10 Hot Trends and Insights on Digital Transformation for 2021
The events of 2020 accelerated digital transformation for industrial companies, particularly in bringing it to their front-line teams. The need to meet the challenges created by COVID-19 moved some organizations quickly from experimenting and dabbling in digital transformation to a full-throated and strategic commitment.
So if 2020 was a wake-up call, it looks like 2021 will be the year that many more companies are motivated to move much more quickly. To take a look at exactly how that may play out, we’ve assembled a range of insights and predictions we heard from industry analysts and experts – including those who have been guests on the AR Insights Webinar series we started last year.
Here are 10 key insights and predictions from both published research and thoughts from our guests on the AR Insights Webinars we did with thought leaders from International Data Corporation (IDC), Deloitte and Capgemini.
1) Prediction: Digital Transformation is just starting
This prediction was highlighted in the January 2021 publication of a new survey from technology giant IBM, which recently surveyed 380 CIOs and CTOs of mid-sized and large companies in the United States and the UK and found that 60% say their company’s IT modernization program is not yet ready for the future.
According to IBM, some 24 per cent of respondents to The State of IT Transformation Study conducted by the Managed Infrastructure Services unit of IBM’s Global Technology Services division say their company is just starting its IT modernization journey or has yet to begin modernizing, with about a third surveyed saying they are still in the midst of transformation.
2) Prediction: Enterprises are on a fast track to cloud-centric infrastructures
A September 2020 forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted that, by the end of 2021, some 80% of enterprises will put in place a mechanism to shift to cloud-centric infrastructure twice as fast as before the pandemic.
3) Insight: There are key factors that will speed success
In an October 2020 survey. McKinsey & Company looked at some of the factors necessary for a successful digital transformation.
The results were fascinating – and showed that:
- Implementing digital tools to make information more accessible across an organization more than doubled the success rate of digital transformation
- Implementing digital “self-serve” technology for both employees and/or business partners also achieved a doubling of digital transformation success
- Similar results were achieved by modifying standard operating procedures to include new digital technologies.
4) Prediction: Effective use of data will make us safer, smarter and more productive
According to Tom Mainelli, Group Vice President at IDC, there will be a greater focus this year on Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S). In our Webinar last year, he predicted that enterprises will continue to grapple with how do meet the dual challenge of keeping front line teams healthy and safe – as well as driving efficiency and productivity.
“While a lot of this is happening ad hoc right now, what we will begin to see over time is that efficiency will be driven by data, not just best practices,” he said. “Let’s say we’re looking at three different factories and we’ve established what we think are the best practices in those places. But when you’re capturing this and you’re looking at best practices and monitoring those things, things start to bubble up. A lot of this is going to be sort of done manually in the early days but over time – as platforms evolve and AI gets involved – we’re going to be able to bubble this stuff up and drive greater efficiencies just by using these tools.”
About the Author
This article was written by Geof Wheelwright, Contributing Author, a technology journalist for more than 25 years (including work for The Times of London, the Financial Times, Newsweek, Time Magazine, The Guardian and trade publications such as Computerworld and Geekwire).