In 2024, the digital transformation landscape is poised for groundbreaking shifts, and our team of experts at OMI anticipates a dynamic interplay of trends reshaping industries. We’ve already talked about the best practices of digital transformation – and now it’s time to delve into the tools that empower us to perform that transformation.
In this guide, we will navigate through the top 10 digital transformation trends, including Business Process Automation, AI and ML, Hybrid Work, Low-Code/No-Code Development, Cloud-Based Solutions, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), IoT and 5G, Cybersecurity, Edge Computing, and XaaS.
We will explore their importance and predict their development and impact on various industries not only in 2024 but also in the years to come.
What are the New Trends in Digital Transformation in 2024?
Our team of digital transformation experts predicts that this year we’re going to see the continuation of reshaping how industries operate. In our opinion, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) stands out as well as the growing popularity of cloud services, edge computing, and customer data platforms.
To expand on our prediction and to provide you with a comprehensive list, here are our top 10 digital transformation trends 2024 version (in no particular order):
- Business Process Automation
- AI and ML
- Hybrid Work
- Low-Code/No-Code Development
- Cloud-Based Solutions
- Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)
- IoT and 5G
- Edge Computing
- AI and ML
Leveraging Business Process Automation
Automation is no longer exclusive to large enterprises, as accessible solutions have proliferated in the market. That’s why Business Process Automation (BPA) is a prominent digital transformation trend and a crucial tool for businesses in 2024. The scope of automating business processes spans various areas, including marketing, customer support, sales, accounting, finance, manufacturing, and the supply chain.
There are two primary types of automation:
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Involves software robots that automate repetitive, low-value tasks, freeing up the human workforce to concentrate on more impactful responsibilities.
- Low-code No-code Automation: LCNC platforms simplify application creation for non-technical users through visual interfaces, pre-built components, and drag-and-drop features.
And while businesses have already started integrating automation as part of trends in digital transformation, we predict an even broader adoption of this technology in the coming years. The goal is to empower corporate leaders to achieve better outcomes with fewer resources, especially in the face of corporate instability due to factors like inflation, rising energy prices, tight labor markets, and geopolitical turmoil. This shift towards automation is anticipated to drive efficient growth, enhance productivity, and generate cost savings.
Advances in AI and ML
Efficiency and speed are no longer considered extras by customers; they are now expected in every imaginable situation and interaction. As AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) become more commonplace, the bar for excellence continues to rise, surpassing what a human team working alone can achieve.
AI systems shine when used to automate time-consuming manual processes or swiftly access relevant information, thereby freeing up employees’ time to positively impact the company. Moreover, since AI can operate continuously, it is not confined by working hours or time zones.
On top of that, the potential benefits extend beyond just AI. AI and other programs can continually improve and adapt their performance by incorporating ML layers and learning from the data they access. The ML system can uncover insights, such as identifying clients who perform better for your business, and it becomes more adept with time as it accumulates more data.
IT leaders are now encouraged to incorporate these machine learning algorithms into their business-driven data analytics strategy. This not only enhances effectiveness and expedites the synthesis of insights derived from vast amounts of enterprise data but also outperforms what teams of human data scientists could assimilate.
Continuing Hybrid Work
Following the remote work mandate in 2020, many businesses gradually started reintegrating staff into the office in the subsequent years. That’s why there is now a heightened emphasis on achieving equilibrium between professional and personal life, where numerous individuals continue to engage in a hybrid work setup involving both home and office environments.
For optimal outcomes, businesses should keep prioritizing a digital-centric and interlinked environment to guarantee peak performance from their workforce. Namely, to effectively implement hybrid work, a trifecta of elements is paramount: flexible collaboration tools, remote work capabilities, and employee engagement strategies. This typically gets addressed through hybrid work management platforms that specialize in:
- Simplifying work scheduling, desk allocation, and meeting room reservations
- Tailoring office spaces for hybrid work using office maps and endorsing activity-based working
- Enhancing decision-making with advanced workplace analytics.
- Promoting in-person collaboration through sophisticated collaborative scheduling
- Effective management of hybrid work can empower employees with autonomy and flexibility, optimizing their performance
Rise of Low-Code/No-Code Development
In 2024, many businesses are expected to embrace no-code or low-code software to a greater extent. Despite initial concerns about potential job losses for developers as these technologies become more prevalent, such fears have proven to be unfounded.
Instead, these tool categories have emerged as significant assets for both developers and businesses worldwide. Rather than dedicating time to building tools for day-to-day operations, developers can utilize this extra time to focus on creating innovative products that can drive substantial business growth.
Low-code solutions also present an opportunity for professionals to make more informed decisions. With an easily manageable learning curve, low-code and no-code solutions are well-suited for business users who aim to develop modern applications themselves or for developers looking to automate manual processes.
These solutions bring about enhanced agility, increased productivity, reduced costs, improved customer experience, quicker transformation, and effective risk management and governance. Businesses adopting low-code and no-code development can simplify the process of creating business apps, enabling them to adapt and respond swiftly to changing business conditions.
Cloud-Based Solutions Will Be More Widespread
In recent years, discussions revolving around the cloud have predominantly revolved around PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS, as organizations strive to harness the scalability, efficiency, and flexibility of cloud services, aiming to streamline processes and optimize expenditures. However, as we step into 2024, the dialogue is shifting towards utilizing the cloud as a catalyst for heightened innovation.
Instead of investing significant resources in developing various capabilities internally, IT leaders are now engrossed in exploring ways to capitalize on the trend of widespread adoption of the cloud to swiftly and efficiently drive business value. On top of that, more and more businesses now function within multi-cloud environments, which stems from the fact that a singular hosting provider cannot comprehensively address the diverse challenges businesses face.
This is why organizations will deploy software and workloads across one or two private or public clouds. The impetus for embracing multi-cloud architecture has been further fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, necessitating a proactive approach to diminish business continuity risks. This architecture facilitates seamless management of work models, accommodating the rise of remote work.
More Usage of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)
Customer Data Platforms, or CDPs, consolidate all customer data into one real-time profile, providing a unified view of the customer. This centralized database makes it easy for decision-makers to swiftly analyze insights and take prompt actions, making it an indispensable element of any transformation in 2024.
Customers interact with businesses through various platforms, leaving behind valuable first-party data during each engagement. This data, which is tracked and stored with high-security measures, is then received by a customer data platform. The CDP then standardizes and transforms this first-party data by matching individual customer IDs from each system and integrating them into a single, consistent, and accurate customer profile.
Most commonly, the data types in question are:
- Demographic Data: Customer details like name, birth date, and address.
- Online Behavioral Data: Activities on websites, apps, and other channels like live chat or digital assistants, including the quantity, length, and frequency of engagements.
- Transactional Data: Information from e-commerce or point-of-sale systems, such as purchase and return data.
This profile data is reformatted to support various marketing strategies and business processes, including CRM, data analytics, marketing automation, A/B testing, content creation, SEO efforts, and more.
Next Steps in IoT and 5G
The next evolution in mobile communications, the 5G network, is poised to deliver incredible speeds, with a response time as low as one millisecond compared to 4G’s up to 200 milliseconds. This advancement holds significant promise, particularly for online businesses dependent on the Internet of Things (IoT). As 5G becomes mainstream, businesses can expect faster broadband speeds, more stable mobile networks, and a future that is more interconnected.
The technology brings several advantages, including greater reliability, improved security, broader installation coverage, and higher bandwidth. These enhancements are set to reshape the digital landscape, providing businesses with the infrastructure needed for a more seamless and connected experience in the evolving world of technology.
Some notable 5G use cases in the Internet of Things (IoT) space include:
- Connected Automobiles: The substantial bandwidth and low latency of 5G enable vehicles to engage in bidirectional communication, transforming the way automobiles store and share data.
- Shipping and Logistics: Precise tracking of shipped items becomes simple with 5G, allowing for real-time updates on specific delivery timeframes and enhancing the overall client experience.
- Remote Healthcare: Continuous remote patient monitoring becomes possible with 5G connectivity, allowing health professionals to provide assistance from any location at any time.
Greater Emphasis on Cybersecurity
Safeguarding data becomes increasingly crucial as more businesses transition their data to the cloud. Hybrid work, phishing scams, and other simple techniques pose a heightened threat to corporate data safety, marking cybersecurity as another one of the digitalization trends for 2024.
A single data breach has the potential to erode customer trust permanently, especially when sensitive information like addresses, credit card details, and email addresses is at risk. Adopting a “zero trust approach,” such as Microsoft’s model, can assist businesses with substantial data in preventing reputational harm, financial losses, or legal repercussions.
Maintaining transparency with clients about their data usage, even in the presence of robust data security measures, is crucial – this openness is fundamental in building and retaining trust. Clearly communicating privacy policies and obtaining consent before accessing any personal or financial information showcases a commitment to responsibly managing consumer data.
Better Understanding of Edge Computing
At its core, edge computing involves the decentralization of computing resources, bringing computational power closer to the source of data generation. This departure from the conventional cloud-centric model holds immense significance for several industries, promising to revolutionize the way businesses operate and deliver services.
The key driver behind the prominence of edge computing in 2024 lies in its ability to address the limitations of traditional cloud architectures, particularly in scenarios where real-time processing and low-latency responses are critical. As the volume of data generated by IoT devices, autonomous systems, and interconnected technologies continues to escalate, the demand for swift, on-the-spot processing becomes increasingly critical.
Another notable aspect of the edge computing trend is its potential to foster innovation across various sectors. Industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and finance can benefit from the agility and efficiency that edge computing offers. Real-time analytics, reduced latency, and improved data privacy are just a few of the advantages that this decentralized approach brings to the table.
Wider Adoption of XaaS
XaaS, or Everything as a Service, is a business model that provides a broad array of products, solutions, and services to customers on a subscription-based or on-demand basis.
This widely recognized digital transformation technology trend is poised to unfold in unexpected ways this year. While it’s commonplace today to access data through a digital hub, businesses are increasingly adopting the cloud to gain access to information whenever and wherever they need it.
On an enterprise level, the integration of technology makes collaboration a second nature, eliminating physical hardware costs. Furthermore, cloud-native applications boast easier scalability and deliver superior outcomes, thanks to widespread user acceptance. Finally, it also enables businesses to concentrate on their core strengths while relying on service providers for specialized solutions.
However, it’s essential to be cautious about challenges related to data security, vendor selection, and integration with existing systems when embracing the XaaS model.
Digital Transformation Trends by Industry
Now let’s dissect how exactly the above trends may affect various major industries in 2024, namely top digital transformation trends in manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and financial services:
- Business Process Automation: Streamlined production processes, order fulfillment, and inventory management.
- AI and ML: Predictive maintenance to optimize machine performance and reduce downtime.
- Low-Code/No-Code Development: Custom applications for real-time quality control or production tracking.
- IoT and 5G: devices and 5G connectivity for real-time monitoring and optimization of manufacturing processes.
- AI and ML: Supply chain management with predictive analytics for demand forecasting and inventory optimization.
- XaaS: Equipment-as-a-service models for cost-effective equipment access and maintenance services.
- Business Process Automation: Automatic administrative processes like appointment scheduling and billing.
- AI and ML: AI for diagnostic assistance and personalized treatment plans.
- Hybrid Work: Remote consultations and telemedicine services.
- Cloud-Based Solutions: Storing and processing medical data securely in the cloud for improved collaboration and accessibility.
- Customer Data Platforms (CDPs): Centralized patient data for personalized healthcare recommendations.
- IoT and 5G: IoT devices for remote patient monitoring and 5G for fast data transmission.
- Business Process Automation: Automating inventory management, order processing, and customer support.
- Hybrid Work: Remote collaboration for merchandising and marketing teams.
- Low-Code/No-Code Development: Retail apps for loyalty programs or in-store navigation.
- Customer Data Platforms (CDPs): Centralized customer data for personalized marketing and promotions.
- Cybersecurity: Strengthening cybersecurity to protect customer data and transaction information.
- Edge Computing: Applying edge computing for real-time analysis of customer preferences.
Financial Services Industry
- Business Process Automation: Automating routine banking processes, such as transaction processing and account management.
- AI and ML: AI-driven fraud detection and personalized financial advice based on customer behavior.
- Low-Code/No-Code Development: Custom financial applications for reporting and analytics without extensive coding.
- Cybersecurity: Strengthening cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive financial information and maintain customer trust.
- Edge Computing: Apply edge computing for faster and more secure financial transactions.
- AI and ML: Leverage AI and ML for real-time risk assessment and management.
What is the Future of Digital Transformation?
We at OMI predict that the future of digital transformation in 2024 will be mainly characterized by the increased synergy of the aforementioned trends, the ecosystemization of products and services as well as more mature cybersecurity.
To be more precise, let’s take a look at these and several other relevant themes that might take center stage this year:
- Integration and Synergy: Companies will increasingly integrate multiple new digital technologies to create holistic and synergistic solutions. For example, the convergence of AI, IoT, and cloud computing will lead to more comprehensive and intelligent systems.
- Enhanced Customer Experience: The focus on customer-centric solutions will persist, with businesses leveraging customer data platforms, AI, and personalized experiences to build stronger relationships and meet evolving customer expectations.
- Ecosystem Collaboration: Industries will collaborate more closely with technology providers, forming ecosystems that collectively drive innovation. Partnerships between tech companies, startups, and traditional industries will be essential for co-creating solutions that address complex challenges.
- Advanced Analytics and Decision-Making: The use of AI and machine learning for advanced analytics will become more prevalent, empowering businesses to derive meaningful insights from vast datasets. Real-time decision-making supported by edge computing will be crucial for agility and competitiveness.
- Sustainable and Responsible Digital Transformation: Companies will prioritize sustainability in their digital initiatives, considering environmental impact and social responsibility. This may involve using digital technologies to enhance energy efficiency, reduce waste, and promote ethical practices in supply chains.
- Increased Focus on Cybersecurity: As digital ecosystems expand, there will be a heightened emphasis on cybersecurity. Protecting sensitive data, infrastructure, and customer trust will be paramount, leading to the adoption of advanced cybersecurity measures across industries.
- Smart and Sustainable Cities: Digital transformation will extend to urban planning and development, leading to the creation of smart and sustainable cities. IoT, 5G, and AI will be instrumental in optimizing city infrastructure, transportation, and energy usage.
Working With Top Digital Transformation Companies
The digital transformation landscape for 2024 is marked by several pivotal trends – Business Process Automation (BPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Low-Code/No-Code Development, and cloud-based solutions just to name a few.
The impact of these trends varies across industries, with manufacturing benefiting from predictive maintenance and real-time monitoring, healthcare utilizing AI for diagnostics and remote patient monitoring, retail automating inventory management, and financial services employing AI-driven fraud detection.
Our team at OMI is always closely watching as well as propelling these trends forward through high-quality digital transformation services. Looking ahead, we can say that digital transformation in 2024 will be characterized by increased synergy among trends, ecosystem collaboration, enhanced customer experiences, advanced analytics, sustainability considerations, and a heightened focus on cybersecurity.