More than 50% of U.S. companies plan to increase their digital transformation spending over the next year. As systems continue to advance, future-focused business leaders are looking for new ways to stay ahead of the competition. Many are investing in cutting-edge technology that makes their business more relevant to today’s customer and more flexible in the face of market shifts.

Is your organization able to keep up?

Today, we’re sharing the top digital transformation trends that executives are eyeing as we round out 2020 and prepare for a new year of possibilities.

2020 Top 10 ERP Vendors Report

This report provides ERP selection guidance to organizations across all industries that are evaluating ERP systems. The vendors featured in this report were chosen based on the strength of their functionality across a variety of products.

What is Digital Transformation?

Gartner defines digital transformation as a shift from legacy models to higher-tech online systems. This can encompass a range of initiatives, including IT modernization via cloud computing or the development of new digital business models.

Ultimately, this is the process of looking ahead and considering ways that digital systems can make your organization more efficient. It keeps the customer at the forefront and looks for new and better ways to support them.

What is Digital Business Transformation?

Though the two might sound similar, digital business transformation is a little different than digital transformation. Gartner defines it as the process of exploiting digital technologies and capabilities to create new digital business models.

Digital business transformation requires taking a close look at your operations and determining how you can best align people, processes and technologies to achieve your goals.

5 Digital Transformation Trends to Watch

Regardless of whether you’re considering digital transformation or digital business transformation, you will find most of the below trends relevant to your particular organization.

So, what are industry-leading companies focusing on? Where are they spending their time, energy and money? Here the top movements happening now, and what you can expect as we move into 2021.

1. Increased Focus on Business Process Reengineering

We’ve reached a point where maintaining the status quo means falling behind. The reality is that across every niche, technology is advancing at a breakneck pace. The most successful and competitive businesses will be those that embrace new digital tools while focusing on business process reengineering.

What existing processes does your organization need to reengineer to embrace the capabilities that new digital tools, enterprise software and ERP systems provide? What aspects of your business model will require reinvention?

digital business trends

2. Proactive Customer Engagement

There’s no denying the sheer magnitude of data that travels across a company on any given day. As data analysis tools become more dynamic, companies are able to use these tools to obtain insights at an even more granular level.

As a result, they have access to more relevant information, especially customer information. Better customer insights mean you don’t have to wait until a client sends a troubleshooting request — you can anticipate their pain points before they even notice them. At the same time, you can more accurately gauge what customers are going to buy in the short-term and what they might look for in the future.

This shift from meeting demands to anticipating and shaping them is a major one. Taking advantage of this trend means not only capturing and organizing data but using advanced business intelligence (BI) tools. (To learn more about BI, check out our post, What is the Connection Between Business Intelligence and ERP?)

3. Advancements in AI and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have topped the list of digital transformation trends for years. In 2021, these tools are finally poised to live up to their full potential. 

These tools now have more connectivity to every aspect of the extended enterprise, and with this increased connectivity comes more data.

For example, AI-enabled ERP software can collect, structure, organize and prioritize data, enabling organizations to manage transactions and take steps towards self-maintaining supply chains.

4. Smarter Predictive Analytics

The field of predictive analytics centers on using digital processes, such as data mining, predictive modeling and machine learning to analyze data and predict what may happen in the future.

Currently, predictive analytics is primarily used in maintenance operations, where it is relied upon to anticipate and mitigate equipment issues before they occur. However, in 2021, predictive analytics will become common in other functional areas, as well. These include financial operations, material and services management and buyer behavior models.

5. Increased Focus on Human Capital Management

A dedicated focus on digitization requires more than simply investing in new technologies. It also means readying your staff members to embrace and fully adopt these technologies.

New systems have a profound impact on employees, especially when it comes to training. In other words, new technology demands digital proficiency.

Raising the digital index across your enterprise means reskilling employees by making deep investments in education, training and human capital management. This ensures staff and leadership have the digital capabilities to effectively use new tools. 

Embrace These Trends and Transform Your Business

Some fads come and go, but these digital transformation trends are here to stay. They’re a continuation and maturation of movements that have been underway for years. 

Following these trends is the only way to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate change at every turn. Looking for expert support as you navigate these next steps? Our team of ERP consultants is here to help. Request a free consultation below. 

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