COVID-19 has been a litmus test of all digital systems and infrastructure. Frost & Sullivan believes that the pandemic has significantly accelerated transformations in businesses’ digital engagement strategies. Our analysis indicates that COVID-19 has accelerated companies’ digital transformation strategies by at least 5-6 years. The impact of the crisis has placed digital initiatives as the top priority for most enterprises globally.
Here is a glimpse at five technology-driven trends that are helping businesses of all sizes across industry verticals cope in a post-pandemic world. Though nascent, these trends supported by enabling technologies will enable a paradigm shift to core processes across industry sectors in the near future.
Future of wireless: Openness, innovation, and flexibility
The next-generation of wireless mobile communications is evolving rapidly, including 5G, which provides faster connectivity and requires a high-performance wireless radio access network (RAN). The traditional RAN is being slowly replaced by the advanced Open RAN, as the traditional RAN consists of tightly integrated hardware, and software components with fixed functionality available only from a single provider, which does not give vendor interoperability option, limiting flexibility and contributing to high operational costs. Open RAN is driving the technological change, transforming the wireless communication space by providing an open and software-centric RAN architecture that gives the operators flexibility to choose the best solution from any vendor. Moreover, Open RAN’s interoperability capability not only provides a cost advantage to the operators, but also drives the innovations to address operational efficiencies and meet growing demands in the telecom space.
Recently, the media industry has witnessed a significant shift from cable TV content to on-demand video streaming services, mainly due to the easy accessibility of the OTT platforms and services. Additionally, the COVID-19 lockdown has further accelerated the demand for OTT services and attracted audiences across a diverse age group. To target the specific age group audiences individually and retain the viewership for a longer period, OTT platform providers are focusing on hyper-personalization to deliver personalized content recommendations depending on user preferences. AI and deep learning algorithms are key technology enablers that analyze consumer behavior and demographics data to provide hyper-personalized content.
Multi-experience touch points
The dynamically evolving digital experience space is becoming trickier for businesses to keep pace with due to the rapidly changing consumer behavior trends. Businesses will have to ensure they deliver seamless customer experience across multiple touchpoints including mobile, AR/VR, wearables, bots, and IoT platforms, transforming the way customers perceive and interact with the digital world. This involves the physical, contextual, and experiential aspects of the users to ensure a smooth journey and overall improves the brand perception.
Work from anywhere
COVID-19 has drastically altered the working culture in the blink of an eye and pushed remote work to the forefront. The pandemic still continues to reshape the workplace and is expected to further change the work from office scenario to work from anywhere. This has increased enterprises’ focus on digital workplace solutions that ensure employees connect and collaborate any time, on any device, from wherever they are working. The digital workplace encompasses employee collaboration tools such as text, audio, and video tools, the hosted cloud infrastructure applications, and secure remote access technologies that enable employees to efficiently work from anywhere.
Re-imagining trust and privacy in the digital age
Enterprises’ access to consumer data has exponentially grown and the reverse is equally true. Over the past few years, there has been a significant uptake in the usage of various digital technologies by users, which can potentially lead to privacy concerns. The usage of wearables, web browsing, social media, virtual assistants, navigation applications, and biometrics are some of the technologies that can store user’s behavior and personal and location-specific data. Therefore, enterprises are re-building their privacy regulations that get the trust equation right, beyond staying compliant, and are best positioned to capture the full business potential presented by the digital age.