At the beginning of 2020, many of us in the industry had observed and predicted how Digital transformation and innovation would play an integral role for organizations to be frontrunners in their respective space. I had talked about Horizon 2020, which highlighted the shift in businesses and their adoption of digital. While 2020 began with a lot of hope and positivity, the news of the coronavirus started coming in. Even before we could predict what could happen next, the COVID-19 virus grew to be a pandemic, forcing us to go into complete lockdown. Retail establishments and offices were closed, movement was restricted with a lot of unrest and uncertainty amongst all of us.
A few weeks in, with the aid of digital technology solutions, businesses slowly started operations. These stressful times may have lasted longer than we expected, but it had an important lesson for us, being a digital-first organization is now a necessity that will lead us into the new year. With the second wave approaching, continued lockdowns in certain parts of the world, and crunched budgets, the resultant uncertainty is undoubtedly still prevalent. But it is also heartening to see how businesses have been innovative and resilient. Remote working is a new norm, customer services adopted digital and contactless means to cater to their customers, organizations are increasingly using data for deriving specific customer insights, and healthcare organizations have begun to leverage telehealth services/solutions to help provide care to patients (social distancing and safe environment for patients).
Leveraging digital has been key across verticals. Healthcare organizations have accelerated the pace of innovation to match increasing demand. Our workplaces have seen a dramatic shift, which will continue with the adoption of an anywhere operations model, allowing your teams to work not just from home but anywhere in the world. Businesses are considering this option to offer added flexibility to their staff and also leverage a larger talent pool. Retail and other verticals have adopted touchless, contactless, and remote services. The use of SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is increasing, with businesses realizing the added flexibility and cost-efficiency it provides.
Meanwhile, 2021 will have more in store for us. In this new normal and fast-changing landscape, organizations will need to adopt a digital-first approach. As digital innovation investments increase, we need to gear up for embracing new technologies, streamlined processes, and completely new operation models.
Some of the key technology trends to watch out for in 2021 are:
AI, Robotics & Automation: In the new normal, our lives have taken to digital for everything; from our workplaces, lifestyles to our home are getting ‘smarter’ and more efficient. With smarter lifestyles and remote workplaces, AI, Robotics, and Automation, which have been present for a few years now, will show their true potential. It is AI that makes much of our advanced technology adoptions possible, as it brings with it automation and insight-driven business outcomes. The use of technology enables transparency, fairness, and interpretability that adds to its increasing use in almost every segment and department. With virtual customer experiences and better security, there is a huge opportunity that businesses can tap into for automation and consolidation of their tasks for a smarter and efficient future.
IoT: In an interconnected world, our devices aren’t too far behind. From telemedicine, automated homes, wearables to smart sensors, IoT continues to change the way we live our lives. We have seen IoT being leveraged by healthcare for remote patient monitoring, telehealth services, and getting real-time and accurate patient information. IoT can further be used to keep a check on the elderly or disabled while also providing advanced features for automating our homes and offices. From remotely controlling our electrical devices to being used in industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, or retail, IoT enabled Robotics & Automation will be the future of our work. This will not just enhance output or create safer workplaces but also enable real-time data analytics and insights to improve our processes and explore additional possibilities.
Digital Experiences: Our virtual environment has changed the way we interact and experience the things around us. With the increase in remote work, virtual and mobile technologies, and distributed systems, organizations will focus on delivering multi-experiences (customer experiences, user experiences, employee experiences). This is a great opportunity for companies to improve and update their technology solutions to take advantage of these disruptive aspects.
Cybersecurity mesh and privacy: As we adopt these new lifestyles and business processes, our data stands exposed. The threat landscape has expanded, as data is being shared across various locations and for multiple purposes. Thus, cybersecurity mesh and other security perimeters are essential to help identify the user groups or control access for particular data sets to ensure there is no breach. Cybersecurity threats are also increasing, and we need to adopt sophisticated mechanisms to ensure we fortify our security perimeter and offer enhanced security to help in this new reality.
Distributed Cloud: The pace of change is only increasing, which is why businesses need to adopt business processes that provide data in a timely fashion. Distributed cloud will play a major role here, to provide services to different physical locations while ensuring operation and governance aspects are taken care of. Distributed cloud is the future of cloud technology and will only help us increase the flexibility and agility that is required in this changing business environment.
Transformation never ends, and at e-Zest, we understand this sentiment. As a company that is digital at heart, in thinking, and in our approach, innovation is in our DNA. Organizations globally are looking for ways to innovate and leverage digital technologies to enhance and accelerate their business processes, and as a digital technology innovation partner for several organizations, e-Zest is here to help you do just that. The future will be defined by technology that enhances and adds value to our business processes, and e-Zest is focused on helping organizations deliver process-centered solutions. Our new offering, Acti-on AI (pronounced as Action), enables organizations to improve productivity and effectiveness by real-time event triggers, UI-based workflow creation, and AI-based model for automating processes. We have also leveraged our technology expertise in the healthcare domain to launch several healthcare-focused initiatives to enable patient-care to be more efficient, affordable, and personalized. Explore our offerings in telehealth and other healthcare segment offerings to minimize the impact of COVID-19 and thrive in the new normal.
We at e-Zest believe that success and innovation happens with a persistent focus on learning, partnership, and result-orientation; and these values are critical now more than ever before. 2020 has showcased that even if we are presented with the most complex and daunting of situations, the human spirit and our ability to innovate will always help us find a path towards success. Let us adopt the learnings of 2020 to create a positive and digitally-enabled future, allowing us to be better prepared for any challenges that may come our way!