The Digitalisation Era – What’s Next?
Behind the headlines of the pandemic, there have been long-standing shifts within the digital landscape. It has impacted every facet of each industry and this is just the beginning! Digitalisation is not a one-step process; companies need to continuously evolve to keep up with the times and luckily technology companies are constantly introducing new solutions or new entrants are joining the market.
We are looking ahead to the next few years, appreciating how this has accelerated digitalisation but also what this means for the technology sector, focusing on key industries and the predictions within those sectors.
As lockdown came into play, all office staff members were asked to work from home and companies had to quickly adapt to create a remote infrastructure where users can access internal systems and connect remotely. To make this possible, companies worked to develop new systems or software or externally sourced tools that would allow them to continue operating. Due to this, there has been a period of growth with various forms of technology that will aid operating remotely, whether that is file-sharing systems, communication platforms or automated customer systems. McKinsey research demonstrates how all companies globally have accelerated digitalisation by 3 years’ worth in a matter of months.
According to Forrester Research, remote working will rise to 300% of pre-Covid levels, so even as lockdowns begin to ease, we can expect that the demand for technology will continue to rise. Whilst we all heard about the growth figures from the likes of Teams and Netflix, those that provide the foundations for these services experienced similar growth levels and will continue to be critical for upcoming years.
The graph shows that the largest shifts have been around movements to the cloud, data security and the use of technology within decision making. These are core areas that have become integral this year and as shown many will continue to be important in the recovery period.
One of the areas that has become vital and will continue to be to ensure employees have remote access to systems and data will be cloud-based platforms.
Cloud technology already accounted for 15% of the $1.56tn spent on IT globally in 2019, and we can expect this figure to become a greater proportion in the next 2-3 years when there becomes a greater reliance on the cloud. Without cloud apps, tools and services, businesses could not have moved thousands of staff members to home-based, maintained supply chains or shifted industry business models in weeks.
ForresterNow Report predicts that by the end of 2021, 60% of companies will leverage containers on public cloud platforms. Alongside this, they predict the global public cloud infrastructure market to grow 35% to $120 billion in 2021.
Security & RegTech
As companies had to react so quickly to lockdown, they began adopting new technology and platforms without having the time to test and trial and ensure they are up to the standard of security expected. Due to this, many businesses experienced security implications, with a recent study stating that 46% of businesses had experienced at least one security incident 51% experiencing an increased number of email phishing attacks.
To continue this remote format in the future it is imperative to address these vulnerabilities to prevent any data breaches. To do this they will need to implement RegTech solutions and security software to combat any issues or non-compliance. According to an EY report, companies are still relying on employees in business functions more than any other source to detect security breaches (52%), leaving a higher chance for error and gaps within compliance monitoring.
Tools that offer some form of data access controls and authentication, only allowing certain employees access to specific sets of data will become particularly important to avoid breaches. Data breaches are four times more common to those that don’t have this, so two-factor authentication or biometric data security will experience a rise.
Digitalisation in Healthcare
Unsurprising HealthTech is on the list. So many GP surgeries and hospitals have switched to online and phone services to minimise people in hospitals to reduce transmission rates. Previously this has been one of the most lagging fields when it comes to digitalisation, but recent events left them with no other option. But this is just the start and there still remains massive changes to processes to transform patient treatment and developing cures.
Electronic health records and e-prescription services have become more commonplace, however when dealing with sensitive patient data they need to be stored in an impenetrable system, which currently isn’t available across the board. To achieve this, the emergence and adoption of blockchain-enabled applications are predicted to rise. These offer a ledger-based system that is immutable, securing this patient data and giving patients greater control over their own data. Previous research already stated that the global blockchain market in healthcare would expand at a double-digit CAGR of 63.9% over the next 5 years, but this number could be further accelerated.
Virtual Appointment Apps
Although many surgeries have begun adapting to phone calls, very few have moved to video chat. For doctors to make a diagnosis, patients have to send an email to reception including photos of the problem area and then this is uploaded onto an internal platform that is accessed by GP’s. Not only does this process add additional stages and lengthens the process, it also may make patients less inclined to send information and removes the personal aspect that is vital to patient care. Whereas, if patients booked a virtual appointment online and then had a video call with a doctor, this would mean all these stages take place at once and the patient can have a better overall experience.
The pandemic has pushed against the structural barriers that had previously slowed the health system investment in virtual health applications, leading to an uptick in adoption.
McKinsey research demonstrates the drastic increase in investment that is predicted over the next 5-10 years with telemedicine and remote monitoring showing some of the highest rates.
This year has really switched up how the UK consumes energy, lockdowns caused a dip in energy demand due to major energy consumers like manufacturing sites or large shopping centres closing down. Aside from this, many people are now working from home consuming energy individually rather than in one central office and this has altered the time of day energy is consumed as individuals are no longer following traditional patterns of school run or commuting to the office.
Not only does the energy system need to adapt in terms of consumption, but the pressure of climate change remains and huge steps in innovation need to be taken to make energy production as sustainable as possible. Technological solutions are critical to enable this transformation and require rapid commercialisation.
The energy sector is possibly one of the largest, as it in itself is a huge sector and then there are verticals within it as every industry consumes energy eg, manufacturing or transport. With such an expansive space, there are hundreds of solutions that tackle one specific area.
There are those that deliver smart battery storage that can be used on industrial premises, others that utilise IoT and AI-driven platforms to monitor and control energy consumption and some creating hybrid-electric systems for vehicles.
With the 2050 carbon-neutral goal fast approaching, we can expect a lot of new solutions being developed and start-ups entering the market and many companies driving to improve their own energy efficiency, whether that’s in their facility or across their supply chain to reduce their carbon footprint.
What’s next for you?
It is the digitalisation era, particularly for those B2B solutions that are transforming companies infrastructure and driving innovation in their process to deliver greater value. If you are an innovative tech company with a highly technical solution and are looking to drive your marketing, then we are here to help.
We take an academic approach to our work, getting under the skin of niche and specialist industries and truly getting to grips with your solutions, so we understand your tech like it’s our own.
We conduct research to deliver creative content and marketing strategies that target those key personas within your target audience. From social and blogs to highly researched whitepapers and sales literature, nothing is out of our realm.
Get in touch to find out how we can develop a holistic and nuanced marketing strategy around your company or solution.