We are going through the change towards a predominantly digital society and entering a stage where the need to innovate becomes increasingly urgent. The new environment is highly competitive and requires agility, speed and audacity to meet the needs and expectations of users. From Softtek, a company that provides next-generation digital transformation services and solutions globally, they analyze in depth the new digital macro-trends, which 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; because they are generating profound changes individually, but, interrelated with each other, they add a capacity with enough potential to cause an exponential impact. This interrelation will give rise to an unprecedented synergy, which has allowed a reconfiguration of multiple productive sectors. In this context, Softtek summarizes the digital macro trends that will mark the business environment in 2022 in its Digital Trends 2022 report:
1. Enter the metaverse:
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 universe parallel 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 considered the next step in the transformation of the Internet, generating a great debate in innovation environments, in relation to the gigantic potential impact that its arrival can generate in terms of the economy, consumption and society, for which companies they will want and need to be where consumers are.
The creation of this new world brings with it the incorporation of new ways of exchanging digital assets that will not only affect individual users but also companies. This entails the creation of new business models and a great opportunity to get closer to users who are joining this new world. Those that are pioneers in the adoption will gain great relevance and obtain greater competitive value compared to the rest of the later players, regardless of their sector.
2. The new key in customer experience? Hybrid:
The Retail sector has undergone great changes in recent years, mainly derived from the rise of digitization and e-commerce. The main challenge lies in achieving a balance between the physical and digital planes, maintaining the quality of the service, a constant in order to maintain competitiveness in the market.
Both models must converge at a point where they are no longer seen as differentiated practices, being understood as a single interoperable process. Today, a hybrid experience means taking the best elements of each of the models to create a powerful and fluid environment in the different channels.
Therefore, face-to-face purchases must evolve, adopt and incorporate new cutting-edge technologies that give a digital layer to the customer experience for its optimization. The implementation of these new technological developments, which on many occasions come hand in hand with Artificial Intelligence, sensors and Augmented Reality, are allowing a significant transformation of the consumer experience, 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 greater degree of personalization.
3. The data: a matter of precision:
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 reduced the time needed to process data with guarantees. However, much of the work in this area is focusing on further reducing this time, 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 the “Dirty Data”, that is, all the volume of erroneous or outdated data that is recorded on the network, and that can lead to confusion in the results. Another challenge is to properly process the huge amount of data that is generated in an unstructured way. Therefore, to establish an effective data analytics system, you must have tools capable of processing current and historical data in real time and with the highest accuracy and adequacy possible.
4. Redefine the purpose of the cloud:
The pandemic has highlighted the need to dispense with the storage of information on local data servers as the main solution in an IT architecture, since the availability and accessibility of information and data has become a critical issue. Although migration was already underway before the health crisis, its arrival has boosted and accelerated the process considerably.
Having a flexible and scalable business model and business architecture is critical, both to face times of recession and to be more competitive in the current market. The vision of the cloud as an infrastructure and storage network has evolved into an almost unlimited ecosystem of business solutions available on demand and as a service, in many cases specifically created for a specific industry, allowing companies to realign their structure and start deep processes digital acceleration. The advantages offered by Cloud technology make total migration to the cloud a “must do” for companies with many benefits.
5. The era of technology-based marketing:
During the last decade, the relationship between organizations and consumers has gone from being unidirectional to being bidirectional. Companies are shifting from looking for customers to looking for people to become brand ambassadors and spokespersons to engage other customers. The evolution of the approaches in the different marketing strategies, derived from global digitization, entails a deep incorporation of new technologies, which has given rise to the emergence of new areas related to the application of technology to commercial 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 personalization from the rest of the companies with which they interact, giving rise to increased competition to satisfy this need. It is the era of hyperpersonalization. 81% of consumers globally say they are willing to share personal information in exchange for a more personalized experience. Similarly, they are likely to stop sharing it if their demand is not met.
6. AI: driving a new digital landscape:
Artificial Intelligence has had an unprecedented impact on the business world. The multiplicity of fields on which it can be applied has made it an essential technological tool in any company, allowing an exponential improvement of processes and enhancing the digital capabilities of the rest of the areas belonging to the IT ecosystem. The new generation of AI has incorporated new functionalities that greatly go beyond simple process automation. AI has gone from being a nice-to-have tool to an essential 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 a greater 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 currently plays a critical role in driving substantial improvements in the digital capabilities of all technological areas of the IT ecosystem, such as Cybersecurity. , data analysis and optimization, automation, Cloud computing and Software development.
“Today the digital transformation has, mainly, a very high component of transformation, and still, a reduced component of digital. We can affirm that we have lived through a year of metamorphosis, where organizations and society began to face a future without restrictions with a return to normality, but with an eye toward redefining the rules of the future and not just surviving the present. Although it is difficult to make precise predictions in the unpredictable environment that we have been experiencing during the last two years, we can affirm that we are immersed in a period of great evolution, profoundly marked by an unlimited expansion in the digital field”, says Rafael Conde. del Pozo Digital & Innovation director of Softtek EMEA.
The full report, a 152-page PDF document in Spanish, is available for download and reading at this link . No registration required.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.