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Top Digital Transformation Trends for 2021 Across B2B and B2C

2020 has been a year of technological transformations, with an abundance of new and innovative technologies changing the way we operate in day-to-day life. With these advancements, we've also seen B2B and B2C businesses undergo changes as they move toward digital transformations that play a pivotal role in how they engage customers and they optimise customer experiences to create new dynamics in an ever-evolving market.

As more companies realise the potential new technology has for driving sales and aiding customer relations, an onslaught of digital trends and radical business transformations in the B2B and B2C sectors will emerge.

Recent updates to 5G cellular network and IoT technologies

One of the catalysts for change in the year 2020 was the introduction of the 5G. This next generation of mobile broadband is still in its roll-out process; however, already, the impact it has had on digital transformation is noteworthy. Many of the world's telcos are on track to deliver and exceed their 5G goals.

What does this mean for consumers? Faster connectivity, coupled with the ability to meet new demands that exceed customer expectations. For businesses, the recent updates to the 5G have created new business models with the help of IoT (Internet of Things) technologies. Already we have seen businesses across all types of industries benefit from 5G IoT devices. From augmented reality used to improve customer service to the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to streamline customer experience journeys, these trends and more will remain critical for driving new revenue streams and handling meaningful business relationships across sectors.

Top trends in digital transformation for 2021

1. 5G broadband

By 2021, the 5G will have been rolled out to the majority of Australia as well as across the globe, and more devices will become 5G -ready. This year has already seen the 5G ushered in as many new smartphones are being sold with 5G capability installed. The 5G along with IoT are rapidly driving business growth and ability as more technologies become stronger, faster, and more reliable.

With the 5G fully implemented, we will see an explosion of advancements within industries - particularly in industries such as manufacturing, retail, health, and transportation. The development of lightning-fast connectivity and reduced network latency paves the way for technologies that can keep up with demanding tasks otherwise manually enforced.

For example, complex machine learning applications within the manufacturing and logistics industries can now be conducted remotely, via automation. Combined, the 5G and IoT will be vital in enhancing such advances across all industries.

The use of the 5G within the manufacturing industry has achieved faster and more reliable wireless processing of assembly lines, remote screening of heavy machinery, and 5G-powered equipment. A few examples are drones and driverless forklifts, both leveraging 5G connectivity to perform their functions more efficiently.

In 2021, 5G will continue driving momentum behind services relying on advanced technologies. For B2C sectors, 5G s will be pivotal in how businesses observe and interact with customers to provide new opportunities, drive marketability further, and enhance the customer experience. Processes ranging from cloud implementation for more efficiency in running business processes to enhanced virtual reality experiences will improve customer experiences.

In the B2B sectors, 5G trends in 2021 will include more interactive content for collaborating and communicating via advancements in telecommunications. Interactive, fully immersive product demonstrations will also become the norm, helping businesses present products in real-time and in the best possible light.

2. Predictive analytics & CDP

Predictive analytics uses both new and old data to forecast trends, which can assist businesses in analysing market trends as well as attract and retain customers. Predictive analytics helps optimise business models and make organisations run more efficiently.

In 2021, predictive analytics will be used more widely across industries to improve marketing campaigns, manage resources, reduce risk, and detect fraud. Already, many enterprises use predictive analytics to boost revenue.

A few examples of predictive analytics in action:

Through Customer Data Platform (CDP) software, businesses can gather all past, present, and future predictive trends in the one place to track and manage customer interactions.

3. AI and cloud environments

As data demand continues to grow exponentially, AI will be employed to help manage and process this information. AI and machine learning data will explode in 2021, as businesses increasingly turn to new technologies to make sense of their data and gain further insights.

The Look will be utilised by more enterprises, as both its efficiency and security benefit from the more reliable 5G connectivity. As cloud environments become superior and industries become interconnected, the hybrid cloud provides businesses with the ability to access and share data within their organisation as well as across other departments and consumers in real-time. With all or most employees working in remote setups, a cloud-based platform will prove integral to the way a business operates and manages its staff. Virtual cloud desktops and off- and on-premises solutions will allow for decreased overheads and a more flexible working arrangement. Utilising the hybrid cloud in 2021 will allow businesses to pick and choose services to suit their needs and customise their cloud environment to maximise their productivity and earning potential.

4. Business intelligence and cybersecurity

The new and complex 5G has created a demand for heightened levels of security. As such, 2021 technology transformation trends include the evolution of business intelligence and cybersecurity. Given the scope of the 5G , businesses need to equip themselves with a cybersecurity plan that rethinks the challenges of the modern workplace.

5G cybersecurity in 2021 will include a cloud and IoT approach, with edge-to-edge solutions that include intelligent remote surveillance systems accessed anywhere, anytime.

In terms of protecting IT infrastructure, we will see smart protections for IoT devices come about as well as endpoint detection and response (EDR) to screen and protect every device connected to a single network. EDR will monitor business networks for any suspicious activity in real-time using AI and machine learning to detect and remove cyberattacks.

On a human level, the advancement of the 5G will demand highly skilled cybersecurity personnel to provide expert advice and guidance for business as part of their IT security and disaster response setup.

5. Internet privacy

Privacy-enhancing computing will be a notable theme for 2021. Data privacy is increasingly a concern for many businesses and individuals. The emergence of data automation and security analytics strengthens internet privacy. As the 5G brings more data capability, companies must closely monitor how they safeguard their data. Monitoring includes how data is collected, stored, and shared, in addition to compliance with applicable privacy laws.

Security automation will take centre stage when it comes to internet privacy in 2021, as it can automatically detect, monitor, and remediate cyber threats without human intervention. Security data analytics will help businesses take stock of their current internet privacy and compliance practices and use this data to improve their data security performance.

Having a prominent internet privacy framework in this new technological age is vital for businesses. This requirement will also spill into the consumer market, with users demanding better privacy control and transparency over their devices.

6. Headless technology

Headless technology looks at how the commercial industry divides its front-end presentation to customers from back-end technology. This business strategy can help improve the customer experience within the eCommerce industry. Headless tech is often a combination of technologies and a back-end-only content management system (CMS) that uses software to push marketing content and product information to new front-ends.

Smart speakers, interactive store maps, digital signage, and more give businesses the freedom and flexibility to create custom shopping experiences to attract more customers.

In 2021, eCommerce brands will adopt headless tech such as voice assistants, wearables, and smart appliances in conjunction with traditional portals of marketing, such as social media. From a consumer's perspective, headless tech means having more channels through which they can make purchases and a more personalised experience when interacting with a retail brand.

7. Remote work

A recent study from the World Economic Forum has shown that 84% of employers are set to rapidly digitalize working processes, including a significant expansion of remote work-with the potential to move 44% of their workforce to operate remotely. Due to 5G-led technology, digital transformation, and an increased reliance on IoT, remote work will be the future of the workplace.

When it comes to technological trends in remote working environments, we are poised to see intuitive technologies in automating tasks previously performed by people. While technology won't replace humans entirely, it will relieve people from mundane, repetitive tasks allowing for greater efficiency and productivity. Zoom and Skype already enable standard business practices such as meetings, interviews, and briefings via the internet. These software as a service (SaaS) applications reduce business costs and time-consuming tasks.

8. Customer experience and engagement

Culture and customer experience (CX) will be two of the most significant areas impacted by digital transformations in 2021. As more businesses adopt the 5G and become equipped with sophisticated technologies, customers will demand an even better customer experience, and companies will respond by harnessing AI. In the coming years, we will see AI bots provide assistance to customers, whether in-store or online. Voice-controlled collaboration on mobile devices will give consumers a personalised retail experience, and we will see it in the form of virtual dressing rooms and robot employees.

From automated checkouts to personalised discounts made redeemable by sensors in the store, the future of business is greater engagement in 2021 and beyond.

Prepare your business for the arrival of the 5G

With the roll-out of the 5G in Australia expected to be completed in 2021, businesses must prepare for the impact this network will have on their business. From upgrading and building new apps and IoT devices to the integration of AI in business processes, faster speeds and reduced latency can advance companies in an increasingly competitive landscape. Uncover the freedom of SpinTel's no-lock-in contract options by speaking to a SpinTel team member or requesting a call back.

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