Updated: Feb 26
Over the past decade, the rise of digital transformation has offered forward-thinking businesses the opportunity to integrate new technologies into different areas of their business.
Those that have successfully embraced digitalisation have been able to improve how they operate and deliver value to their customers, employees, and shareholders.
However, there are still many businesses that are yet to reap the rewards of digital transformation. These businesses should seriously consider investing in a range of digital tools, in order to kick-start their digital transformation and avoid being left behind over the coming years.
Meanwhile, it’s essential that those that have already begun their digital transformation journey do not become complacent, and ensure they continue to explore the potential benefits of emerging technologies.
So, with the 2020s promising to be another decade driven by digital innovations, here are three of the most exciting digital technologies that businesses should consider adopting in order to stay ahead of the competition.
The benefits of 5G
Whilst 5G is a relatively new offering, it is set to revolutionise how businesses are run and the services they can provide to customers.
Larger businesses who employ a vast workforce will be able to make use of 5G’s greater capacity offering and its ability to connect thousands of internet-enabled devices, over vast distances, instantly.
Supporting communication speeds of up to 10GBs, employee-owned smart-phone devices can use the network to support more efficient remote working. With 50% of UK workers expected to be working remotely by the end of 2020, site managers and freelance workers will be able to record, store and send a large amount of data back to a head office in real-time by using a network that supports communication that is 100 times faster than the previous 4G offering.
And it is not just increased efficiency for remote workers that 5G will facilitate. With high bandwidth and low latency, 5G will improve real-time data capture that can enable on-the-spot decision making. This will be invaluable to many industries, including healthcare, manufacturing and construction.
How AI can help to relieve pressure on employees
Another innovation that is becoming more widely available to businesses is artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Whilst AI’s true potential is yet to become clear, it already has a variety of practical uses within a range of sectors.
Some manufacturing companies, for instance, have already started using AI technology in the form of algorithms, as a part of machine learning, to predict potential issues with a machine or system. This forward-thinking and preventative technology helps businesses to monitor their operations, prevent production issues and serves as an extra point of support to employees on the factory floor.
With today’s increasingly short market deadlines and rises in the complexity of market conditions, AI is a great hope for the future of business. Hoping to speed up production and productivity levels, AI robots and machinery are set to be a real game-changer in improving efficiency in years to come.
And the customer is likely to benefit too; virtual reality supported with artificial intelligence technology is a service that will help businesses provide unique experiences to how customers can view their products.
Enterprise apps that aid communications with employees
Employee-facing enterprise apps have a range of benefits that can help senior management and employees communicate more effectively. These apps can be used by managers to keep in touch with hard-to-reach staff who may be non-desk based and can provide a productive and accessible virtual office. Enterprise apps can be developed to support the daily tasks of employees and managers can use the app's features to engage their staff by offering new, quicker and different ways to do their job.
Despite app downloads set to reach 353 billion by 2021, the uptake of specific enterprise apps has lagged behind in comparison. Creating enterprise software for a business’s internal operations has proved to be a costly expense and has relied on scarce coding experience for their creation. The required coding knowledge has led many businesses to pay hefty costs in app commissioning and has meant that most businesses have been unable to deploy enterprise software due to the extensive costs required.
However, it is now becoming possible for businesses to develop their own enterprise apps in-house, without the need for any coding expertise. For example, WorkMobile’s Enterprise edition enables IT managers to create their own mobile app to make better workflows and management tools for their business. With no coding required, the simple drag and drop app builder enables IT teams, to overcome the challenges typically associated with in-house app development.
With the business landscape becoming increasingly competitive, businesses need to make sure they are operating as productively and efficiently as possible. Embracing new technology could hold the key to differentiating themselves and gaining a competitive advantage over other businesses within their industry. Prioritising technology that can drive efficiency and support the work of your employees, will be essential in making the most of what digital technology can offer to businesses this decade.