The coronavirus pandemic and the ways businesses have had to adjust to ensure their survival and pivoting the trajectory of what 2021 will look like and how companies can best prepare for the upcoming year. Here are the top five trends that I believe will drive every business in 2021.
Where are people working these days?
One year into the coronavirus pandemic, many employers, particularly technology businesses like Microsoft, Twitter, Shopify, Square, Spotify, and Amazon, are increasingly adopting and promoting extended work-from-home protocols.
For example, when Microsoft announced its new guidelines, which allowed employees to work from home full time with approval or move to a new location with salaries based on geography.
One of the most significant changes recently was the shift from working in physical office spaces to working remotely, most commonly, from home. According to reports, in April 2020, almost half at 46.6% of the UK workforce has worked from home. Due to the persistence of the Covid-19 and technology advantages, it doesn’t look like we will be returning to offices full-time anytime soon.
Remote working is likely now here to stay. The flexibility gives workers choices and the autonomy to do their work in a manner that works best for them, allowing them control over their schedules, which lowers company costs, not to mention improving productivity levels. The newly embraced work from home model has proved very popular with employers and employees alike. Due to the perks that remote working offers, it seems that this will continue to be a massive trend as we head further into 2022.
As companies increasingly harness affordable technology that enables them to run a range of services online, physical workspaces become redundant to how many businesses carry out their operations. Offices aren’t likely to become entirely obsolete anytime soon. According to a survey of analysts by the anonymous professional network Blind, 80% of respondents believe the future of work is likely to be hybrid.
Before the pandemic, a hybrid model was simply a mixture of office-based work and working from home. The hybrid work model helps employers to straddle the bridge between the present and the future. Hybrid working enables companies to comply with Covid-19 guidelines by encouraging large workforce sections to work from home. Employees further benefit because it facilitates group collaboration while giving them the autonomy to choose to work where they believe they are the most productive.
Covid-19 is an unpredictable anomaly, and with a widespread shift in employee attitudes, it looks like remote or hybrid forms of work will last throughout 2021 and beyond. So, while figuring out what will work best for your enterprise, it may be worth considering giving long-term hybrid working models a go.
How are people using data?
Data trends change with the wind. It seems just as. The consumer gets used to one interface a new one is launched that turns the old way of doing things on its head. Here are the data trends I believe will be the most important in the coming years.
Responsible, Smarter, and Scalable Artificial Intelligence
The impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning requires businesses to integrate new ways for more innovative, less data-hungry, responsible, and more flexible AI solutions. By deploying smarter, more accountable, scalable AI, organizations will incorporate learning algorithms and interpretable systems in a shorter time for a higher business impact.
Data Fabric as a Foundation
With increased digitization and more consumers, D&A leaders are increasingly using data fabric to help address diversity, more excellent distribution, scale, and increased complexity in their organizations’ data assets.
What data fabric does is use analytics to monitor data pipelines constantly. Data fabric uses continuous analytics of data assets to support the design, deployment, and data use to save time and asset commitment for integration.
Engineering Predictive Decision Intelligence
Engineering predictive decision intelligence applies to not just individual decisions but patterns of decisions; it’s the discipline of grouping intelligence into business processes and networks of emergent choices and consequences. As decisions become automated, engineering predictive decisions affords the opportunity for leaders to make decisions that are more accurate, repeatable, transparent, and traceable.
Treating Data and Analytics as a Core Business Function
Instead of being a secondary activity, truly embracing data and analytics is a core business function. Data and analytics become a shared business asset aligned to successful business results, with better collaboration between all data and analytics teams.
Graphing Makes the Whole Understandable
Graphs form the foundation of many modern data and analytics capabilities to find relationships between people, places, things, events, and locations across diverse data assets. D&A leaders rely on graphs to quickly answer complex business questions which require contextual awareness and an understanding of the nature of connections and strengths across multiple entities.
It is predicted by 2025; graph technologies will be used in almost 80% of data and analytics exercises, up from 10% in 2021, allowing for rapid decision making across the company.
Data and Analytics at the Forefront
Data, analytics, and other technologies supporting them increasingly are found in what are called edge computing environments; these environments are closer to tangibles in the physical world and outside IT. Studies predict that by 2023, over half of the primary responsibility of data and analytics leaders will include data created, managed, and analyzed in edge environments. Business leaders can use this trend to enable greater data management flexibility, speed, and governance.
How are people using automation?
The pandemic changed everything we thought we knew about accepted business principles. Leaders now understand digitizing everything is crucial because it’s the only way to future-proof their business. These are some of the most important predictions about digital transformation as we head into a post-pandemic world that we understand to be true.
Researchers now believe everything that can and should be automated should and will be automated; everything that cannot be digitized must be augmented.
The pandemic is a force factor for changing computing landscapes and making a sweeping digital transformation, ensuring pragmatic innovation from edge to core. It is predicted by 2022, 70 percent of all organizations will have accelerated use of digital technologies, which will transform all existing business processes to drive customer engagement, employee productivity, and business strength over time. By 2024, experts predict 75 percent of organizations will have comprehensive digital transformation roadmaps, compared to 27 percent today, resulting in a digital revolution of progress across all facets of business and society. In just three years, with this roadmap, it is predicted companies can lower operational costs by 30 percent. The combination of hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operational processes will be the key.
Business interest is high in AI, IoT, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA). But these capabilities cannot deliver business results if they are separated. Companies will achieve and uncover opportunities through hyperautomation.
Hyperautomation is defined as a disciplined approach organizations use to rapidly identify, process, and automate as many business and IT processes as possible to work together seamlessly.
It is expected 30 percent of cities using automation from the combination of IoT, AI, will blend the physical and digital and improve the remote management of critical infrastructure and digital services by 2025.
The other big push seen in the progressive business environment is working with existing and future technologies to boost human productivity by arming employees with digital tools that work together. The theory is that by automating 80% of the processes serving up information at the touch of a button, people will make more informed and therefore, better decisions.
Many analysts agree this goal is not too far into the future; it is expected that new forms of automation will support one out of every four remote workers directly or indirectly by the end of this year. Many organizations are expected to invest in conversational AI, machine learning, and hardware advances. These processes will enable remote workers to perform tasks previously done in the office or that held higher labor costs, such as employee self-service, customer service support, and document extraction.
What are the finance trends these days?
These days it’s all about advanced analytics in financial markets. Financial institutions are ingesting, storing, and analyzing increasing vast amounts of financial data at a faster and faster rate. This data includes regulatory reporting, customer experience, markets surveillance, and of course, business analytics.
With every organization’s ultimate goal of becoming more data-driven, businesses are building cloud-based data centers called “lakes” to collect and aggregate all of their data in a central place, and allow access to the data and the necessary analytics tools for their analysts.
The pandemic has accelerated digital account opening and the overwhelming consumer shift to digital services. A new trend is the industry’s goal to generate business value from mega data. Financial institutions continue to innovate the methods used to harness data, searching for a consistently strong performing, and functioning framework. With the ability to extract insights from their data, leaders can leverage it to inform business decisions, meet shifting consumer demands or spot fraud. Tech companies, and some larger financial institutions have mastered the process and built infrastructures that work, smaller organizations are significantly behind the curve.
Data needs to be considered a critical asset as companies plan their budgets for the future.
Data is only becoming more available and while companies are taking more significant measures to protect it, we see consumers recognize the value in sharing data customization enhances their experience. This allows for ample opportunities to make banking better and more tailored and personalized solutions for every banking area. Institutional investors are now demanding data that tracks retail investor sentiment on key stock holdings.