
This blog discusses the top digital transformation trends that a business can act upon to be on the winning side in the leaders vs laggards race.
1. 5G and IoT
5G is the fifth generation technology for mobile networks. 5G’s primary characteristics include multi-peak data speeds, low latency, improved user experience, better connectivity and availability, and improved network bandwidth.
5G combined with edge computing can lead to interesting innovations. For example, IBM will offer cloud services to run 5G networks to Verizon and Telefonica.
In turn, technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), drone-initiated inspections, and video inspections will automate everyday tasks while averting any network issues.
Some of the use cases of 5G in the IoT domain include:
- Connected Automobiles: 5G’s low latency and high bandwidth will enable vehicles to store and initiate bi-directional communication.
- Shipping and Logistics: Easy and accurate tracking of shipped items. This will allow updating precise delivery timelines, which, in turn, will improve customer experience
- Remote Healthcare: 5G connectivity will also enable seamless remote patient monitoring. Also, health experts can provide assistance at any time and from anywhere irrespective of their location.
2. Zero-Trust Security
Zero Trust is a security model based on the principle of maintaining strict access controls and not trusting anyone by default, even those already inside the network perimeter. — CloudFlare
With many organizations adopting the remote-first culture, the risk of cyberattacks has increased. Thus it becomes essential to introduce zero-trust security to prove resilient.
Organizations are already planning/implementing migration to a cloud-based, zero-trust security model. The new security solution will help establish trust, authority, brand reputation, and initiate safe B2B communications.
Zero-trust security aids in securing applications, data, identity, endpoints, networks, and even infrastructure.
The three primary principles of zero-trust security include:
3. Software 2.0
Software 2.0 is a technology that automatically creates source code from the requirements document. This can be done through Deep Learning (DL) that helps build neural networks for automating code drafting.
Software 2.0 is still at the market entry stage and to implement it, businesses will have to gain expertise with DataOps (Data Operations) and MLOps (Machine Learning Operations).
DataOps is a process followed for data teams to improve data quality and the efficiency and accuracy of data analytics activities. On the other hand, MLOps is a part of DataOps and helps in enhancing machine learning operations, introducing automation, and increasing emphasis on understanding business requirements.
4. Data Fabric
According to MarketsandMarkets, the global data fabric market size is expected to grow to USD 4.2 billion by 2026.
What is Data Fabric? Gartner explains data fabric using an interesting analogy. Consider a self-driving car and two-related scenarios:
- The driver manually drives while the automated features are not put into use
- The driver loses focus and the automated features get activated and make course corrections whenever required
This is similar to how data fabric works. The data fabrics help make suggestions that make data teams more productive (whenever required). When the data experts are satisfied with automated course corrections, the lever can be handed over to the data fabrics entirely. This helps the data teams focus on their core activities while the monotonous tasks are managed by data fabrics.
Hyper Automation aims to automate business and IT processes to a large extent. Whether it is RPA (Robotic Process Automation), low-code/no-code adoption, or AI and machine learning — businesses plan to upscale investments in automation.
Some of the hyper automation-oriented initiatives include:
a. RPA (Robotic Process Automation)
According to Deloitte, 93% of businesses plan to deploy RPA by 2023.
Robotic Process Automation handles repetitive tasks at work using software robots. RPA helps increase speed to market, reduces expenditure, and increases business operations scalability.
b. Low-Code Platforms
Low-Code platforms offer “drag and drop” features to build software. There is minimum coding knowledge required, which makes it an innovative platform for non-tech folks.
Low-code tools also aid in API integrations, which allow easy integrations without developers’ involvement.
Low-code Platform Example: Airtable is a low-code platform that allows building applications by offering drag and drop functionalities. Airtable’s worth now stands at $11 billion, which validates the popularity and adoption rate of low-code platforms.
6. Total Experience
By 2026, 60% of large enterprises will use total experience to transform their business models to achieve world-class customer and employee advocacy levels. — Gartner
Total experience (TX) combines user experience (UX), customer experience (CX), and employee experience (EX) to enhance brand impression at a holistic level.
Top Two Reasons for Pursuing Digital Initiatives
- enhance customer experience (58%)
- improve employee productivity (57%)
One may find various CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or CXM (Customer Experience Management) applications. With the evolution of TX, you will notice the emergence of disruptive applications that solve the pain points of customers and employees alike.
7. Everything as a Service (XaaS)
Everything-as-a-service or Anything-as-a-Service is the latest digital transformation trend that promotes the “as-a-service” model and delivers anything to the customers. XaaS goes beyond the traditional cloud service model, i.e., SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, and includes more services such as:
- Storage as a Service (STaaS)
- Containers as a Service (CaaS)
- Function as a Service (FaaS)
- Security as a Service (SECaaS)
- Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS)
- Video as a Service (VaaS)
XaaS also paves the way for “Servitization”, i.e., offering a combination of products and services in one package. A simplified example of servitization is Amazon’s Alexa where AI-driven services are offered along with portable hardware products.
The latest real-world example of XaaS comes in the form of a partnership between Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Veeam. Both HPE and Veeam have proved expertise in safeguarding data, ensuring data availability, and maintaining business continuity and resilience.
With this partnership in place, Veeam and HPE aim to safeguard your data irrespective of where you position it (on or off-premise). The data protection services are offered through the “as-a-service” model.
The partnership between Veeam and HPE helps our end users reduce downtime, increase agility and help achieve digital transformation. — Jim Jackson, Chief Marketing Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
8. Generative AI
Generative AI is a branch of artificial intelligence that uses existing content (images, texts, audio, video) to create similar yet original content.
According to Gartner, generative AI will account for 10% of all data produced, up from less than 1% today by 2025.
The most popular example of Generative AI are Face apps where the user provides their image as input, and the app shows how they would look across different age groups.
There are three different types of techniques that we can leverage for implementing Generative AI, which include:
- GAN (Generative Adversarial Network): Comprises of two neural networks, i.e., generative network and discriminator network
- Transformers: Include GPT3, LaMDA, and Wu-Dao
- Variational Autoencoders: is a type of artificial neural network architecture
9. AR Cloud
AR Cloud (Augmented Reality Cloud) is a digital 3D copy of the real-world environment created using its spatial properties. We also call it the digital twin of any real-world environment and also enables sharing the experience with multiple users in real-time.
AR Cloud will disrupt the complete AR value chain, predicting growth of US $102 billion by 2024. — ABI Research
Though the success of AR Cloud will depend on the maturity of 5G networks, businesses such as Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon, Visualix, and Scape technologies are leveling up investments in the technology.
Digital Transformation is the adoption of digital technology by an organization that will, in turn, helps trigger disruption and drive revenues. Every year, promising digital transformation trends emerge that hold the potential to accelerate business growth.
This blog discussed the top nine digital transformation trends for 2022, which include: 5G and IoT, zero-trust security, software 2.0, Data Fabric, Hyperautomation, total experience, everything as a service, Generative AI, and AR Cloud.
No matter what technology you plan on picking, the idea is to innovate and introduce a unique selling point (USP) that will contribute towards quantifying ROIs.
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