Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

7 Digital-Transformation Trends to Watch

Digital transformation often is driven by customer expectations, so it only makes sense for businesses to comply to thrive.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Digital transformation often is driven by customer expectations. It only makes sense for businesses to comply to thrive. It isn’t a fad that businesses can ignore.

This is evident with how businesses changed course over the past two years of the pandemic. Business models and processes were transformed to cater to abrupt changes and different demands. In fact, different industries have emerged and flourished because of these changes.

Digital-transformation trends are evident based on the results of the WalkeMe research using BuzzSumo, an online analytics tool. In their research, they found out the most talked-about technologies last year are artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual reality. Here are the digital transformations that you can expect to either emerge or keep flourishing in the months ahead.

1. Blockchain

Blockchain has been around for years and is already used in different industries outside finance industries. We can only expect more businesses to join. With this demand, we will see more influx of blockchain education as more businesses try to keep up.

Related: How Learning Blockchain Can Prepare You For the Future

2. Data protection and security

According to Statista, as of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion internet users worldwide. That number has even increased as of January 2022 to 4.95 billion internet users, according to DataReportal. That’s more than a 6% increase in just a year. How will this impact online businesses?

More people online means higher demand for data protection and security. Online business owners should already have this set up in the first place, but this year, customers are more conscious about their data security.

Now and then, Facebook encounters security-breach issues. A security blunder from a huge company as Facebook triggers more demand from online users for higher online security and data protection. But customer information is just half of the equation. As much as business owners need to protect their customer data, you also need to protect yours.

Make sure your business is secure. Use password protection, reliable cloud-based software and payment channels that you can trust.

3. Hybrid workplace

The pandemic proved a virtual workplace is possible. But also, it has shown that a work-from-home setup is not ideal for everyone. The solution is a hybrid workplace. Even as the pandemic seems to wane, more companies will adapt to the hybrid workplace this year, not only for health reasons but also for the efficiency and cost reduction of resources.

This could also mean that more attention will be given (and demanded) to workers’ mental health as they grapple with the ever-changing work and home environment.

Related: 4 Secrets to Building a Healthy Hybrid Workplace

4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

More business solutions will be powered by AI. In fact, with the research that WalkMe did with Buzzsumo, they found out the game-changing technology that was most talked about in 2021 was AI. Better AI means more relevant and targeted ads, a better customer support experience and an efficient workforce. This means more potential revenue.

If your business hasn’t yet invested in AI or AI-powered business solutions, this year is a great time to start. AI also leads to better automation. 

5. Automation

AI and Automation almost always work hand in hand. More business solutions will be powered by AI for analytics, data protection, security and search algorithms. Businesses will become leaner this year as more work will be automated. This leads to a more efficient workforce. This is also why companies can afford to offer hybrid workplaces.

Also, as the workforce becomes leaner, this will eventually drive some to self-employment.

6. 5G

There are many different opinions and conspiracies regarding 5G, but either way we’ll be seeing more information and awareness of it. Conspiracy theories will not go away permanently, but people will get more clarity on what it is and what it’s not. That means the more people learn about it, the more people will welcome it.

More networks and devices are already moving to 5G to cater to the greater demand for faster connectivity, but 5G is more than just faster connectivity. 5G will change industries, not just mobile phones, because of its low latency. 5G is the game-changer in mobile and machine development.

7. Digital banking

Traditional banks should innovate, or they will be left behind by digital banking solutions and blockchain.

2022 is the year for more:

  • Online payment channels.

  • Online loan applications and approvals.

  • Cashless payment transactions.

  • Online personal identification.

  • Faster and user-friendly online banking apps.

Although we've seen these over the past two years because of the pandemic, this year, banks are bound to invest more in online banking solutions.

Related: Does Your Business Need a Digital Transformation?

The digital transformations feed on each other as one affects the other. These changes can push a business forward or pull them down. These aren’t trends that will go away in a season or two, and to be in business in the golden age of innovation, one must be willing to innovate in order to thrive.

Business Strategies, Entrepreneurial Advice & Inspiring Stories are all in one place. Explore the new Entrepreneur Bookstore.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks