Top 7 Digital Transformation Trends to Watchout for in 2020 by DataVLT

Nikki Natividad
Nikki Natividad


Digital transformation is an ever-evolving endeavour. Learn about the latest trends shaping tomorrow's landscape and stay ahead of your competition. 

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2020 Trends in Digital Transformation
     #1: Data Analytics or Nil 
     #2: Hyper-Automation 
     #3: Year of 5G
     #4: Rising Confidence in Digital Services
     #5: Blockchain beyond Cryptocurrency
     #6: XaaS or Everything-as-a-Service
     #7: Conversational platforms 
The Journey Towards Digital Transformation Continues 

We've been writing about digital transformation multiple times in 2019. It's a critical effort for all businesses as they shift away from manual processes, adopt new technologies and scale their impact. Globally, companies have been working towards complete digital transformation and some have seen significant improvements. For instance, Microsoft shifted from offering traditional softwares to more fluid cloud systems for personal and enterprise accounts, which resulted in a hike in revenues from US$93.5 billion in 2014 to US$122 billion in 2019. The benefits are myriad depending on where you focus your efforts from improved operational efficiency, customer experience and even transforming company culture positively. 

There are tons of new solutions and groundbreaking technologies promising digital transformation in the market, but these are the ones we see making a real impact on businesses in the next year or so. Here are seven digital transformation trends to watch out for in 2020.  

2020 Trends in Digital Transformation

#1: data analytics or nil

Almost every company worth their salt has invested in data analytics. Pioneered years ago by the successes of Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify, other companies have quickly followed suit. We’re seeing its applications across several industries.  

In the F&B industry, for example, fast-food giant McDonalds acquired Dynamic Yield, a Tel Aviv-based big data company, for US$300 million. In the service industry, CRM service provider Salesforce acquired data visualization software company, Tableau. And tech company Google acquired business intelligence and analytics startup, Looker, to supplement its Google Cloud Platform (GCP).  

In 2020, data analytics will no longer be an “added-value” — it will be a necessity to remain competitive in today and tomorrow’s ever-evolving tech landscape. Companies need artificial intelligence and machine learning to navigate the vast, churning seas of information and stay relevant.  

#2: hyper-automation 

Digital companies are familiar with automation — there’s an automation tool for almost everything these days. HR tools to automate payrolls and manage employee leaves. Sales CRM tools to keep up with leads and convert them into sales. The benefits of automating highly manual and repetitive tasks are far too obvious to miss out on. This year, we’ll be seeing automation not just in bits and pieces, but implemented across organisations.  

Hyper-automation refers not just to the range of tools that can be automated, but also to the sophistication of the automation, which usually involves machine learning and artificial intelligence to work. No single tool can replace humans, so hyper-automation requires a combination of tools to drive change.  

An unintended but useful bi-product of hyper-automation is the creation of a digital twin of the organisation (DTO). A DTO allows organisations to visualise how different functions and processes interact to drive value, thereby providing real-time, continuous intelligence about the organisation. As a result, hyper-automation and its DTO drive significant business opportunities.  

#3: Year of 5G

Let’s face it, 5G (or the fifth generation of cellular network technology) is a big deal. The largest telecommunications providers like Qualcomm, AT&T, Verizon, Nokia, Ericsson, and Huawei all have big plans of rolling out 5G networks, country by country. Qualcomm anticipates that 5G will already be broadly available across major metropolitan cities in 2020. The Singapore government predicts that 50% of the city-state will be covered with a standalone network by 2022.   

Meanwhile, several android manufacturers have already released 5G-ready smartphones in early anticipation. Apple, on the other hand, is gearing up for massive shipments of 5G iPhones in 2020, and expects to ship out at least 80 million of these handsets. 5G also makes edge computing possible. Edge computing, or the infrastructure that enables data processing as close to the source as possible, is recognised by many as the next significant enterprise tech after cloud computing. We think that 5G will make edge computing much more accessible in the near future.  

For end-users, the availability of 5G brings faster broadband speeds and more reliable mobile networks, which in turn supports the possibilities of an even better-connected future. Think: future cities, next generation smart transport, and the industry 5.0 revolution where man and machine reconcile and find ways to work together to improve the means and efficiencies of production. 

#4: rising confidence in digital services 

According to the Digital transformation for 2020 and beyond report conducted by EY, the global telecommunications industry is poised to see more opportunities in digital services. They cite a broad range of service areas ranging from traditional TV and video services to more progressive digital identity services as potential revenue streams. This is due to the gradually expanding flow of telco Internet-of-Things (IoT) contracts being awarded globally. 

While there is a growing sense of confidence, doubt still persists. Particularly for digital services outside of established market propositions, such as TV. Participants cited a lack of more specialized business models as well as supply-side challenges in standardization and regulation as contributors to their hesitation.  

Still, expectations surrounding new use cases in IoT are growing, and we should see more growth opportunities for IoT digital services in 2020 and beyond.

#5: blockchain beyond cryptocurrency

For a time, blockchain was the big thing that everyone was talking about. A distributed ledger that records irrevocable transactions in real-time has a whole bevvy of potential applications.  

Banks, in particular, saw the opportunity to use blockchain to increase efficiency and security, and lower infrastructure costs. However, blockchain technology remained immature for enterprise-wide deployment due to various technical issues.  

In 2020, we see that changing. With big industry players like Amazon Web Services now offering Blockchain-as-a-Service, it will be much easier to implement and manage scalable blockchain networks. Hopefully, this opens the doors to blockchain’s real-use applications outside of cryptocurrency. 

Another interesting segment that blockchain is expected to disrupt is data science. While the correlation between the two seemed unclear at first, the relationship is actually synergistic. Where data science deals in the scientific analysis of processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data, blockchain works by recording and validating data. Soon, we’ll be seeing more implications of blockchain in data science.  

#6: XaaS or Everything-as-a-Service

SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, BaaS—nearly everything these days can be delivered “-as-a-Service.” And this is no exaggeration. In the next year or so, Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) will gain even more momentum across industries.  

The XaaS model is where every aspect of a service provider’s engagement is delivered as a service. A big example of this Hewlett Packard. The company announced that everything in their portfolio will be available “-as-a-service” by 2022 through a variety of subscription, pay-per-use, and consumption-driven offerings. This is a big move, and it’s a sign of things to come as more organisations are re-evaluating the way services are being delivered.  

#7: conversational platforms 

Conversational AI has been on the radar for some time now with the likes of Siri, Alexa, and Cortana being smartphone staples. While these AI-powered voice assistants still haven’t reached the level of sophistication that would make them worthy replacements of good ol’ fashioned typing on a keyboard, there are signs that conversational AI could become much more useful in 2020.   

According to Gartner, 70% of white-collar workers will interact with conversational platforms on a daily basis by 2020. This is largely due to improved, AI-enabled language capabilities. While it’s still hard to believe that voice assistants will be the new norm, these improvements could form the foundation of reliable conversational AI in the coming years.  

Meanwhile, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) are leading the way in providing multisensory and multimodal experiences. The emergence of these platforms are changing the way people interact with the digital world, and open new doors to how we interface with our tech.  

the journey towards digital transformation continues 

Digital transformation is a gradual and never-ending process. With the speed at which the technology landscape continues to evolve, there are always new and better ways to do things. These trends represent only a few of the many ways technology will continue to impact businesses in the future.  

If you want to stay ahead of the digital transformation curve, you need to start digitizing your operations now. At DataVLT, our easy-to-use analytics platform will help you leverage real-time information so you can make the best decisions for your business. Contact our team today to learn more




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