The Trends Defining the New Year of Digital-First Business Transformation

January 08, 2021

While companies have been considering digital transformation initiatives for some time now, the past year has thrust it upon them like never before. As I mentioned in a recent Forbes article, in 2021digital first is becoming the battle cry and salvation for businesses of all sizes and industries.
Four tech trends driving the digital-first era, include:

  1. Deep Learning. Thanks to greater GPU computing power and the availability of large data-sets, deep learning is addressing increasingly more complex problems in 2021. This form of advanced AI can help companies gain deeper insights than would be possible by human thinking alone. One industry that will benefit greatly from deep learning is healthcare, across diagnostics, treatment and discovery
  2. User Experience. Especially during COVID-19, a focus on user experience has enabled many companies to stay afloat. Understanding customer needs, frustrations and desires has spawned digital transformation. This may include digital touchless menus or mobile ordering for restaurants; or augmented reality apps that boost the online retail experience for shoppers. In many cases, the entire consumer experience is becoming digital.
  3. Computer Vision. An application of computer vision that will move closer to reality in 2021 involves autonomous vehicles. Software that tracks, perceives and interprets images enables cars to drive safely and navigate through traffic, identifying other cars, people and other objects. In addition, computer vision software used in satellites are allowing organizations to identify images on earth that can help them address urban sprawl, environmental challenges or other issues.
  4. AI Engineering. As companies begin to adopt AI, they will focus on ways to deploy it automatically, with continuous improvement. In fact, Gartner has identified this AI Engineering approach as a key strategic trend for 2021.

As the Forbes article explores more deeply, digital first has become the battle cry for 2021, yet it requires a mindset that embraces innovation and exploration. Instead of being an item on a company roadmap, it is fast becoming the first consideration for business improvement and continuity.

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