6 Trends Shaping Digital Transformation in 2021

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Maggie FisherSEO and PR Manager

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Having survived unprecedented circumstances in 2020, businesses have entered 2021 facing more challenges than ever before.

Article 6 Minutes
6 Trends Shaping Digital Transformation in 2021

In the past months, companies have learned to adapt to this drastic change. Brands have begun to utilize new technologies and methods to survive and stay relevant to consumers.

Businesses need to be aware of new trends that will impact the way you operate and interact with your customers. Did you know, for example, the benefits of using chatbots to provide immediate customer support? Have you optimized for the new Google Page Experience update to retain or improve your website ranking? And have you found ways to keep your consumer data protected?

When you stay informed, you position your brand ahead of your competitors and benefit from being a part of a digital revolution.

1.  Machine learning and AI

Machine learning has been around for decades, but today’s artificial intelligence (AI) applications have expanded into many markets and industries, from healthcare to cybersecurity. AI is expected to provide a way for businesses to learn about users and meet their needs. From diagnosing an illness to recommending a product, machine learning is a flexible and highly reliable tool for various consumer needs.

Self-driving cars, smart assistants, chatbots and robo-advisors prove that machine learning is the future of technology-driven products and services. Take Google Home, Amazon Alexa or Tesla’s smart cars – these are all existing AI-driven objects that already make a huge impact in our everyday lives.

2.  5G

Just when we thought mobile phones couldn’t get any more powerful, it has. 5G, which stands for 5th generation mobile network, enables ultra-fast connections between multiple devices. Its connection speed of over 10 gigabits per second is a huge leap from 4G’s 100 megabits per second, which can give way to systems that have not been built before.

5G also has extremely low latency, which can help deliver better connectivity (download and upload speeds). One of the ways 5G can transform businesses is by hosting massive networks and hundreds of interconnected devices for enterprise organizations. Companies might consider switching to remote work as 5G connectivity becomes available to its employees.

5G can be easily integrated with other emerging trends in AI and the Internet of Things (IoT). Qualcomm, the leading provider of 5G technology, has partnered with most mobile phone manufacturers around the globe, including Apple, Samsung and Motorola.

3.  Cryptocurrency

Popular and controversial cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have been the center of attention in the financial world in the past years. While still in its early stages, there’s no denying that this form of currency is no longer just a trend but a viable solution towards faster transactions, consumer privacy and data protection.

While cryptocurrencies are criticized for their use in illegal activities, some people prefer transacting with cryptocurrency because it offers fast international transfers without huge transaction costs, unlike traditional banks and financial institutions. Cryptocurrencies are seen to be a disruptive technology that can either be used for evil or for good, but many countries have been working on placing regulations to ensure it’s used lawfully.

Today, cryptocurrencies are slowly breaking into mainstream banks like J.P. Morgan, but consumers continue to demand it be included as an option for regular payments and on eCommerce platforms. It might take some time for cryptocurrencies to be the norm, but the progress it’s made in just a matter of years is promising.

4.  Virtual reality and augmented reality

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are both ways to alter a user’s reality. These technologies have become a massive hit in the gaming industry. However, they present great potential for use in training and education in addition to entertainment.

For instance, a simulation software called VirtualShip is now being used to train American military personnel. Cosmetics company Sephora released an AR app helping users to “try out” hairstyles and makeup using their smartphones.

What’s more, the market for VR and AR is predicted to grow by over $200 billion in 2022.

5.  Google Page Experience

Google Page Experience is the latest Google algorithm update announced in May 2020 and it began rolling out June 15. Google Page Experience introduces three new rankings signals called the Core Web Vitals. These consist of three elements: load time (LCP), interactivity (FID) and visual stability (CLS). Websites need to comply with these three Core Web Vitals to pass Google Page Experience tests. SEO specialists use tools to measure against these ranking signals and provide website owners with a Core Web Vitals report to show what needs to be optimized or improved on specific pages.

Because of its impact on technical SEO, businesses need to ensure that their web pages pass Google Page Experience tests. In addition to being responsive, websites need to be designed in a way that offers users the best possible online experience, as per Google’s guidelines.

6.  Data privacy and cybersecurity

Consumers are extremely protective of their personal data. When they interact with a company, they expect that their data is safe and secure. Recent studies from Consumers International and the Internet Society revealed that 75% of consumers believe data is collected and used without their permission. Furthermore, 53% distrust apps and organizations in keeping their information private and secure.

With remote work becoming the norm, companies need a better way of securing massive data sets. In the past years, Virtual Private Networking (VPN) offerings have provided the much-needed security for most organizations. Today, a more secure option for protecting sensitive data and preventing attacks called Zero-Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is now being used. ZTNAs serve as a better alternative to VPN. Unlike VPN which automatically provides access to anyone connected to a network, ZTNA blocks all users by default unless access is explicitly provided for a user.

In the past years, technologies like multi-factor authentication and biometrics have added a layer of security for people who are putting their data at risk. Data privacy and cybersecurity is expected to be prioritized this year, especially that most companies have shifted to a remote working arrangement since the pandemic.

Conclusion

Despite the limitations and challenges brought by the pandemic, businesses have proven that being adaptable is key to survival. Now more than ever, it’s important to be open to new methods and technologies to transform the way we conduct our everyday activities as well as how we interact with each other.

From learning technical SEO strategies and how to improve Core Web Vitals to integrating AI in customer service, there’s a growing need to make the inevitable shift to new methods to continue successfully providing products and services that people need.

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Maggie Fisher

SEO and PR Manager

Maggie is an experienced SEO and PR Manager interacting and building relationships with the media. Driven by her aspirations, she is committed to help businesses increase traffic and improve sales for a website. Over the years, Maggie has been a noteworthy leader in the digital marketing space helping companies increase their brand identity and push brand awareness.

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