Global Digital Transformation Trends for 2023
2022 was an eventful year with various geo-political events affecting the global business landscape. Global business strategy and operations were duly impacted by various factors including the Russia-Ukraine war, rising inflation, the potential looming recession, and the evolving pandemic. Despite these challenges, or perhaps because of them, businesses have continued to invest in digital transformation, building greater resiliency and adaptability into their organizations, supplier relationships, and decision-support capabilities to enable the level of intelligence and flexibility needed to address changing demands and market dynamics.
With reports suggesting that the global markets heading into a recession, companies would look to find ways to free up their budget to continue their investment in digital transformation. This would help companies become better operationally to differentiate their businesses, but also look to have longer-term cost savings better counter the potential effects of the global downturn. A similar trend was found in the COVID pandemic - negative impacts on the business environment created by the pandemic result in the acceleration of digital transformation and we expect the impending recession to also boost digital transformation investment and efforts. As per a report1 from McKinsey companies that scaled their use of digital technologies prior to the COVID-19 pandemic found themselves in a better position to respond to the crises—94% were able to keep their operations running, and 56% said these technologies were critical to their crisis’s response. Against the backdrop of the impending recession, the following are the key global digital transformation trends as we look to head into 2023.
2023 Key Global Digital Transformation Trends
Frictionless digital experience
For 2023 and beyond, designing and selecting engaging, connected, and frictionless digital experiences to attract and retain customers and employees will be very important for CIOs. Customers and employees have lots of choices, and the best of those choices will provide simple, connected, intuitive experiences that enhance productivity. We expect everything to be connected in our personal lives (smart homes, automated check-ins at airports and hospitals as we approach the facilities, etc) and this is beginning to extend to smart cities and smart countries. In addition, harnessing the power of data, powered by flexible and smart APIs, and driving the next best action with data will continue to be very important.
Business Process Automation (RPA, workflows, and business decisions)
Companies would look to continue their transition from paper-based and manual processes to automated decision-making capabilities which pre-defined triggers. Removing human inputs helps in decreasing errors, increases the speed of delivery, boosts quality, minimizes costs, and simplifies the business process. It incorporates software tools, people, and processes to create a completely automated workflow. Companies would usually look at historical data to make business decisions. This is fast-changing as companies bring together data from both internal and external sources as part of an automated process to get those insights in real-time, which allows business executives to make more informed decisions. Companies still have substantial headroom to automate many repetitive tasks that aren’t yet mediated by computers—particularly in sectors and regions where IT marches at a slower pace—and to interlink “islands of automation” and so give managers and customers the ability to do new things.
Low-Code and No-Code platforms continue to gain importance
Heading into 2023, Low code and No-code development platforms will continue to take the center stage in the application development industry with companies joining the bandwagon and encouraging citizen developers to fast-track their digital transformation initiatives. Accelerated by the effects of the ongoing pandemic, there has been significant adoption across companies of various industries and sectors, so much so that some of the fiercest skeptics acknowledge that the no-code has perhaps matured at the right time. This revolution is fast bridging the digital divide and empowering IT teams and citizen developers with the tools they need to fast-track their digital transformation journey. We have developed our own in-house No-Code application development platform. Be sure to check out our in-house No-Code platform QuickReach (https://www.quickreach.co) and Low-code platform Xamun (https://www.xamun.com) to learn more about our offering.
Comprehensive digital experience strategies to drive greater customer loyalty and employee retention
In 2023, organizations will be under more pressure than ever to deliver seamless customer experiences that drive growth, safeguard revenues and ensure customer loyalty. However, they will increasingly realize that employee experience is equally critical to their success. Research shows that 86% of IT leaders now say the knowledge an organization provides its employees and customers is as important as its products and services. Organizations will combine customer (CX) and employee (EX) experience initiatives to increase revenue and retain scarce talent so they can deliver more agile and resilient business outcomes. To support this, organizations will focus on integration and automation strategies designed to connect the systems and processes that support experiences across the enterprise. Immersive UX enables users to experience information through various sensory modalities, such as sight and sound, which can be leveraged to create truly immersive experiences. Examples include chatbots and voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, etc., augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), holograms and avatars, advanced speech recognition and natural language processing (NLP), among others. The important thing to remember is that immersive UX can be applied across all industries with varying levels of complexity based on the type of technology being used as well as whether it’s being deployed on devices or via cloud solutions.
Increased adoption of AI and ML-optimized stacks to drive real-time decisions
Using real-time feedback on new data and goals, adaptive AI allows for quick adaptation to the constantly evolving needs of the real-world business landscape. The value provided by adaptive AI is apparent, but implementing these systems requires automated decision-making systems to be fully re-engineered, which will have a dramatic impact on process architecture for many companies. In the year ahead, I will also be looking to see more focus on hyper-automation – where organizations rapidly identify, vet solutions, and automate as many business processes as possible.
Integrated cybersecurity to protect from increasing threats and complexity
Cybersecurity continues to be a top C-suite and board-level priority. Across all industries, attacks are growing in number and complexity, with 80 percent of technology executives reporting that their organizations are struggling to mount a solid defense. For all enterprises, data has long become the most valuable resource, thus making cybersecurity the ultimate priority for all IT services, including outsourcing software development. As reported on UN Cyber Crime on Rise During Pandemic, the UN reported about a 600% increase in malicious emails during the current crisis. It is the growing digital dependency that increases businesses’ vulnerability to cyberattacks as every 39 seconds, one cyber-attack takes place around the world — analyzed by the UN in the same report.
Technology solutions for remote work and culture
Technology is on center stage, now more than ever. Work flexibility is here to stay and is a win for inclusivity, productivity, and modernization. We will see a growing divide between those who take advantage of this opportunity versus those who lag. Aspects that will be most critical include collaboration and flexible working tools, portfolio management, knowledge management, data insights, workflow automation, virtualization, and securing a distributed flexible workforce. Attempts will be made to address culture with technology solutions, but that’s not well-formed yet.
Xamun: Making sense of digital transformation in 2023 and beyond
While there are innumerable forces at play that are impacting the global business environment, businesses would continue to bet on going digital and building capabilities that would keep allowing them to navigate through uncertain times. While the above trends highlight some of the aspects that might gain center stage, digital transformation has always been about people more than technology. It’s important that businesses keep their employees and customers as they continue on this arduous digital transformation journey.
What your organization needs is an encompassing digital strategy to help you make sense of emerging trends and technologies and to ensure that you make the investment in the most appropriate technology platforms. This could then be complemented by a few quick wins to help the executive management appreciate the investments they are putting in the transformation. Reach out to one of our digital transformation evangelists HERE to make sense of all these trends and to ensure that you are truly prepared for an uncertain and digital future.