5 Key Digital Transformation Trends in 2020

Red lights in line on black surface

Digital transformation worldwide will pick up the pace in 2020. This is despite the thorough planning required to move from legacy IT to digital transformation, which will entail analysing current practices and determining future outcomes. But organizations around the world likely won’t mind all that work, given the benefits of digitalization (e.g., creating new means to communicate with customers and data-driven decision making). With that being said, here are the key digital transformation trends to watch out for in 2020:

1. On to 5G

Futurum Research principal analyst Daniel Newman predicts 2020 to be the year of 5G. Telecommunication giants, such as Qualcomm and Huawei, are already deploying 5G, while companies like Apple and Samsung are now releasing 5G-compatible gadgets. This will mean faster broadband speeds and more reliable mobile networks. It will also accelerate advancements in smart and the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, enabling organizations worldwide to better connect to the digital world. In the UK, Vodafone, O2, EE, and Three have all rolled out 5G. It will continue this 2020, more so with Vodafone and O2 forging a deal to share 5G equipment.

2. Big data gets even bigger

In 2018, the world created around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day. This is why The Enterprisers Project is projecting big data to get even bigger this year. Companies will need to come up with data storage contingencies, while organizations must invest in building insight engines to make sense of data, along with developing tamper-proof ways to manage them as well.

An example of a company leveraging big data is the UOB Bank in Singapore. As a financial institution, it could an incur massive losses without an effective means to assess risks (e.g., clients potentially defaulting on payments, bad loans, etc.). Enter big data-assisted risk management, which helps UOB reduce the time it takes to assess the value of risk (from as long as 18 hours to just a few minutes). The bank's goal moving forward is to make risk analysis in real time. With big data getting bigger, that's entirely possible. Having said that, expect more companies to leverage big data a lot more in their products and services.

3. The rise of AI

ZDNet points out that organizations are heavily investing in AI, and will continue doing so this 2020. In fact, MuleSoft anticipates a 95% growth projection in terms of AI adoption, as it is a powerful tool that personalizes the customer experience, reduces human bias, and automates tasks. Not to mention, AI can also make sense of big data in ways that will benefit companies.

Proof of widespread AI adoption is Materialise, a provider of software and engineering services headquartered in Belgium. Among its most profitable services is SurgiCase, a platform where Materialise engineers create surgical plans for doctors. These are based on AI-assisted analysis of uploaded medical imaging data, and are helping surgeons become more efficient and accurate in their planning. It is a unique use of AI, and illustrates its usefulness in industries outside of tech and engineering.

4. Transforming for sustainability

The World Economic Forum notes that digital transformation can build a sustainable world, as digitalization can help companies adapt their business models towards sustainability. This means using technology to create responsive digital supply chains that can leverage opportunities for sustainable practices.

Today’s technologies are making such transformations possible, and are helping the global supply chain to optimise fuel consumption. In Australia, Verizon Connect explains how engine sensors are combined with GPS-verifiable data to create an automated fuel tax reporting system that allows logistics companies in the supply chain to optimise gas consumption for their delivery fleets. This lowers their carbon footprint significantly, not to mention their operating costs. Use of such technologies, therefore, is likely to pick up as more companies look to be greener.

5. The rise of privacy regulations

High-profile data breaches of WhatsApp, Capitol One, and Facebook have put data privacy front and centre, which is why it will come as no surprise that there will be an increased emphasis on it. In Europe, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will compel more organizations to better address privacy and security issues. Doing so will even be used by organization as a brand differentiator to appeal to security-conscious customers.

That is the case with New York-based startup BigID, who uses machine learning to not only help companies protect customer and employee data, but also comply with the GDPR’s data protection requirements. With privacy now a point of emphasis, expect startups like BigID to play a bigger role in digital transformation across industries.

Current rating: 4.3 (38 ratings)


17 Apr 2020 Steve Boronski
Alternate text
Its interesting that we see increases in everything tech data related but a rapid reduction in the trust people have in the tech companies we all deal with.
25 Apr 2020 Sheng Peng
Alternate text
Artificial intelligence will gradually replace human repetitive work, and people will have the energy to do more creative work.
24 Jul 2020 Satheeshkumar Selvaraj
Alternate text
Surprise to see cloud not being in the top10. Is the cloud fever is over ? or has majority of the organizations already moved to cloud ? I don't think so.
30 Jul 2020 Chi Chung Joe Ho
Alternate text
How about the trend of "Work from Home", "Home Office", and "Distance leadership" ?

I think the stay-at-home order can change the world, and digital leader like Microsoft also told employee to work at home.
9 Aug 2020 Christian Joshua Casin
Alternate text
Handling more data is going to be more difficult to handle, I guess block chain is not that popular in today's trend.

It will help us secure our data to avoid tampering on our log specially if this log connects with multiple parties.

I agree on the top 5, specially in AI, I am actually looking forward on the innovations in the world using AI that will help us remove redundant task and use our skills on something that there is still value that needs to look into it.
12 Aug 2020 Scott Elder
Alternate text
It's a bit of a perfect storm at the moment with more data crossed with people being forced to work from home. It's showing where business have failed to address access and control, taxonomy etc. On the plus side, these issues are brought to the forefront and getting more attention.
24 Aug 2020 Jimi Thompson
Alternate text
Remote work combined with AI means that we will all be held to even higher standards in work from home situations than we have been in the office.
24 Aug 2020 Akinlolu Longe
Alternate text
I think the writeup should include the new ways of working occassioned by the COVID 19 pandemic.
29 Oct 2020 Anil Panikulam
Alternate text
Refreshing post on digital trends. I also share the same sentiments as the other commenters, that the Pandemic has changed the way we work.
12  >| Pages: 1 of 2
You must log in to post a comment. Log in
Forum Leaderboard
Our “Leaderboards” are just one way we show off the best and brightest of the AXELOS Community. This is a list of our top users with the highest post counts in the AXELOS Community - select "View the full leaderboard" to find out where you are on the list!