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10 SMB Digital Transformation Trends for 2020

What Trends to Look Out For in Digital Transformation

2020 is on the horizon, and trends in digital transformation are drastically changing the operations of small and midsize businesses.

As organizations from virtually every industry scramble to improve their tech work processes.

Total investment between 2019 and 2023 in Digital Transformation (DX) technologies will increase between 15% and 20% across all sectors, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

As the market continues to evolve and new technologies and solutions are developed, the need for SMBs to stay on top emerging trends to remain competitive is vital.

Here’s our look at 10 digital transformation trends to keep an eye out for in 2020…

1. Automation

Better Workplace Efficiencies and Workflow Through AI

A major innovation in the office workflows space is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). These bots, execute menial, repetitive tasks, and transactions with superior accuracy and a minute chances of errors in comparison to human counterparts.

Using RPA reduces the number of human interactions required for completing tasks such as data entry, date extraction, payroll, and order processing.

Decision makers are increasingly keen to implement automation in their organizations. with up to 40% of enterprises adopting some form of RPA

While many analysts feared the rise of robotic automation, the reality is that RPA bots free up resources to conduct human-centric tasks that improve the office’s productivity and effectively deliver more strategic initiatives.

The market continues to grow—current projections expect RPA technologies to reach nearly $4 billion by 2025.

rpa investment by percentage of business graphic

2. Mobile Interaction

Improving Customer Service With Better Digital Experiences

Modern customers expect seamless transitions between desktop and mobile devices when accessing digital services.

People already open most of their emails on handheld devices, a substantial amount of e-commerce and interactions with vendors is conducted through mobile apps.

As mobile experiences continue to change the way relationships are conducted between service providers and customers, having a strategy to cater to your audience will become crucially important.

It doesn’t matter how great a company service offering is—if it’s not accessible on a mobile device, customers will be turned off and use a different provider.

mobile experience graphic

3. Internet of Things

Network Connectivity With Devices Will Need to Be Addressed

With forecasts expecting there will be 20 billion connected devices in the world in 2020, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to gather larger sets of data and manage more infrastructure around the office every year.

According to a survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review, 58% of companies are seeing increased collaboration through the use of IoT devices

New digital transformation service trends include employee performance monitoring systems, automated device diagnostic, and maintenance, as well as increased use of human-to-device interactions by using voice recognition technologies.

IoT devices are also driving the growth of edge computing, moving more of the world’s information processing from centralized servers to distributed edge devices.

number of iot devices global graphic

4. Cloud Services

Flexible and Scalable Services are Increasingly Useful for SMBs

The advance of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will assist SMBs to reduce costs and improve service delivery using elastic cloud provisioning.

Containerized applications allow companies to move legacy software systems to platform-agnostic environments and scale these services seamlessly as required.

The cloud will continue to integrate more services and systems, including IoT, analytics, and centralized development repositories that improve the overall customer offering SMBs can leverage for their competitive edge.

Average total spend on cloud apps has risen from $1.6 million in 2016 to $2.2 million today, while on average 30% of IT budgets are now allocated to cloud computing

The scalability and flexibility offered by cloud services make them attractive to growing SMBs.

Such is their current popularity that over half of US small and midsize businesses are accelerating their cloud adoption.

Expect this figure to grow next year as cloud services continue their rise.

cloud adoption smbs graphic

5. Cybersecurity

Protecting Organization Data From Frequent and Dangerous Threats

Cybersecurity has increasingly become a top priority for small and midsize businesses.

SMBs are targeted more than ever as cyber criminals shift their attention away from larger organizations.

86% of US businesses have increased their spending on IT security, and 88% of companies spent more than $1 million on preparing for GDPR implementation

With threats such as file-less, ransomware, and phishing attacks on the rise, antivirus solutions now include artificial intelligence to detect non-standard operations taking place in the background of any networked node.

The cat and mouse games between bad actors and network security professionals will require proactive self-assessments from SMBs to remain protected in an increasingly dangerous digital world.

components of next gen antivirus graphic

6. Data Analytics

Drives Business Decision Making

Analytics will be a core element in determining how SMBs successfully implement their digital transformation strategies. With greater digital capabilities, companies need to leverage big data tools to make smarter decisions more consistently.

With machine learning becoming mainstream, more organizations will be able to analyze seemingly disparate sets of data into actionable intelligence.

Establishing a data-driven culture was the fifth most important business intelligence trend in 2019, shedding light on the importance of getting buy-in from stakeholders

By employing “deep learning” solutions, companies can deploy chatbots, or agents, that continuously build on their own capabilities and engage autonomously with customers or employees looking for internal information.

Companies also need to look for ways of utilizing dark data, which are collected sets of data that are overlooked in the analysis models deployed by the company. Making use of all data will be vital for growing businesses.

big data graphic

7. Bring Your Own Device

Policies Will Become More Widespread

As companies mitigate most of the security threats associated with bring your own device (BYOD) practices, more businesses are willing to adopt BYOD strategies and employees are opting to use personal devices at work.

Combined with mobile integrated applications, the BYOD market is set to reach $366.96 billion by 2022. For companies who’ve yet to adopt a BOYD policy, it will become essential to address this in the future.

87% of businesses are dependent on their employee’s ability to access mobile business apps from their smartphone

bring your own device graphic


8. Managed Services

Continued Growth in the Managed Services Market Driven By SMBs

Leading companies today understand that in order to remain competitive, they need to focus on their core business functions and explore ways of improving them.

The projected market growth for Managed Services through 2024 supports this trend, as the industry will grow to over $300 billion by 2024.

As more organizations partner with service providers to provide for their network, security, printing, and consulting needs, companies can free up resources to focus on strategic business initiatives.

Growth in the managed services sector has primarily been driven by a greater desire from small and midsize businesses to make use of what managed services can offer, as well as greater ease of access for SMBs to utilize MSPs

The MSP model (compared to traditional break/fix approaches) ensures companies can scale operations with predictable cost cycles and without massive fluctuations to their operational budgets.

managed services global market size graphic

9. Low-Code Development

The Rise of Citizen Developers

Successful digital transformation for small and midsize business strategies will rely more heavily on low-code development practices in order to address workflow problems that would have previously needed the hefty expense of outsourced software development.

Adoption surveys with IT and business decision-makers indicate that 84% have already implemented low-code platforms within their organizations.

The increase in popularity of low-code has enabled people not typically involved with the DevOps process to become integral parts of app development—so-called “citizen developers”.

72% of low-code developers create applications in three months or less, compared with six months or even years it can take to develop applications using traditional development

Citizen developers are able to build productive applications according to organizational needs with little or no development experience.

SMBs can utilize tech-savvy resources to ensure new applications meet their business requirements.

benefits of low code development graphic

10. Sales Channels

The Ways SMBs Are Reaching Out to Customers Are Changing

Sales is definitely not exempt when it come to digital transformation trends. Wherever customers engage online, sales teams will need to adapt and participate in the conversation. Most new business channels currently originate directly from referrals.

Utilizing Influencers, social media, and B2B Referrals or Testimonials is necessary, as it will continue to drive how customers make their commercial decisions over the coming years.

With 70% of the buying process finished before the customer even engages with a supplier, a proactive and transparent social presence will be essential for continued future success

Building trust in your organization’s brand will require open communications and engagement across a multitude of different social and public platforms.

omnichannel graphic

If you want to take full control over your digital transformation initiatives and drive your business to success, speak to one of our experts about your IT needs.