By Matthew Margetts, Director, Smarter Technologies
The 2023 business landscape is a challenging one. The world is still finding its feet in the wake of lockdowns, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, climate change events, and mounting economic and inflationary pressures. Within this context, digital transformation presents exciting opportunities for businesses to flourish – but also creates fundamental safeguards in the face of the changes taking place around us.
Smarter Technologies works closely with businesses of all sizes and across a range of industries to make the digital leap. The move from analogue to connected, data-driven smart IoT processes is giving business owners the digital tools they need to boost productivity and efficiencies, mitigate risk, optimise and automate operations, and ultimately gear their businesses for the future.
For businesses looking to incorporate digitisation and digitalisation into their strategies, we’ve put together some common digital transformation trends for 2023.
1. Fortified Processes and Secured Supply Chains
The IMF has reported a “darkening” outlook on the global economy in 2023. Inflation and concerns around recession create risks to supply chain continuity.
A robust management approach and the use of digital tools for optimisation and strategy are keystone principles on this front.
IoT data collection, analysis, and reporting allow business owners to understand the minutiae of their operations. What can be monitored can be more effectively managed and data provides powerful insights for immediate, medium-term, and long-term strategic planning.
Real-time notifications – delivered to a remotely accessible, cloud-based dashboard – allow for instantaneous action to prevent losses and keep things running smoothly.
The benefit of this is easily applied across supply chains. Smart technologies are uniformly applied across multiple assets and locations to manage inventory, assist with security and recoverability, prevent bottlenecks and ensure delivery. Over time, data creates a clear roadmap for areas of improvement, machine learning and automation.
2. Emerging Technologies and Innovations for Competitiveness and Agility
As digital transformation accelerates, it alters thresholds for success and customer satisfaction. For example, the growth of AI and machine learning (which is accelerated by IoT), as well as the data insights provided by digital twins and data-based software applications have the potential to achieve cost savings and productivity gains – and mitigate risks – that affect profitability and growth prospects.
Simply put, technology has the potential to provide solutions that increase an enterprise’s agility and flexibility. This counteracts changes and challenges over time – and provides opportunities to enrich offerings, improve deliverability, and modernise the customer experience.
From a strategic standpoint, a business’s actual data is useful in setting benchmarks, assessing return on investment, and developing strategies. By utilising data over time, a lot of the guesswork around forecasting and strategic planning is removed – and business owners are best-placed to understand why events within their businesses happen.
3. The New Age of Customer Expectations
How we interact with our customers is changing. Digital processes allow for personalised, tailored customer experiences that improve satisfaction.
The collection of data around customer behaviour means adjustments can be made to define audiences, develop marketing campaigns, and create outstanding customer experiences.
Customer data also influences internal decision making around product and service offerings and investments.
4. The Changing Workplace
The modern workplace has been significantly disrupted since the Covid-19 pandemic – and changes on how and where we work continue to evolve. The need to streamline viable hybrid and remote working environments is one element of this.
Another component is attracting and retaining top talent. Technology is improving workplace conditions and providing tools for employees to best perform their tasks. Digital processes are also critical to providing flexible, authentic, employee-focused workplace environments.
5. Sustainability and Resource Conservation
Citing Deloitte research, the Wall Street Journal has reported that 42 percent of consumers have changed buying habits around environmental concerns. There is increasing pressure on business owners to provide more environmentally friendly products, as well as more sustainable processes and practices.
The public is also becoming increasingly aware of greenwashing – and requires evidence of environmentally friendly shifts.
The best approach for this is to look at data across entire operations. By analysing data closely, areas of wastage are identified, resource usage can be monitored, and sustainability strategies can be compiled for meaningful change, resource management, and reduced emissions.
6. Digital Security
Digital transformation in 2023 is set to address concerns around cybersecurity and the prevention of cybercrime. This makes the choice of data network an important choice, for example – with zero-trust networks providing security benefits for businesses.
In conclusion, 2023’s digital trends are almost certainly centred around increased speed and agility, but also to manage costs and remain competitive.
As technology sets the tone for business operations of the future, an important first step in digital transformation for business owners is the openness to engage and innovate with emerging technologies.
The simplicity and scalability of smart technologies and IoT solutions make them appealing for businesses looking to fulfil their potential and reduce risks through technology.
About the author: Matthew Margetts is a Director at Smarter Technologies. His background includes working for blue-chip companies such as AppNexus, AOL/ Verizon, and Microsoft in the UK, Far East and Australia.
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