Digital Transformation – What’s next? Three major technology trends to look out for in 2016
By Benjamin Wong, Channels Director, APJ, Progress
As technology grows at an exponential pace, digital transformation is becoming increasingly important for organisations to stay relevant and address the needs of the new age customer and employee.
Indeed, IDC predicts that by the end of 2017, 60% of the APAC top 1000 enterprises will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy. Enterprises in the region are beginning to realise that successful digital transformation comes not only from implementing new technologies but also from transforming the way they function. As more companies continue to embrace digitalisation and smart technologies to improve user experience, here are three trends that will push the digital experience further in 2016:
- Big Data: moving from HOW to WHY
There is no question Big Data was marketing’s favorite and most hyped up technology trend in 2015. Just a couple years ago, much was written on how to best store and manage Big Data. Today, we’ve moved from discussing HOW to WHY, and it gets more interesting in 2016. Companies will stop thinking about Big Data as a big data warehouse to be managed and scaled. Instead, they’ll think about the marketing analytics applications that automatically provide the next best piece of content to users to drive higher conversion levels. In 2016 Big Data will become omnipresent through applications. As processing engines make it easier to build algorithms and, ultimately, apps that leverage machine learning, user experiences will become more engaging. The next generation of apps is going to be game-changing for how companies run their business and interact with customers. At its core, Big Data is about improving your business, letting machines do more work and driving a seamless and improved customer experience. In 2016 we see it becoming pervasive in the applications we use day-to-day.
- Digital Interactions Merge Channels, Break Down Silos and Become More Personalised
In 2016, organisations will realise there is no web and mobile strategy–only a customer-centric digital strategy, regardless of channel. There is no marketing data, sales data and support data—only the customer lifecycle data. Companies will endeavor to provide the best experience based on the combination of individuals and where they are in the lifespan of their relationship with the organisation, from new prospect to long-term buyer. In 2016, digital strategy will mature as companies get serious about bringing together all customer and prospect information and goals, and how best to serve them with a single, continuous digital strategy. Moreover, marketers will move into the fast lane when it comes to providing personalised online customer experiences. As more companies embrace digital transformation in 2016, they’ll turn to clever technology to connect website visitors with products and messages most relevant to them—at precisely the right time in the customer journey, and across devices. Marketers will then be able to take a much more proactive approach, using built-in intelligence, to recommend best next actions for specific audiences. The past five years were about bringing commerce, marketing, sales and support online. The next five will be about bringing them together by understanding the journey and making it better, cheaper and faster.
- Digitalising yourself
While new technologies continue to help transform business models, effectively engage customers and make business operations more efficient, many organisations were still struggling with the basics in 2015, just keeping up with the application backlog and managing IT infrastructure and user devices. Yet, forward-looking organisations are putting user or customer engagement at the top of their technology agendas. Led by the need to think about the entire engagement journey across all digital platforms (mobile, web sites and so on) and in-person interaction, more and more companies will focus on their own digital transformation in 2016. They will extend traditional systems or systems of record that house core data assets, by delivering applications that engage users more effectively and provide analytical insight. Organisations that don’t make this transition will be left behind.
As we continue to see the hype around disruptive digital technologies in Asia Pacific, 2016 will see organisations digging deeper and unlocking full potential of available technologies. Technology is evolving rapidly and enterprises need to be more agile to keep up. The key goes beyond responding to the changing demands of the digital customer or employee and anticipating what they may need in the future to stay ahead of the curve. Enterprises that want to succeed will choose the right application development tools to deliver personalised applications that provide the finest customer experience with the necessary integration and analytics to drive the business forward.
 IDC Asia/Pacific, Top Predictions for 2016, 6 November 2015, https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prAP40553215