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[ARTICLE] Digital Transformation Trends 2021 – 3 Things We Can Expect

Chris Towers, Founder & Head of Events, Roar Media

It’s that time of year again where there is much speculation around business and technology trends that will shape organisations moving through the year. I’ve had the great fortune of hearing from some brilliant digital business leaders over the last months of 2020 and ascertained from some exciting talks that there are three common themes that we may see for the enterprise as we move into 2021. Unlike many articles around this subject area it doesn’t necessarily need to be groundbreaking emerging technology that needs highlighting, more the practical elements that we actually see. There are plenty more ‘trends’ that are around but I have briefly looked at the three below; agility, customer experience and workplace transformation.

Agile reshaping the organisation

Agile is a word that bobs around multiple times at almost every event that we run in and around digital business transformation and it often divides audiences. The truth is that agile is a commonly used practice within many tech savvy organisations that rely on the methodology for any kind of software development and also put application of thinking in other places in the business. Agile business models and culture now runs rife within all parts of the organisation; marketing, operations, finance, HR and sales and we can expect business leaders to further implement the ideology throughout. Change management focus will rely on agile, and there will be much change management throughout 2021 as organisations look to restructure. Investment in agile portfolio management tools for example will hit highs this year with agile expanding in large parts.

Focus on customer and employee experience

Organisations throughout 2020 went about rapidly developing workflow applications and automations as part of their response to the global pandemic and huge shift to remote working. Many of the digital business leaders that we connected with towards the end of 2020 emphasises their plans and strategies to use a mix of low-code, remote process automation and digital technologies to improve both their customer and employee experiences – low-code is the expected technology to drive this as leaders can roll out these improvements with more ease and less reliance on software development and cloud architecture (and also at speed). Legacy applications that are outdated will be replaced by these low-code options for businesses within 2021.

Digital workplace transformation

It goes without saying that 2020 disrupted how organisations workforces operated across the globe, this is now nothing new; the rise of the remote workforce, working from home, those Zoom calls (!), was all a huge part of 2020 and how the workplace and workforce evolves as we hopefully exit the pandemic is going to be of significant focus this year. Many leaders discussed what a hybrid working environment may look like. However 2021 will bring about another wave of digital transformation, revolutionising how we work, organisation efficiency and bringing further automation to the enterprise. AI and Machine Learning will have a big part to play within the digital workplace as will cloud and data literacy. We can expect major focus from board level on the evolution and re-design of future workplaces and office work.

You can find out more on such ideas by attending our online Digital Transformation Conferences running as one day summits throughout the start of the year. Registration is free for our upcoming online series to kick off 2021, limited places available!

The Digital Transformation Conference | Europe | January 28

The Digital Transformation Conference | North America | February 25

The Digital Transformation Conference | UK | March 4

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