Product / Technology

2020 Enterprise Tech Trends 

3 digital transformation trends driving IT in 2020

by Frontier Business, Frontier Business Contributor

Published Dec 18, 2019

IT was once thought of as a back-office function. But as the digital-first economy pushes businesses to innovate, IT teams are poised to lead the way on organizational transformation. According to findings from MuleSoft’s Connectivity Benchmark survey, 97% of IT decision-makers are involved in digital transformation (DX) initiatives at their organizations1—and these digital transformations are revolutionizing business as we know it.

In 2020, expect to see IT teams continuing to up their strategy game in response to these fast-moving digital transformation trends.

1. A fully connected customer experience

Digital transformation is all about improving the customer experience, and IT teams are increasingly leading this work: 71% of IT decision-makers say customer experience is a top goal of their DX initiatives. 2

As omnichannel becomes the new standard, customers have come to expect a frictionless, consistent and personalized journey across multiple channels, from mobile to chatbot to in-store. According to data from Salesforce, 73% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. 3

Today’s customer demands a tailored experience that caters to them as an individual—not a demographic—from the first moment they hear about a company to the moment they click “add to cart.” This trend toward personalization requires a robust customer data management strategy that breaks down data silos to seamlessly and securely share valuable insights about customer behavior and preferences across their organizations. Data is the key to creating a holistic, omnichannel journey for your customers as they move from tapping on an Instagram ad to geolocating your product in the nearest store to browsing suggestions for similar items.

2. Hybrid and multi-cloud strategies

The majority of large enterprises use multiple clouds—84% according to data from Flexera—and 58% have a hybrid cloud strategy, combining public and private clouds. 4 Using multiple clouds allows organizations to pick and choose the best services for their security, business continuity and budgetary needs. Above all, a hybrid cloud strategy enables flexibility. But managing multiple clouds isn’t easy.

[Related reading: Hybrid cloud meet multi-cloud—what’s the difference and which one is right?]

Business leaders are leaning on their IT teams to make strategic decisions about cloud spending, cloud governance, and cloud optimization. According to a 2019 report from TechRepublic, tech professionals see complexity app migration and cost management as their biggest challenges in leveraging multi-cloud environments.5 To manage and scale their multi-cloud infrastructures, IT professionals are turning to tools like cloud management platforms that provide a layer of abstraction between cloud providers. Alternatively, some organizations are bolstering in-house expertise with managed cloud services from third parties.

3. AI and machine learning

2020 will see the continued rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the business world. According to data from Salesforce, 42% of IT leaders report their organizations are already using AI.6 Another 40% plan to use AI within the next two years.7 AI has proven itself to be a powerful tool for more efficient customer engagement, security threat detection, data insights, and automation. However, only 10% of IT leaders say their teams’ AI skills are advanced, leaving lots of room for growth in 2020 and beyond.8

[You may also like: How AI is changing the face of unified communications]

As businesses continue to put more dollars toward AI each year, IT teams in industries from medicine to retail to finance can expect to see AI becoming more closely integrated in day-to-day operations, whether in the form of a fraud detection algorithm, a virtual customer service agent or a surgical robot.

Dive deeper into 2020 IT trends

Want to know more about the business technology trends to watch in the year ahead?

Review our 2020 Enterprise Technology Outlook for a deep-dive into the IT trends shaping the future, and the enterprise-level solutions that can help you pace ahead. 

[1] Mulesoft, Connectivity Benchmark Report, 2018

[2] Mulesoft, Top 7 digital transformation trends shaping 2020

[3] Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer, Third Edition, 2019

[4] Rightscale, 2019 State of the Cloud Report from Flexera

[5] TechRepublic, Managing the multicloud: Companies capitalize on using multiple cloud providers

[6] Salesforce, Enterprise Technology Trends Report 2019

[7] Salesforce, Enterprise Technology Trends Report 2019

[8] Salesforce, Enterprise Technology Trends Report 2019