Articles | January 14, 2021
Trends for 2021. A year of acceleration in the area of technological changes
In the final months of 2020, the Digital Transformation accelerated unexpectedly in a number of companies. In many cases, implementations planned for 2021 have already reached the stage of completion, and projects previously planned from a two- or three-year perspective have already started. Below, I present several trends which were selected based on the 12 indicated in the annual Forrester report – “Predictions 2021”, European Edition.
The pandemic acted as a catalyst for technological change
Of course, the reason for technological changes is not cause for celebration. The pandemic changed our reality, forcing a different perspective upon many business models and even entire sectors of the economy. Nothing is obvious any more, and many companies have to find new ideas, new formulas for reaching and communicating with customers. In many industries, technology has come to the rescue.
The situation requires courage. Contrary to the cautious attitude which might well be expected, many companies are deciding to make strategic investments in technological solutions, previously considered in the context of plans for the upcoming years. Which trends will be worth observing carefully?
Financial reorganization of the market
Organizations that once opted for digital customer service channels are now gaining a competitive advantage. They have always reacted actively to rearrangements on the market: they have recognized the prevailing mood on the market and the preferences of their target group and quickly applied changes. Their natural advantage over their competitors has become noticeable in recent months. We have been observing the dynamic growth of FinTechs for a long time and the strong position they are gaining in their confrontation with traditional banks.
Flexibility combined with a focus on Customer Experience means that modern companies from the financial services sector can expect double-digit growth in 2021, according to Forrester.
Read more: FinTech Trends for 2021
Head in the cloud(s)
Forrester estimates that in 2021 more than a third of office workers will work remotely on a permanent basis. Working in a distributed structure calls for special attention to be paid to areas such as secure access to the company’s resources and operational tools. No wonder, then, that heads of IT departments have been supplied with additional funds for implementation budgets in areas such as cloud and mobile solutions, as well as network security and risk management. This trend will also be visible next year. Companies will focus on cloud-based platforms that will allow for fast access to data and provide high levels of adaptability.
Organizational culture and the Employee Experience
When teams work remotely in a distributed model, it is a challenge to maintain identification with the company and corporate values. The role of the Employee Experience (EX) is growing, including all contacts with the company before, during and after establishing cooperation. In 2021, CIOs responsible for technological and infrastructural development will strive to achieve a competitive advantage. According to Forrester’s predictions, companies’ decision makers will be actively interested in implementing the Employee Experience strategy in order to attract the best IT specialists in times of crisis and to convince them to make their plans for the future in terms of cooperation with the company.
Machine Learning in the service of prevention
Shifting the focus to online customer service results in an increased amount of bank fraud taking place online. In 2020, we began to look even more closely at possible threats, such as blackmail and bank fraud. Banks are expecting a wave of credit fraud – the scale of this phenomenon is rising, and therefore requires appropriate measures in the area of preventing and combating financial fraud. Can technology support these activities? Machine Learning tools working in real time already support the fight against fraud in the financial area, and as this technology develops, the possibilities for usage will increase.
Artificial Intelligence in the sales department
Based on its research, Forrester predicts that in 2021 up to 60% of B2B sales companies will use automation and Artificial Intelligence-based tools and mechanisms. Tools that facilitate information grouping and integration with CRM systems already help employees to carry out repetitive tasks, thanks to which they can use their time to analyze the market and build relationships with customers.
In 2021, we can expect that the importance of technology will increase to an extent which goes beyond the natural trend that has been observed for years now – from infrastructure, to products and services, to building consumer and employee experiences in the organization. We can expect new solutions and the dynamic development of well-known technologies. The new order forces changes to companies’ development strategies. It moves some plans to the shadows, simultaneously focusing attention on and moving resources to those that better fit the new circumstances on the market. Regardless of whether the goal is to maintain market position or to gain a competitive advantage, in the coming years technology will make it possible to achieve the intended results.