When it comes to digital transformation, 2020 promises to be full steam ahead as many of the trends are already well underway. However, it’ll be those businesses that can execute at the quickening rate of technological change that will set the leaders and laggards apart for the years ahead.
A survey conducted earlier last year by market research firm Vanson Bourne found that 50% of technology leaders have a challenging time managing their digital operations, and nearly 50% of respondents also said it’s their customers that identify problems before their technology and quality control teams do.
Which brings us to our priority: Digital laggards need to step it up.
Digital Transformation: Laggards Versus Leaders Packs Separate
When enterprises shifted from their focus on e-commerce to a broader focus on their digital transformation efforts a few years ago, those who have been successful with their transformations are starting to reap results.
Still, while the vast majority of enterprises do have digital transformation strategies that they are implementing, a Tech Pro Research report found 70% of respondent companies either had a digital transformation strategy in place or were developing such a strategy. While a separate study, the Kony Digital Experience Index Survey found a strong indication that those efforts aren’t paying off as well as many businesses may like—at least when it comes to their customers.
According to Kony’s survey, customers are more satisfied when their digital experiences are effortless, and 63% said they would spend more money when their digital experiences are, in fact, effortless. That study concluded that businesses are not listening to the needs of their customers because only 28% of enterprise digital transformation initiatives are explicitly started with customer needs as the priority.
The 2020 Priority: CIOs and chief digital officers are going to have to ensure that their organizations can execute against their digital transformation strategies. Those that create superior digital experiences are going to start to set themselves further apart from their laggard rivals dramatically. Those CIOs and CDOs at laggard companies are going to have to focus on turning themselves around as quickly as they can.
The Continued Rise of Robotic Process Automation
To advance their digital transformation efforts, most enterprises are increasingly turning to robotic process automation (RPA) and software bots to automate any cumbersome and costly manual processes they have in place. While the benefits of RPA and software bots are high, they don’t come without potential danger. These bots, if not managed properly, can open enterprises to increased security and regulatory compliance risks.
The 2020 Priority: Effectively govern the security of their software bots so the associated risks are mitigated, and they can reap the most significant benefits from RPA.
Low-Code Development Continues to Help Clear App Backlogs
The demand for software is relentless, while the availability of professional developers isn’t limitless. And most enterprises have a backlog of application requests they can’t clear. According to a report from OutSystems, currently, 41% of enterprises use low code platforms, with an additional 10% about to start. That was up from 34% in the prior year report.
Low code development platforms are popular because they help to make software development more accessible to non-developers by creating development more graphical. The low code development platform market is expected to grow to $27.2 billion by 2022.
The 2020 Priority: focus on low code platforms for business users where it makes sense for them to be able to create their applications and capabilities. Not as a way to displace the development team, but to augment until those applications that warrant development and require professional developers can be built.
AIOps Starts to Meet Its Promise
As enterprises increasingly run their business-technology systems on a mix of clouds (both public and private) as well as on-premises systems, managing this infrastructure has grown more complex. The embracing of microservices, continuous delivery and DevOps has enabled organizations to deliver application enhancements more rapidly, automate testing and deliver their software with increased agility. However, interdependencies and the complexity of systems have also increased. This increased complexity shortened the amount of allowable time necessary to resolve system issues.
When it comes to effective operations management, operations teams need to become as effective as possible since a breakdown anywhere in the environment can initiate thousands, and alerts can create multiple application and service disruptions.
The 2020 Priority: This increased complexity will prove a catalyst for more enterprises to turn to AIOps. By using data gathered from operations management tasks with machine learning, organizations can become more effective at managing performance and availability and service management. AIOps has remained a buzzword for several years now, with very few actual deployments. That’s set to change.
Optimizing Microservices Architectures
Enterprises face a seemingly limitless demand for applications–customer-facing apps, back-office applications, APIs and digital services–and this demand has been a significant catalyst behind the popularity of microservices architectures.
Microservices also help to ease budget constraints. Almost every survey shows microservices architectures are now in use by the majority of organizations, with benefits being cited, such as improved employee efficiency and customer experience, as well as infrastructure management. Microservices architectures also help enterprises to improve application scalability and bring new digital products and services to market more quickly.
The 2020 Priority: Identify where microservices architectures can have the most significant impact on revenue-generating processes and prioritize the deployment of microservices to these areas first. It’s these areas where workflow improvement and application agility can have the greatest business impact.
Looking out at a new year and imagining the possibilities is always exciting, but with the accelerated change in enterprise technologies and the level of digital transformation underway, this year is setting itself up to be more interesting than most.