The world of business is changing. Companies that were long-standing staples in the community are being replaced. The neighbourhood book store is now an online global mega-conglomerate. For companies today continuing business in the same way as years gone by, it is a recipe for failure.
Digital transformation is rapidly overtaking the corporate landscape. Successful projects are focused on more than just transformation, for transformation’s sake. They attempt to accomplish a specific goal.
Often, the projects are built around customers and customer expectations. Some of these projects use AI and machine learning. Other transformation projects are related to efficiencies and general improvements. Let's look at some of the digital transformation trends to look forward to as we start a brand new decade.
AI and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is growing by leaps and bounds. Regardless of the industry or vertical, AI and Machine Learning (ML) have a place and can be easily integrated. Within the contact center space specifically, they are both proving ever more critical. The introduction of chatbots and bots, in general, have radically transformed businesses.
Data points to a 95% growth trajectory for AI as it continues to further show its usefulness. In the customer service space alone, it is expected that 25% of businesses will be utilizing virtual customer assistants by the end of the year. The use of AI and ML services remove simple tasks from teams. This allows them to have more time to focus on more complex tasks and issues.
AI and ML are not in any way restricted to the call center space alone. Robotic hands are becoming ever more familiar on the shop floor and within the warehouse. Companies can perform routine operations 24/7/365, which results in higher efficiencies.
Of course, AI is also useful within the financial services areas. Here, it can help detect fraud. Several organizations offer products that can protect organizations from fraudulent expense claims. This can save larger organizations millions annually!
Another significant benefit to AI and ML is with data analytics. These tools can let businesses analyze and review complex data sets in a fraction of the time. Some of this is due to the improved processing power of modern computers. A larger part of this speed is due to the growth in the algorithms themselves.
Blockchain Beyond Crypto
Blockchain technology was popularized by cryptocurrencies. These currencies include Bitcoin, Ripple and Ethereum. While these currencies arrived with much fanfare and hype, they've yet to live up to their expectations. There is still a very high potential future for them, but the blockchain is more than just crypto.
Blockchain is a technology that lets users send and share information securely and privately. Each block is simply a piece of data. These blocks are added together in order - hence a blockchain. However, the secret to a blockchain is the fact that it uses a distributed ledger system. This simply means that the information is shared among many different hosts. The digital information is distributed, but not edited. If one block is changed, every subsequent block would need to be changed before any new ones could be mined. Otherwise, it would be deemed as fraudulent behavior and the attempted changes would be discarded.
Now, the technology behind blockchain can be used for more than just financial dealings. While it is simple to envision it as a means of transferring property and value, it can also be programmed.
The point to realize is that with that programming, it is possible to set up specific actions within a chain. These actions only initiate if a specific variable is met. A great example of this is something called a smart contract.
Historically, lawyers needed to be involved at all stages of contract negotiation. This was not only time consuming, but it was also expensive. However, by writing a self-executing contract into a blockchain - a smart contract - it is possible to automate the process. Both parties are protected just like any other legal arrangement.
Blockchain is still only starting its journey. For example, think about blockchain in healthcare. Having secure, private, medical records helps reduce fraud risk.
Similarly, within education, blockchain can be used to protect student records. It can also be used to record test results. There are many different ways that it will be used in the decades ahead of us.
Digital Operating Models
As digital transformation continues to take companies forward, one key fact is that data will become ever more valuable. Big data is only going to become more important.
Companies need to understand how to use these reams of data that are being collected. They also need to have a way of storing and sharing the data. With the addition of mobile technology, this data avalanche is only going to grow.
With the expected rollout of new technologies like 5G, consumers are going to be adding more and more data to the cloud. Currently, the amount of data that needs to be stored doubles every six months. While data storage is cheaper now than it has ever been, simply dumping in files in an unstructured format will not work. Organizations on the cutting edge of data management know that proper strategies are needed.
There are many other variants that you might be more familiar with in your lexicon. Perhaps you've heard of SaaS - Software as a Service? How about PaaS - Platform as a Service?
XaaS is a quick shortcut to talking about Anything as a Service. XaaS is only gaining momentum and moving ever faster as more service providers build cloud capabilities.
As this decade continues to move forward, we are going to see more businesses move into the cloud. Also, more services will be made available from the cloud. The benefits of this technology cannot be discounted.
The transition to the cloud for services previously on-premises, lets companies better utilize their resources. This allows companies to focus on their strengths and boost their efficacy.
Konverge has been around for over 26 years and we are on the cutting edge of technological change. With a solid core team of data architects, designers and programmers, we know what works and what doesn't in terms of automating your processes.
Based in Toronto, our team has worked with some of Canada's largest organizations. As a custom software developer, Konverge Digital Solutions is familiar with Agile custom software development and the Waterfall approach. Experienced in web application development and custom software solutions, Konverge can help you make your 2020 digital transformation ideas a reality.