What are the best digital transformation technologies for 2022? Why is digital transformation so important and what top digital technologies you should not miss out on? How does digital transformation change the nature of work?
Top digital transformation technologies are at the core of the fourth industrial revolution (industry 4.0) and will be key to business success in the next decade. Moreover implementing a digital transformation will also lead to improved sustainability, benefiting both the business profitability and the environment!
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The coronavirus pandemic struck the globe, forcing changes in how we work and interact. And as the corona pandemic continues to shake the world, many of these changes are likely to last longer. One of these changes includes digital transformation. The corona pandemic has quickened the digital transformation in every sector, and organizations had to readdress their digital strategies.
Table Of Contents
What is digital transformation?
Technology and digital transformation go hand in hand. In fact, digital transformation can be defined as incorporating digital technology into all areas of an organization. However, the transformation can assume different forms for every organization, so it can be quite challenging to determine a unique specific definition that can be applied to all.
Businesses implement digital transformation to engage and serve their team and customers hence improving their ability to compete. Alternatively, it can be defined as a process of using new technologies to create new business cultures, processes, and customer experiences to adapt to the changing market or business requirements.
What are digital transformation technologies?
Technology in digital transformation is an enabler, allowing digital transformation in businesses, governments, and, ultimately, our lives.
This doesn’t mean that by just adopting the digital transformation technologies listed below your business will be digitally transformed. Because digital transformation is first of all a journey and a change in mindset. In fact, you can deploy all the digital transformation tech but have none taking advantage of it and still working in the old way!
The top 10 transformation technologies in 2022
What technologies enable digital transformation? Here are the top 10 digital transformation technologies list for 2022, then keep reading to learn more!
1 – Cloud computing
Cloud computing is the delivery of requested computing services. These services can be applications, storage, and processing power. Keep in mind that it’s through the Internet.
The main concept behind cloud computing is to offer computing as a service, location independent and with a wide range of available hardware and operating systems. This is significantly important to the users.
Instead of owning their computing infrastructure, organizations can simply rent on-demand access to various services such as applications or storage from the cloud service provider.
One advantage of using cloud computing is that companies can evade upfront costs and tediousness of having and maintaining their own IT infrastructure and rather pay for what they use when they use.
Green technology companies can also choose to use only the most energy efficient gear to lower their carbon footprint.
As a result, cloud computing service providers can benefit from economies of scale by providing similar services to many customers.
Cloud computing supports a wide range of services such as consumer services like Gmail. Also, some channels, such as Netflix, depend on cloud computing services to operate their video streaming services.
Finally, cloud computing allows better implementation of green IT practices and technologies improving sustainability. This is because the cloud IT infrastructure is centralised, allowing for more eco-friendly and efficient cooling systems and technologies to save electricity and improve the profit margins of the cloud provider.
2 – Mobile and 5G
After years of promises, 2022 will be a great year for 5G. The new mobile advancement is also supposed to help trigger a fourth industrial revolution.
All US careers have established some sort of 5G cellular network. But what is 5G, and how quick is it compared to 4G? Well, 5G is the 5th generation wireless technology. It provides higher speed, lower latency, and greater capacity than 4G.
It is known as one of the quickest and most powerful technologies the world has ever seen. Quicker means quick downloads less, lags, and a massive impact on our daily lives.
The 5G connectivity benefits are expected to increase productivity and make the information easily accessible to consumers faster than before. As you rely on 5G, it’s important to note that 5G is not just another technological innovation. It is a platform that enables other innovations.
It is worth understanding 5G as well as what came before it. The first mobile tech generation, 1G was about voice: using the phone outdoors or in the car.
The 2G advent came with a short-messaging layer, which can still be seen in today’s messaging features.
The shift to 3G came with the core network speed crucial in launching smartphones.
While 4G with high rates in data transfer provided videos with lower buffering and led to several connected devices and services that we depend on.
Now it’s time to experience 5G and its transformative abilities.
The 5G discussion is all about providing life-changing tech through future generation networks. Today, you can experience 5G across the most developed countries, which uses DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) to underpin a wide range of functions. Currently, 5G network is already available in thousands of cities.
3 – IoT: Internet of things
The IoT is the billions of physical devices worldwide linked to the Internet, all collecting data. Linking up all these devices and adding sensors raises the digital intelligence level to the devices that would have been dumb. This enables them to share real-time data without involving human beings.
IoT technologies, also thanks to edge computing, are making the world around us more responsive and smarter. This merges the digital and physical universes.
Examples of the Internet of things
Do you know that any physical object can be transformed into an IoT object when connected to the Internet to communicate information?
For example, a light bulb powered on using a smartphone app is an IoT object. That’s because it is a motion sensor or a smart thermostat. Other larger objects can be filled with several smaller IoT components. For instance, a jet engine features many sensors that transmit data back to ensure that it works effectively.
IoT is often referred to as devices that aren’t expected to have an internet connection and can communicate with the network without human involvement. For that reason, we can’t consider a PC an IoT device. However, a smartwatch, fitness band, and any other wearable device can be considered an IoT.
By now, you might be wondering how big the IoT is. Well, it is bigger, and it’s getting bigger. That’s because we already have more connected things than human beings in the world. According to IDC, by 2025, there will be 41.6 billion connected Internet of things devices.
Additionally, a tech analyst, Gartner, predicts that enterprises and automotive sectors will record 5.8 billion devices this year. Utilities will be the main beneficiaries of IoT.
4 – Big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML)
Big data and artificial intelligence form a synergic relationship, where artificial intelligence is nothing without data, and data are insuperable without artificial intelligence.
By merging the two disciplines, we can see and predict future trends in businesses, technology, commerce, entertainment, and much more.
The Internet now provides solid information regarding consumer habits, likes and dislikes, activities, and personal preferences, which was impossible years ago. Social platform accounts and online profiles, social tasks, product reviews, and more increase insightful data to the big data pool.
By now, we have no doubts that big data plays a massive role in the growth of many major technology companies. However, as many organizations process data from their massive volume of data, they find it challenging to use the collected data most appropriately.
That’s where machine learning, probably the most powerful business transformation technology, comes in. Data is crucial for machine learning systems. The more data the system receives, the more it learns to work efficiently for the business.
In industry 4.0 artificial intelligence is also applied to improve the efficiency of manufacturing thanks to smart factories. Those will be completely automated and capable to manage the production processes more efficiently and also improve sustainability by powering new green technologies.
5 – Digital twin
A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical device, behaviour or phenomenon. The basic concept of the digital twin can be applied to any system, including large objects such as buildings, factories, and even cities. People and processes can also be considered and can be modelled into digital twins.
The digital twin is built by specialists, often professionals in data science. These developers often research the concept behind a physical object or system being replicated. This data is then used to develop a mathematical model that enhances the real-world original digital space.
The twin is constructed to receive inputs from sensors collecting data from the real world. Through this, the twin simulates the real-time, providing valuable insight into the performance and problems that may occur.
The use of digital twins to improve product performance and efficiency are massive as well as the benefits of the technology.
6 – Augmented reality (AR)
Augmented reality is a new version of the real physical world that is accomplished through embracing digital elements, sounds, or any other sensory stimuli delivered through technology. It is a digital transformation technology that grows daily among organizations involved, particularly in mobile computing and business application.
Amid the increase of data collection and statistics, one of the main goals of augmented reality is to highlight the physical world’s specific features, create awareness of those features as well as derive smart and accessible insights that can be implemented to real-world applications.
Augmented reality developed consistently and gained pervasiveness among several applications. Since its understanding, firms and marketers have had to deal with the perception that AR is little more than a marketing tool. However, it is evident that consumers have begun to derive tangible satisfaction from these features.
For instance, those who have adopted AR in the retail sectors have developed technologies that enhance the consumers’ shopping experience. By implementing AR in catalogue apps, stores allow consumers to visualize how different products may look in various environments.
Elsewhere the vast benefits that come with AR could extend to the health care sectors, where it can play a significant role. One way would be through apps that let users see highly informative, 3D images of various body systems when they hang around their mobile devices over a target image. For instance, AR can be a robust learning tool for medical experts throughout their training.
Some professionals have speculated that wearable devices can be a breakthrough for AR. In contrast, smartphones and tablets show a small portion of the user’s landscape. For example, smart eyewear can provide a complete link between real and virtual realms if it is well developed to become mainstream.
7 – Additive manufacturing (AM) & 3D Printing
Additive manufacturing & 3D printing are yet other digital transformation technologies. In recent years, communication, imaging, architecture, and engineering have all experienced their own revolutions. And now additive manufacturing brings digital flexibility and efficiency to the manufacturing processes.
AM directs hardware to deposit material, layer upon layer in specific geometric shapes, using data computer-aided design software. As its name suggests, additive manufacturing adds materials to create objects. Contrastingly, when you create an object traditionally, it’s always necessary to remove material through milling, machining, carving, shaping, and many other means.
While AM seems new to many, it existed for many decades. A well-implemented AM delivers a quality trifecta of improved performance, complex geometry, and simplified fabrication. This creates more opportunities for those who actively implement additive manufacturing.
The term “additive manufacturing” is used to describe the technology that allows creating 3D objects one layer at a time. Each layer is held to the preceding layer of melted material. Objects can be defined digitally by computer-aided design software. This information guides the nozzle path or print head as it certainly deposits materials upon the preceding layer. As materials cool, they fuse, forming a 3D object.
8 – Robotics and robotic process automation (RPA)
Robotic process automation is a technological application governed by business logic and structured inputs. The notion aims to automate business processes. With RPA tools, an organization can configure software or a robot. This can help in various processes such as processing a transaction, data manipulation, setting of responses, and communicating with other digital systems.
Robotic processing automation begins from simple things such as generating an auto-response to deploying uncountable bots, each programmed to automate jobs in various sectors.
Benefits of RPA
Through RPA, organizations can now reduce staffing costs and human error. Additionally, bots are often low and easy to implement, eliminating the need for custom software or integrating the deep system.
It also lets enterprise supercharge their automation efforts by implementing RPA with cognitive techs like ML, speech recognition, and natural language processing.
RPA implementations where 15 to 20 steps may be automated are part of intelligent automation (AI).
9 – API based system integration
This links two or more applications through their APIs (application programming interfaces), allowing the system to exchange data sources. API-based system integration power processes throughout various sectors and organization layers to sync the data trigger productivity and revenue.
API is an interface, and it is part of nearly everything in the digital world. Regardless of the business and enterprise size, APIs enhance applications and web systems’ seamless operation and functionality.
However, there is an extra requirement to attain optimal and automated business processes and procedures that associate and share crucial data. And this is where API steps in.
Through API connectivity, applications can share data and communicate without human involvement. Web apps or applications communicate through their APIs. Also, organizations can automate systems and enhance the easy sharing of data.
The vast benefits of API are not something to overlook in the digital world. After the cloud-based product explosion, organizations need to create a connected system that automatically relays between different software tools. This is possible through API-based system integration as it enhances sharing process and enterprise data among various apps in a particular ecosystem.
Additionally, it unlocks a new flexibility level of information and service delivery.
10 – Blockchain
Yes, the blockchain is one of the latest technologies for digital transformation, exactly the one that plays a significant role in the cryptocurrency system. And what is blockchain anyway? It is a distributed database shared among computer network nodes. It stores information digitally and electronically ensuring data integrity across all the participants.
They maintain and secure transaction and smart contracts records in cryptocurrency systems such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). One advantage of blockchain is that it guarantees fidelity and security of data records. Moreover, it establishes trust without the involvement of a trusted third party.
The main objective of blockchain is to allow the distribution and recording of digital information.
Benefits of blockchains
Accuracy: transaction processes on the blockchain network are done by a network of hundreds or thousands of computers. This removes the need for any human involvement in the verification process, eliminating human error and ensuring accurate data records.
Trust and lower costs: customers often incur some charges to verify their transactions or to certify the information, and many other costs related to third parties. With blockchain, you don’t need third-party verification and you will not pay their associated costs.
Transparency: anyone, regardless of ethnicity or gender, can use the existing blockchains. Perhaps that’s one of the most intelligent facets of this technology, which is inclusive by design.
Blockchain technology can also support sustainability efforts in many ways such as: reducing poverty, helping to manage supply chains, and much more.
Finally, blockchain can also support sustainable business practices by offering tools such as smart contracts and real-time tampering-resistant tracking. Which are useful for business compliance and improving confidence for the consumer.
Why is digital transformation important?
I’m certain that, at least once, you’ve been hearing news about digital transformation and technology. This is because of the vast digital transformation benefits.
By the end of this year, there will be over 20 billion networked devices worldwide, as recently mentioned by CISCO, out of this, half will be connected to other mobile services, which implies a significant growth in mobile data. This reveals the growth of digital transformation technologies and their presence in organizations and society. However, many organizations have not yet begun to consider their digital transformation… this could be due to a lack of expertise. However, this endangers the future of their business activities.
Here are the reasons why digital transformation is important:
Greater system protection
Security is the daily challenge faced by every head of IT. When new devices applications emerge daily, digital transformation ensures that organization identities are safe from cyber attackers.
High productivity and efficiency
Employees are the main beneficiaries of the adoption of new technologies. With digital solutions at their disposal, they can obtain better and faster results.
Additionally, it helps in streamlining the internal process and decision-making. It also multiplies efficiency in the organization. Without any doubt, it is the perfect way to eliminate obsolete processes or technologies that add nothing to the company’s growth.
High profitability and improved sustainability
When organizations trigger their digital transformation technologies, they need to consider the cost-saving they’ll get.
If a company engages in current digital transformation technologies such as BigData, IoT, artificial intelligence, or cloud computing, you’ll notice the rise in its profitability.
As a final result, after undergoing a digital transformation the business will be much more efficient, leading to increased profit margins, competitivity, and sustainability.
As demonstrated by many examples of sustainability, this will naturally improve because of better product design and reduced waste of resources, contributing to making the business more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Implementing digital transformation, particularly in areas that relate to customer experience, will massively retain them. It will also boost the achievement of quality satisfaction rates.
Digital transformation and industry 4.0
Organizations are under pressure to improve the quality of the product, boost efficiency, stay on the competition, improve safety, security and stay profitable.
Continuous driving of operational efficiency via traditional cost-cutting measures can only provide marginal gain. You might be wondering what industry 4.0 is all about. Well, this is all about a massive transformation taking place in how goods are produced and delivered.
To remain competitive, organizations need to leverage the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and other digital transformation technologies to stay efficient and more agile.
While companies automate several processes, secure wireless connectivity warrants factory automation. This enables industrial automation on a larger scale.
Massive gains await organizations that switch to wireless connectivity. This supports the results that are expected from the benefits of industry 4.0. For example, manufacturing allows flexible production by enabling changeover production lines to reduce lead times.
How digital transformation changes the nature of work
You may have heard that if your business isn’t on top of digitalization, then you are in danger of lagging behind. Digitalization, along with related technology changes like automation, is making headlines in today’s news.
Digitalization is not only internal business efficiencies but also part of customers’ expectation that organizations should stay updated and continue to provide them with various features provided by digital technology.
The latest digitalization trend acknowledges customers’ expectations, their interaction with technology, and how people work and adapt to their working environment.
In many aspects, we can say that digitalization creates more opportunities for both workers and employers. For example, without the support of digital technology, it can be quite challenging for many companies providing remote-based work to operate. Additionally, it can be quite challenging for contractors to facilitate their jobs.
Individuals who may not have been in the workforce or had a tough time getting a suitable job have a reason to smile as they have a way forward.
For organizations, digital transformation enables them to look for quality team members. It can also mean lower operating costs. Through digital transformation, many organizations have reduced wage costs by engaging employees in areas that cost them less.
Through digital transformation:
- Organizations can gauge workers sentiments
- Engage fully with customers
- Automate various processes in different departments.
- Streamline and quickly make decision
The bottom line
Those digital transformation technologies have brought about a significant change in businesses. The changes are both positive and negative. However, the vast benefits that come with digital transformation are unquestionable. In other words, positive changes outweigh negative changes.
For example, high quality and productivity are what customers expect from businesses, and it’s one of the advantages that come with digital transformation. On the other hand, digital transformation has significantly contributed to unemployment as human labour is being replaced by machines.
- Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction – By Thomas M. Siebel
- What is Ethereum? – Ethereum Foundation
- Digital Transformation using Emerging Technologies: A CxO’s Guide to Transform your Organization – By Fawad A. Khan and Jason M. Anderson