samuel obafemi|February 22, 2021

2020 has seen immeasurable business disruption, defining a new economic era, and forcing organisations to adopt digital transformation rapidly in order to survive. In a matter of days, companies scurried to implement new systems and tools to adjust to the new normal, and online businesses instantly needed to create compelling and effective customer experience across digital channels.

If we fast forward to 2021, focusing our attention on technology, we can start to see the power dynamic balance shifting to the workforce rather than the employer. Technology is the empowering force to the new social-economic destiny powered by the development of technologies including Automation and Artificial Intelligence. The shift in normal behaviours such as, early morning gym sessions before work and boarding a packed train twice a day is the story of yesterday, and we now can use some of that energy to do what we choose with an opportunity to spend time focusing on personal interests and projects. The parallel between social and technological productivity is one that may propel through 2021.

Organisations are developing their current technological offering, investing and acquiring new capabilities to become more resilient. The advancements are increasing in most cases the workforce productivity, benefiting the employee immensely. The widespread adoption of technology across a number of business verticals may aim to avoid being burned out at the keyboard, but is this conducive to long term human interaction with technology? This being said, legacy business models are not out the window, and the new economic revolution will for sure still incorporate the story of yesterday.

The shift in the adoption will come with its effects, and underpinning digital transformation is the powerful digital technologies which include some renowned cloud computing arms such as Amazon, AWS, Google, and Microsoft. It’s no secret with a small group of companies operating in trillion-dollar markets we could start to question the diversification of software. In connecting disparate workforces, partners, suppliers, and customers there will be an acceleration of software-as-a-service offerings and with the development of advanced applications, we may see a monopoly with these solutions as they are a major component of digital transformation. Technology is changing the landscape however it’s not apparently clear yet if it will fully migrate from the cloud from on-premises, but a shape is being carved to a hybrid model.

2021 will open up collaboration with workplace technologies across teams and customers, reorganising organisations and defining new business processes. The scale at which we manage complex data in 2021 will force automation and AI to be smarter, faster, and more powerful. The acceleration has created a trend for smaller and medium-sized business to make use of intelligent platforms that operate a software-as-a-service rather than reliant solely on IT departments. This will demand a change mindset with an “always on” mentality, as we pivot workforce practices to run more efficiently.

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