Digital transformation and digitalization are driving most (business) trends in 2018. Not surprisingly, digital trends are perceived as key factors for future success. To ensure you are aware of the promising opportunities, here are the five digital trends that will drive your business success in 2020 and beyond.
1. Artificial Intelligence
This technology is not new in 2018. Probably you already came in touch with artificial intelligence (AI) privately or in some of your business units. But did you notice that this technology has crept in your life for quite some time and actually affected the way you work and do business?
Until 2020 and beyond it is expected that artificial intelligence will empower several business unities and help them to be more efficient and successful. On the one side, this technology is able to support your business internally. For instance, a study showed that around 44% of companies surveyed use artificial intelligence to detect and prevent security intrusions in 2017. This number has already increased this year and will further extend. Moreover, business management like scheduling conferences and team meetings will be supported by artificial intelligence. Also accounting and finance can be taken over by this technology, as it can for example read thousands of pages of contracts and agreements and summarize them based on your criteria.
On the other side, artificial intelligence is ready to represent your brand externally.
For instance it can optimize your customer service with chat bots, which allow your brand to become available in the most popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger without spending time and effort on these channels. Furthermore, artificial intelligence can be used to support marketing and sales departments. There are already different tools available that apply AI for finding the best target group for any advertisement, optimizing this ad and managing budgets across several platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.
Even HR can benefit from artificial intelligence – the tool Restless Bandit for example automates the tasks of screening applications, finding matches, mailing them and scheduling face-to-face interviews in order to find the most suitable talents for open positions.
Basically, artificial intelligence reduces the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish special tasks, whereby it helps to optimize the process. This promising technology will definitely keep you competitive in 2020 and beyond.
2. Live Streaming Video Content
This technological trend is in comparison to artificial intelligence not that big, but it has a huge impact on your customer relationship. Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, reaching your target group with live streams is easier than ever before. Consumers value this kind of marketing, as it gives them an opportunity to connect with their favourite brands in a personal and honest manner.
Today, companies showing personality become more successful than those that don’t. It is expected that transparency will become even more important in the next years. Live streaming allows companies to separate themselves from their competitors and therefore drives business success in 2020.
3. Connected Clouds
Companies realize that saving all their resources on a private or public cloud or on a data centre only is not the best option since it is allied with high risk and low flexibility. The solution is a connected hybrid cloud system that unites these cloud services and allows to manage and monitor all of them.
Due to the rapidly increasing amount of data, it is of high significance to ensure data protection on one hand and give employees the opportunity to work with this data on the other hand. The tool Unitas Global represents only one of many providers that recognized this issue and provided a solution that consists of private cloud, public cloud, connectivity, orchestration, monitoring and management. Data storage will be a big topic in 2019 and the digital trend of connected clouds will even grow in 2020 and beyond.
4. Data Utilization
As indicated in the previous trend, big data is a hot topic since years and its relevance will even increase until 2020 and beyond. Data is of high significance when companies want to make good decisions about products, services, employees, strategy and more. Due to the digitalization, it is easier than before to collect data. The problem today is that the amount of data collected increases massively whereas most of it will never be used. A recent study has shown that we have created 90% of the world’s data in the past year and only 1% is used effectively.
Obviously, using data would make your business more successful as you will be able to understand the forces behind decisions. Therefore, one of the digital trends for the next decade will deal with tools that can analyse, evaluate and use data effectively. Companies like Microsoft, SAP, SAS and Salesforce already occupy market leadership in data used as business analytics. Other tools will follow, as this digital trend is expected to grow until companies can actually use all the data they collected. Nevertheless, it will grow slowly – until 2020, it is likely that around 3 – 4% of the data collected can be used effectively.
5. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality has a comeback in 2018 and is expected to take over a huge part in business until 2020 and beyond. As you may have noticed the number of companies using augmented reality for sales and marketing already increased. With augmented reality, products like cars, furniture and clothing can easily be brought into the house of customers which gives them a better understanding of how these products look like in their homes or on their bodies – a sales argument that can increase the business success.
It is expected that augmented reality will eventually pair directly with developments in artificial intelligence and location-based services. Advances in these technologies can create even more usage for consumers, as advertisers would have the opportunity for placing virtual products around us in the real world.
Virtual reality goes even further and provides additional advantages for several business fields. As we have lined out in our article about digital training methods, virtual reality can be valuable for educational purposes since it can immerse trainees in any situation that can be simulated on a computer.
As we all know, learning is more effective when trainees practice and apply new knowledge. Therefore, virtual reality will increase the effectiveness of trainings, which will further increase your business success. A perfect example is the public speaking training system developed by Oculus’s VirtualSpeech. But virtual reality can also be used for more risky trainings, where mistakes in real life would be dramatic – for example it can be used from pilots or medicals, who have to make life-or-death choices in stressful situations.
In addition to training purposes, virtual reality can also be used for prototyping and designing new products. Every characteristic of a part, process or mechanism can be simulated and tested with less costs than actually producing it. It is not only cost-effective – testing before building it is also more quickly and safe. These and more arguments show that virtual and augmented reality are promising digital trends for business success in 2020 and beyond.
Interested in further thoughts about these digital trends?
Now you know all five digital trends that may be an investment worth for the future success if your business. If you are interested in further thoughts about (disruptive) technology at work, join our panel discussion at the Global Female Leaders Summit 2019!