The digital world is going through a major overhaul because of upcoming trends. Everything from big data to the Internet of Things (IoT) will be undergoing a seismic shift over the next year and beyond. Many changes will occur quickly, making it imperative to stay on top of the changes so the advancements can be utilized to their full potential. The following is a rundown of some of the upcoming digitization trends and how they affect businesses and consumers.
Trend 1: IoT Won’t Stop Growing
The IoT is always growing, and it will continue to grow. Today, there are 8.4 billion devices that communicate over the internet. That’s a 30 percent growth since 2017 and consists of everything from smart thermostats to light fixtures. As time goes on, the purpose of these connected things will become more important. The technologies that will make this possible include 5G cell processing and even better analytics programs than what are being used now.
Another element that is being introduced is edge computing. Cloud computing is now becoming the norm and will continue to grow, but edge computing has the ability to handle higher volumes and faster speeds. Some of the large software companies are developing the hardware and software needed to move the digital world toward edge computing, but it will take time. AI-powered devices, drones, and other devices needing more computing power are being created, and edge computing is an answer.
This isn’t saying that cloud computing will become obsolete anytime soon, especially since there are still businesses coming on board. It could take years before edge computing becomes mainstream, but that still doesn’t mean that cloud computing will go anywhere.
Trend 2: Artificial Intelligence Is Everywhere
Artificial intelligence is popping up anywhere. It’s on your mobile phone in the form of Siri or your Windows desktop as Cortana. While this may not seem like anything new, there are changes occurring commercially and at the consumer level. More corporations are turning to robotics to get tasks done faster, while others are trying out automated customer service to take care of customer needs. Customers do like more automation when it works, so everything from creating emails to generating unique content can be automated.
Trend 3: Virtual Reality Is Here
Virtual reality is no longer something you see in movies because it has arrived. VR goggles or headsets, such as Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus, Google Cardboard, and Mixed Reality, allow people to see the world differently. The 2018 Winter Olympics demonstrated this by launching the capability to view events through VR goggles. This gave the viewer a realistic experience without having to travel to the Olympics. Mobile device users were also given the option to download an app that would give a somewhat realistic VR experience.
Overall, NBC provided VR and Olympics fans with 50 hours of virtual reality content, making it the first time the Olympics have been viewed in this way. This very well may pave the way for more events to be seen in such a way.
Trend 4: Better Focus on User Experience
Improving the user experience is becoming more of a commitment by businesses because consumers base buying decisions on experience. Today’s digital trends are making it easier for companies to offer their customers or potential customers unique experience. They have to because consumers must be engaged to flow through the sales funnel. Give a customer a chance to interact with the business and see how this influences their final decision. In the meantime, make it positive and consistent.
This is another area where analytics are important. When consumer behaviors are effectively monitored, it’s easier to offer them the products and services that they want. There’s no more throwing ideas in the dark and hoping they stick to something.
Trend 5: The Remote Workforce Is Growing
Another trend in the digital age is the growth of the mobile workforce. People will now trade the convenience of flexibility for higher wages. IoT has made it more feasible for workers to do their jobs from home, which means it is likely there will be more freelance and contract employees. Digital nomads are the perfect example, as these are people that travel and work from anywhere without missing a beat on the job.
The growth is due to the changing digital landscape. Telecommuting wasn’t as possible 15 years ago as it is today. It has gotten easier over time, especially with more companies outsourcing tech support and customer service duties to people who work from home.
Trend 6: The Rise of API
Application Program Interface (API) is becoming more common since applications have become an important part of how the internet and IoT devices work. PayPal and eBay are good examples of companies that use API because they have to monitor high transaction volumes nonstop.
API opens gateways for multiple platforms to work together. This is why you are prompted for an API code when installing a ReCaptcha or Google Maps on a website. API also gives analytics capabilities to see how people are interacting with that particular application. It’s possible to monitor user experience so certain goals can be achieved.
Trend 7: New Digital-Based Roles in the Workplace
New technological roles are also emerging in workplaces. The newest role is the chief digital officer. This shows how more companies are relying on technology to do everything. The digital transformation is touching everyone. Even traditional problems are becoming multidimensional and have solutions that can be found by multiple technologies. However, there are times when the traditional solutions don’t have to be overlooked. Traditional and digital can work together. People in these new roles will most likely recognize this so that better efficiency can be established.
A Bright Digital Future
Overall, new technologies and the trends emerging from them will continue to grow. What exists now will get better over time, which means improved business processes and consumer experiences. The world will also become more automated than it has ever been. This makes digitization less of an option and more of a requirement. If a business isn’t taking advantage of what’s out there, the competitive edge is missing. Missing that edge can also limit the consumer experience that helps them make purchasing decisions.