8 march, 2022. – We are going through the shift to a predominantly digital society and entering a stage where the need to innovate is becoming increasingly urgent. The new environment is highly competitive and requires agility, speed and boldness to meet the needs and expectations of users. Softtek, a company that provides next-generation digital transformation services and solutions at a global level, analyses in depth the new digital macro-trends that allow us to understand and anticipate the possibilities offered by technology.
The insights detected for 2022 are on a runway that has no known limits; they are generating profound changes individually, but, interrelated with each other, they add a capacity with sufficient potential to cause an exponential impact. This interrelationship will lead to an unprecedented synergy, which has enabled a reconfiguration of multiple productive sectors. In this context, Softtek summarises the digital macro-trends that will shape the business environment in 2022 in its Digital Trends 2022 report:
The Metaverse is a set of virtual environments in which people can interact within simulated scenarios through Extended Reality or XR: a combination of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality. Under this concept, a projection of a parallel universe to real life emerges, in which all people could carry out virtual replicas of their current daily activities such as working, shopping, entertainment, information, interacting with other people, etc.
The concept has evolved to be seen as the next step in the transformation of the Internet, generating much debate in innovation environments regarding the huge potential impact that its arrival can generate in terms of economy, consumption and society, so that companies will want and need to be present wherever consumers are.
The creation of this new world brings with it the incorporation of new forms of digital asset exchange that will affect not only individual users but also businesses. This brings with it the creation of new business models and a great opportunity to get closer to the users who are joining this new world. Those that are early adopters will gain a great deal of relevance and competitive value compared to other late adopters, regardless of their sector.
The retail sector has undergone major changes in recent years, mainly due to the rise of digitalisation and e-commerce. The main challenge lies in achieving a balance between the physical and digital planes, while maintaining the quality of service, a constant in order to remain competitive in the market.
The two models must converge at a point where they are no longer seen as distinct practices, but as a single interoperable process. Today, a hybrid experience means taking the best elements of each model to create an enhanced and seamless cross-channel environment.
Therefore, face-to-face shopping must evolve, adopt and incorporate new cutting-edge technologies that digitally layer the customer experience for optimisation. The implementation of these new technological developments, which often come hand in hand with Artificial Intelligence, sensors and Augmented Reality, are allowing to transform the customer experience significantly, eliminating barriers and facilitating processes.
The hybrid customer is a more independent and self-taught consumer, who mixes the two channels according to their tastes and needs to obtain new shopping experiences and services with a higher degree of personalisation.
In today’s increasingly digital and connected competitive paradigm, businesses need to make smart, data-driven decisions quickly and efficiently. Advances in Big Data and Data Analytics have made it possible to reduce the time needed to process data with guarantees. However, much of the work in this area is focusing on reducing this time even further, to bring the collection and analysis of results as close as possible to “real-time”.
On the other hand, it is necessary to have adequate systems to clean up the “Dirty Data”, i.e., all the volume of erroneous or outdated data that is recorded in the network, and that can lead to confusion in the results. Another challenge is to adequately process the huge amount of data that is generated in an unstructured way. Therefore, in order to establish an effective data analytics system, tools must be in place that are capable of processing current and historical data in real time and as accurately and appropriately as possible.
The pandemic has highlighted the need to move away from storing information on local data servers as the primary solution in an IT architecture, as the availability and accessibility of information and data has become a critical issue. While migration was already underway before the healthcare crisis, its advent has considerably enhanced and accelerated the process.
Having a flexible and scalable business model and enterprise architecture is critical, both to cope with downturns and to be more competitive in today’s market. The vision of the cloud as a network of infrastructure and storage has evolved into an almost limitless ecosystem of business solutions available on demand and as a service, in many cases specifically created for a particular industry, allowing companies to realign their structure and initiate deep digital acceleration processes. The advantages offered by Cloud technology make full migration to the cloud a “must do” for companies with a multitude of benefits.
Over the last decade, the relationship between organisations and consumers has gone from being one-way to two-way. Companies are no longer looking for customers, but for people to become brand ambassadors and act as spokespeople to engage other customers. The evolution of approaches to marketing strategies, resulting from global digitalisation, brings with it a profound incorporation of new technologies, which has led to the emergence of new areas related to the application of technology to business processes, such as Martech, Salestech, Adtech and Madtech.
As a result of these new digital experiences, consumers are beginning to demand a high level of personalisation from the other companies with which they interact, leading to increased competition to satisfy this need. This is the era of hyper-personalisation. 81% of consumers globally say they are willing to share personal information in exchange for a more personalised experience. Equally, they are likely to stop sharing if their demand is not met.
Artificial Intelligence has had an unprecedented impact on the business world. The multiplicity of fields in which it can be applied has made it an essential technological tool in any company, allowing an exponential improvement in processes and boosting the digital capabilities of the other areas belonging to the IT ecosystem. The new generation of AI has incorporated new functionalities that go far beyond the simple automation of processes. AI has gone from being a nice-to-have tool to an indispensable instrument. Its advantages and benefits are such that doing without it implies an unaffordable opportunity cost for companies that want to maintain their competitive position in the market.
The question we must ask ourselves is not whether a company should implement AI tools and systems, but in which area it brings the greatest competitive advantage to our business. The very evolutionary nature of AI has meant that not only has it itself experienced exponential development and expansion, but it now plays a critical role in driving substantial improvements in the digital capabilities of all technology areas of the IT ecosystem, such as cybersecurity, data analytics and optimisation, automation, cloud computing and software development.
“Today, digital transformation has mainly a very high component of transformation, and still a low component of digital. We can say that we have experienced a year of metamorphosis, where organisations and society started to face a future without restrictions with a return to normality, but with an eye on redefining the rules of the future and not just surviving the present. While it is difficult to make accurate predictions in the unpredictable environment we have been experiencing over the past two years, we can say that we are immersed in a period of great evolution, profoundly marked by an unbounded expansion in the digital sphere,”, says Rafael Conde del Pozo Digital & Innovation Director at Softtek EMEA.
Download here the full report.Karen Liedl