We all know that IT moves at a fast rate compared to other industries. But since the start of the COVID-19 national lockdowns enforced worldwide, digital business transformation has accelerated.
According to technology consultants, such as McKinsey, businesses have leapfrogged seven years in digital progress. What we were expecting to happen over almost ten years has happened in just over one year. Remote working was rare; now it’s the norm. As we continue this move to the digital world, many are talking about new ‘commerce everywhere’ business models. Read below our predictions to see where this technological revolution is heading.
Accelerated Digital Transformation
A digital transformation research report by KPMG, which surveyed their client base, shows that 67% of respondents accelerated their digital transformation strategy since COVID-19, and 63% have increased their digital transformation budget.
Many companies have focused on the digital side of their business for several reasons: they have suffered revenue losses, they have an increased security risk, their supply chains have broken down, they need to develop new channels to reach customers, and new health and safety measures have resulted in modified service delivery arrangements.
The strategic priorities of businesses going forward have also aligned with this digital revolution. Companies are creating new digital business models, developing new business capabilities, building new digital products and services, and creating platforms for customer-facing systems.
We are also seeing the rise of decentralised web 3.0 services. One such example is Mirror.xyz, a writing platform that is a user-owned, crypto-based network for writers. Mirror.xyz pays in cryptocurrency, Ethereum, and they use non-fungible contracts (NFT), a smart contract reflecting digital ownership.
The NFT is then stored on the blockchain, making it a secure asset that cannot be replicated. The amazing thing is that a piece of writing (or any other digital product) can be an NFT, which means there are now many more ways to make money online, for example, crowdfunding for your NFTs and selling your NFTs. NFTs hit the headlines recently when one sold at Christie’s for $69.3mn.
With the rise in technology and its ever greater sophistication, managed IT services are now a rapidly growing industry. Managed IT refers to the process of outsourcing your IT infrastructure and management to a third-party company. Services can include hardware and software installation, maintenance and troubleshooting, hardware monitoring, and more.
Businesses are finding that to remain competitive, they need to be agile and need to keep their business structure lean. By outsourcing specific business departments, they can focus on their primary services and maintain the ability to respond to market changes quickly.
Cloud desktops, for end-users, appear the same as normal desktops. When you boot up your laptop, everything loads as usual, including all your software and apps. But the key difference is that your software and data aren’t stored on the computer; it’s stored on the cloud. This makes remote working even more viable because you can access your work data anywhere in the world.
Some of you may have heard of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and may be wondering what’s the difference between that and cloud desktops. If your business has a VDI, it means you have to own, manage and maintain all the equipment necessary for having a virtual desktop service. Buying all the equipment, hiring IT technicians, and keeping everything working 24/7 is no easy task, and it’s expensive.
That’s why many businesses are turning to cloud desktop service suppliers. They run on a subscription model, where you pay for what you use. Your data is kept safe on their secure servers, and their team of experts ensure the service is reliable. Your data is regularly backed up, and should the worst happen and you lose your laptop while travelling, all your data can be wiped remotely.
As more of us are remote working, our dependence on reliable wireless internet is growing. 4G has been a useful development, allowing many people to work in cafes, airports, or anywhere there is WiFi. But 4G isn’t very fast, and as many of us have realised when our broadband connection drops, 4G isn’t always reliable.
But 5G will revolutionise the world of work, which is already rapidly shifting towards mobile working. With speeds of up to 20Gbps and average speeds of 100Mbps, we will be able to forget about having to watch that buffer bar slowly move across the screen.
5G is already widespread in east Asian countries and across Europe. If it isn’t available in your city, it soon will be.
The world suffered a lot over the past year. But as always happens in nature, things evolve, adapting and innovating for survival. Many businesses were forced to find new ways of working in order to survive this year, and the IT sector, specifically digital transformation, provided the greatest opportunity for businesses to survive and grow. Expect to see a lot of development in this area over the next few years.