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[ARTICLE] What to expect from The European Digital Transformation Conference: Coming January 2021

Sam Button, Head of Growth, Roar Media

The response to Covid-19 in 2020 and the need to rapidly convert to a distributed workforce has accelerated digital transformation which is likely to continue throughout 2021, with IDC forecasting that investment in digital innovation will reach £5.5 trillion by 2023. 72% of IT Decision Makers believe that giving workers access to business apps anytime, any place, from any device is business-critical.

Being cloud native was an accelerating trend over the last 5 years, now it is a necessity. The pandemic broadened the desire for applications & data to be available on the cloud leading to further adoption of services spanning the entire digital workplace. A portion of companies had remote working & collaboration capabilities already available, others implemented these in response to Covid-19, causing a rush for digital transformation with a predicted three years of digital transformation happening over just 3 months from March-June. No matter where you were in your digital innovation journey, 2020 was a huge year with many projects being fast tracked and tested in real time. However, there is set to be little respite for digital teams moving into the new year.

2021 is set to be huge for digital innovation, companies have lingering projects and ambitions from this year and are also looking to be at the forefront of innovation moving into a hybrid, ‘new normal’. From our online Digital Transformation Conference Series it is clear that there is positivity & excitement from digital technologists about the potential of innovation with budgets being released and a renewed business interest in digital advocacy, mindset & emerging technologies.

Therefore, we are delighted to announce our first online event of the year, taking place on Thursday 28th January on European time zone & available OnDemand for our global community. The event is the 3rd summit in our suite of events sponsored by Google Chrome Enterprise who have been a great supporter of our events in 2020 with a real synergy and interest in remote working & end user computing from our speakers & audience.

The event is free to attend for the first 1,000 registrants & you can register via The Digital Transformation European Conference Website. We will be exploring the key topics of the event in greater detail over the next few weeks with the initial agenda announced on December 22nd, below if a brief introduction to the key themes & what to expect from the event.

The European Digital Transformation Conference | January 28th 2021 | Key Topics

Digital Leadership

Enterprise technology was vital to the seamless shift to remote working and minimal loss in productivity due to the pandemic. Digital leaders strategized and implemented fail safe methods of location agnostic collaboration & communication in a secure & efficient digital workplace whilst maintaining excellent customer experience & adapting to new patterns of consumer behaviour.

Rightly deserved plaudits have been lavished on digital teams as the backbone of all business operations this year and there is an excitement around the future of technology & digital strategy within business. Higher demands from the business is leading to increased budget availability, now is the time to be selective and smart with innovation with a huge emphasis on both employee & customer experience. 

Remote Tools & Tech

Gartner found that as a result of Covid 70% of business are looking to reduce costs through more effective use of technology. This significant shift in thinking and business wanting to make the most of their employees through technology has meant hardware has and will be needed to be sent direct to staff at their homes.

Getting devices to employees can lead to loss of productivity whilst they are getting set up and IT strain with having to update governance & security on each machine for information assurance. Google Chrome Enterprise offer zero-touch enrolment with IT administrators being able to provide tokens to access private domain credentials which can be revoked at any time. This enables faster deployment of secure devices with minimal downtime and a reduced IT cost.

Workplace Innovation

The digital workplace is constantly evolving and improving due to the importance which has been placed upon this in the past 10 months. We have gone from having a small number of staff operating remotely to the majority of companies, whilst this has stress tested the digital workplace it also provides a great way to get vital feedback from all employees across all business functions.

Harnessing employee feedback & building systems centralised to employee experience will lead to quicker innovations and fine tuning, leading to a more advanced digital workplace which is capable of driving businesses forward in a hybrid world of work.

Future of Work

The workplace is constantly changing due to the advent and adoption of new technologies, the transformation of the workplace in 2020 has been the biggest in history. Business systems & employees have now had time to adapt to new ways of working. However, the workforce & leadership will need a vast amount of support to maintain & thrive in a hybrid world. Ensuring the best performance & working environment for your employees will not require just technology but also training of both employees & leaders and mindfulness programs to engage the workforce to take care of their own wellbeing.

On the technology perspective, end users are increasingly relying on web based, single log in workplaces for communication & collaboration. Chrome OS & Chrome Browser benefit from updates every 6 weeks with features designed specifically on the desires and user experience research from their millions of users worldwide. These new features are all designed to enhance user experience and productivity, with recent iterations including the ability to organise your workspace with virtual desktops which you can switch between. They have also sought to overcome the problem of having multiple windows open at the same time with multi-tasking via quick split screen & external display options in Chrome Browser as well as a function for searching multiple tabs at the same time, enabling you to get to the right information faster.

Cloud Security

The move to remote working was a reaction from most businesses, with their strategies for this massively accelerated due to the pandemic. For other businesses they had provisions in place for remote work but this was designed for less daily users than have been accessing the systems this past year. It is not a surprising that a gap in security of businesses has been theorised due to the pandemic & overnight move to remote working.

It is important to look at the security of your business and assess if changes to your digital workplace have increased vulnerability. Ensuring devices and networks are secure can be difficult for IT management in a remote setting. Chrome OS provides updates to security protocols and governance overnight to all devices within the company and can remotely change security protocols to allow permissions, maintaining a transparent view of all device security and maintaining a secure workplace with regular updates based on research of millions of Chrome users worldwide.

If you can’t wait until January to hear about the benefits of Chrome Enterprise for your digital innovation, workplace & security, there is a Chrome OS Demo Day next week on Thursday 3rd December (which is also free to attend) you can see further details of the event & register here 

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