Digital Transformation Trends Shaping 2020

Original article can be found here (source): Artificial Intelligence on Medium

Digital Transformation Trends Shaping 2020

By Renee Christensen

Now that we are firmly immersed in 2020, what digital technology trends are gaining traction as necessities to future success? With businesses facing many external challenges, every company can use an edge in understanding where to invest their resources for the future. The elephant in the room to address is obviously the economic impact of COVID-19 but there are other challenges to keep in mind as well such as the compounding impacts of climate change, the re-hashing of global trade agreements, and the growing consumer-income gap.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Daniel Newman, a contributor to Forbes Magazine, recently called out several trends emerging in the last few years which have reached their tipping point to the mainstream. He notes that while AR/VR, IoT, cloud and edge computing “will continue to be foundational to our collective digital transformation journey”, below are several newer trends which are poised to have a significant impact in 2020 and beyond. I want to highlight three of these trends, as well as touch on AR/VR, since our team has seen concrete evidence of these taking hold and delivering real value to the bottom line:

· Data Analytics boosted by AI and Machine Learning

· Digital Privacy

· Conversational AI

· AR/VR

Robust data analytics and digital privacy will be critical to future success. A business must know their customers better than their competitors to retain and delight them. When dealing with customer data, it must make data protection an imperative priority to maintain customer trust. Valence sees this through an ever-increasing number of clients who need to more effectively and securely capture, process and digest vast amounts of data. Using AI and machine learning, our team recently built a field analytics engine for a commercial drone company to harness their immense amount of graphical data, resulting in a decrease in processing time from 72 hours to 30 minutes. Another client came to us with over 1 billion lines of data that we were able to capture and streamline into a sophisticated, yet easy to use visual dashboard, taking an overwhelming data set and making it immediately digestible to drive actionable business insights.

The next trend — conversational AI (voice & chat) technology — provides the ability for businesses to meet their customer in the most natural and efficient way possible, via speech. This technology is rapidly evolving and we will be seeing much more of it as quality exponentially improves. Here at Valence, we built our own chat bot to enable employees to easily and naturally find company information just by asking Alexa. We have been able to apply the same technology for a Fortune 100 client in the retail environment during the last holiday season where the chat bot engaged with hundreds of customers.

Lastly, augmented and virtual reality are moving beyond the gaming industry as new products are becoming fully mobile (un-tethered) and less expensive. Rich new content is being developed to enhance learning, provide training and enable discovery across enterprises, health care, retail and higher learning institutions. This immersive modality can deliver high-touch experiences to broad audiences remotely, greatly enhancing reach and reducing cost. Currently, with self-isolation measures happening all over the world and more employees working remotely, AR/VR implementations are likely to experience a spike. We recently had the chance to deliver a virtual reality facility tour which allowed a large manufacturer to train employees from anywhere in the world on their product and processes without incurring any travel expenses. Additionally, we see more retailers embracing this technology and looking to build unique, highly engaging immersive experiences for their customers.

All in all, these are exciting trends that we see gaining significant momentum as game changers and strong investment choices across industries in 2020 and beyond.