To reach the point where data becomes actionable, leaders will need to invest more in tools that allow them to combine data in unique ways.
I feel invigorated by what’s coming in 2021. After a long year of crisis response, it’s refreshing for everyone to be able to think forward. To consider what will be shaping the customer experience in years to come and how to prepare oneself – or one’s team or one’s company – for this.
As COO of OTRS Group, these five topics are among the trends that I see shaping 2021 and beyond:
Business Influence by IT Will Increase.
IT leadership will move beyond infrastructure, applications or security as they increase their focus on managing the data they store. Business intelligence that is gleaned from the reams of information pouring into data centers will offer customer intelligence and business insight that will be useful to all lines of business, and the IT organization will become pivotal in spearheading related value-added business solutions.
Business Intelligence Will Be Enhanced by Artificial Intelligence.
To reach the point where data becomes actionable, leaders will need to invest more in tools that allow them to combine data in unique ways. They will take advantage of advance analytics tools supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning so that they not only look back at what was, but also have a predictive look forward. This improves the overall customer experience and minimizes risks for the business in such an ever-changing environment.
The expectation of leadership will be to evaluate the ethical ramifications of decisions and to take action when our ethical standards are not being upheld.
Ethics Will Drive Action.
This past year highlighted many negative nuances and conflicts within our society. Customers, employees and investors have reevaluated what they see as acceptable and what needs to change. Much like Privacy by Design concepts forced us to take data protection into consideration from the beginning of a project, we will now reflect more intentionally on the ethical implications of our decisions in all areas of business. From the way in which we develop our workplaces to how we evaluate our supply chains to how we deploy AI, the expectation of leadership will be to evaluate the ethical ramifications of decisions and to take action when our ethical standards are not being upheld.
Fiscal Balance Will Be Tricky.
I expect that people will slow, although not stop, spending. There are still a lot of unknowns at the moment, so people will be more cautious in their short-term spending. Instead of instantly replacing legacy systems with newer options, IT leaders will first maximize existing technologies through integrations or rehosting. However, the balance here will be tricky, because leaders will also be tasked with optimizing this newly-established remote workforce and some tools may not be agile enough to keep up with modern needs. In 2021, it won’t be enough to just be operational — it will be time to improve. So IT leaders will need to carefully evaluate remote work tools and how they optimize, structure and automate processes and communication.
Cybersecurity Mesh Will Continue to Develop.
With the great migration to home offices, employee and customer activities changed. No longer can we guarantee safety and security by keeping people, processes and technology tightly confined to a certain location. Instead, we are forced to let them roam. This means that we need to reevaluate the ways in which we respond to privacy and security regulations. We need to place more emphasis on the employee’s responsibility with regard to cybersecurity. And, we need to have cybersecurity tools in place that let analysts work from anywhere as they swiftly and securely manage an increasing number of incidents.
What trends will shape your IT organization or business in the upcoming year? Where’s your focus as we continuing moving through the current pandemic situation? What new technologies and solutions will you take advantage of to provide your customers with better and more modern service?
Curious to hear your thoughts and excited about what’s to come in 2021…