6 digital transformation trends for 2023

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Keeping up with the whirlwind pace of customer experience technology can leave any business feeling winded. But when digital transformation is a critical part of your organization’s success, it’s never been more important to become familiar with where it’s going.

And as customer expectations evolve, the technology that was essential yesterday may not deliver the same great experience tomorrow. In a fluid landscape, getting up to speed on emerging trends in digital transformation means ultimate confidence in the future of your business.

With our research and industry expertise by your side, exceptional customer experiences are an effortless extension of your brand. In this article, you’ll learn about the latest digital transformation trends of 2023 and how your business can benefit.

What is digital transformation?

Current digital transformation trends

Moving the dial with digital transformation

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation means using digital technology to operate more effectively in a digital economy, integrating it across all areas of your business. Successful digital transformation helps an organization deliver better customer experiences and earn lasting loyalty in the process.

When an organization invests in digital transformation, it puts customers and their needs first. By reorienting people, processes, and technology to serve the customer, every moment feels relevant and personalized. Behind the scenes, employees gain greater efficiency and creativity since automation relieves them of manual marketing tasks. And when businesses move workflows from paper to digital files, they become more sustainable.

Current digital transformation trends

From ecommerce retailers to the supply chain, every business benefits from digital transformation. And with the right technology in place, you can meet your customers where they are — in real time and at scale. The latest digital transformation trends include artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), cloud and everything as a service (XaaS), hybrid work, automation, cybersecurity, and customer data platforms.

1. Everyday artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)

For customers, efficiency and speed are no longer a bonus but an expectation in every type of imaginable environment and encounter. As AI and ML become more mainstream, the standard for excellence will continue to soar beyond the limits of a human team alone. But incorporating these technologies can amplify the power of your people.

An AI system shines when used to automate repetitive, manual tasks or retrieve relevant information at a moment’s notice — freeing up employees’ time so they can focus on driving business impact. And with the capacity to work around the clock, AI operates without the limits of working business hours or time zones.

Yet AI is only half the opportunity. Layering in ML is a way for AI and other programs to continuously improve and adapt performance, learning from any and all data it has access to. The more information it gains over time, the faster the ML system can uncover insights like who your best-performing customers are.

2. From the cloud to everything as a service (XaaS)

Make way for the next-level cloud. This familiar technology is on track to emerge in new and surprising ways in the coming year. While connecting data through a digital hub is commonplace today, more and more organizations are now fully moving to the cloud to access information anywhere and at any time. Embracing technology makes collaboration second nature on an enterprise scale while making the costs of physical hardware a thing of the past. And with widespread user adoption, cloud-native applications are meeting the increased demand with improved scalability and results for organizations.

Mirroring this development, many companies are also starting to shift toward everything as a service (XaaS) — meaning all their products and services are available as cloud-based subscription services. Instead of a fragmented offering, everything from storage to security to communications is digital.

3. Hybrid work — here to stay

After the mandate for remote work in 2020, many companies began bringing employees back into the office in fits and starts over the next few years. It’s only now with a foundation for remote infrastructure that hybrid work has become the most successful work schedule for many businesses. In fact, 54% of employees who work remotely at least some of the time say they would split their time between working at home and in the office. And nearly 60% say they’ve worked in some type of hybrid model since COVID-19, evidence that businesses can still achieve their goals with this model.

While there isn’t one hybrid work solution, the flexibility and convenience it provides make a compelling business case for organizations that can apply it — with the right tools and infrastructure. Centralizing and simplifying your technology improves the way your teams collaborate so you can remain competitive moving forward. When every member of the team is using the same workflow, you can boost efficiency and deliver great work at scale.

4. Automation accelerates

With no signs of slowing down, automation is on the roadmap of every business looking to free up employees’ valuable time and reduce errors. Teams are often held back by the volume of low-effort tasks like managing vendor invoices, tracking down information, or re-creating documentation. With automation, organizations can seamlessly scale while reducing operational expenses along the way.

There are a few accessible and cost-effective ways to start introducing automation to your business:

Robotic process automation (RPA). Use software robots to automate repetitive tasks like data entry, onboarding, or payroll processing.

Low-code or no-code development. Empower teams with development tools that automate code writing through intuitive drag-and-drop and pull-down interfaces.

Whichever method you choose to explore, most automation efforts complement AI efforts with ease. Consider how these two digital transformation trends can work together to facilitate even smarter and more efficient automation for your business.

5. Build trust with cybersecurity

As more and more companies move their data onto the cloud, protecting that data becomes more crucial. And with hybrid work here to stay, it’s easier than ever for company data to become insecure through simple tactics like unauthorized sharing or phishing scams.

There’s no question data must always be secure, but customer data is an especially vulnerable area because the stakes are so high. When people’s personal addresses, credit card numbers, and emails are at stake, it only takes one data breach to lose customer trust forever. For companies with large amounts of data, a “zero trust model” like Microsoft’s can help you avoid reputational damage, revenue loss, or even lawsuits.

Even if your data security is robust, don’t miss out on an opportunity to build trust with your customers by being transparent about how their data is being used. Clearly share your privacy policy and only access their personal and financial data with explicit permission. Correctly handling customer data is a prerequisite to analyzing it for insight-driven business decisions.

6. Customer data platform (CDP) as personalization powerhouse

From a customer’s first click on your social media channels to checking out their order through the website, each interaction is a valuable source of information. Organizing and translating thousands of data points across the customer journey into useful insights is an overwhelming task without the right tools.

A CDP unifies all customer data into a single view, connecting that data to the actual human being via a real-time profile. With the data centralized and secure in one database, decision-makers can easily analyze the insights — and act quickly to prompt conversions. Tools like CDPs are powerful to gain a complete understanding of the customer, making exceptional customer experiences possible.

Moving the dial with digital transformation

With a refresher on the latest digital transformation trends, you’re prepared to capitalize on what’s next. Whether it’s understanding your team is ready for a powerful AI partner or realizing that XaaS has a pivotal role in your business trajectory, there are many ways to meet evolving customer expectations. Here are some of our industry-leading tools to help you navigate the way forward.

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