2020 has been the year driven by accelerated tech adoption across public and private sectors, and the only enabler that helped combat the economic and business inertia, otherwise inflicted upon by the restrictions on physical movement. Some key technology innovations that helped change the business scenario for key sectors, including healthcare, education, and BFSI, were a mix of emerging smart tech and essential SAAS components vital to ensure smooth functioning. While AI, ML, AR, and VR found multiple innovative applications, services like cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data analytics witnessed sophisticated upgrades. As e-commerce boomed, digital payments and last-mile deliveries enabled by smart logistics became the norm. In 2021, technology adoption is no longer just about survival and competition but more about staying relevant and managing to tide over the impact of the past year. Further, among a lot of other factors that are now part of the new normal, work from home remains one of the more lucrative and thus a motivator for technology innovations in the coming years, for businesses across sectors.
Encapsulated below are the top five technology adoptions that every firm needs to adopt, in the new financial year, so as to stay relevant and survive:
- Cloud Computing: Cloud computing has become an integral part of the digital transformation of any business, especially after the global pandemic made work from home the new normal. Cloud computing, along with mobile technology, provides the ability to work from any location that has internet access, via a virtual desktop or remote infrastructure. Apart from creating a seamless and flexible working experience for employees to work out of remote locations, cloud computing also ensures data protection, secure and selective access to information, and smoother engagement among employees. If remote working has to be a norm, it has to be with a secure cloud infrastructure!
- Cyber Security: Data security goes hand in hand with cloud computing. With the increased digitization and cyber activities, security on the internet and cloud have also become increasingly vulnerable. Instances like ransomware, data theft, identity theft, etc., have become rampant. As remote working shifts from a temporary solution to common practice, enterprises need to reconsider and revisit their cybersecurity risk. As many people are still working from home, a large number of devices are being used from home- mainly desktops, laptops, and smartphones, thus giving hackers opportunities to target these vulnerable points. This is why organizations should take cybersecurity seriously and make employees aware of the security protocols they need to adhere to. For instance, enterprises should encourage professionals to use encrypted, enterprise-driven services like VPN (Virtual Private Network) to avoid becoming prey to cybercriminals.
- Business Automation: Even as the world wakes up to the many possibilities of leveraging AI and smart technology, business process automation remains one of the core applications that are transforming modern economies. From capturing and assessing data, storage, and analytics, AI-enabled automation is driving both core operational areas like manufacturing and packaging as well as strategic aspects like sales and marketing, customer service, accounting, and human resources.
- Training and Skill Up-Gradation: As tech adoption grows dramatically, the need to fill the digital literacy and skill gap becomes increasingly important. From training workforce to efficiently leverage the tech applications and driving performance, tech tools are also increasingly coming in handy to deliver online training sessions, workshops, and classroom lectures on both, core competency and tech adoption, both of which, when combined perfectly, can help turn around an organization drastically, putting it firmly on its path to success.
- Data Analytics: Last but not the least, data, which is already touted as the new ‘oil’, is becoming an increasingly valuable business currency and leveraging effective means to collect, store and analyze this data could mean the difference between success and failure, for businesses. From creating impactful consumer engagement, designing marketing campaigns, product development, and design to enhancing employee performance indicators, better customer experience, predictive analysis and problem solving, Data analytics, and AI is the future of the global economy and this is the time to jump the bandwagon if one wants to keep up.
Technology has significant effects on business operations. No matter the size of the enterprise, technology has both tangible and intangible benefits that will help businesses make profits and enable efficient operation. Technological infrastructure affects the culture, efficiency, and relationships of a business. This is the reason why businesses irrespective of their size should invest in technology to operate in a smart and more innovative way.
By Sumana Iyengar (CEO & Co-Founder Goavega Software India Pvt Ltd)