Against the backdrop of a global pandemic that moved much of our lives online, digital transformation along with the digital user experience (DX) continue to be hot boardroom topics in 2022. Almost every aspect of customer behaviour changed overnight, but whether it is tightening cybersecurity controls, harnessing the potential of 5G or supporting hybrid workforces, businesses can thrive in a post-Covid era with the following dos and don’ts in mind.
Do strengthen your security
Hackers have been using the Covid-19 pandemic as a hook to hoodwink thousands of people into installing malware. From January to April 2020 alone, the industry saw a whopping 630% and 238% increase in cyberattacks respectively on banks and cloud servers. This poses huge threats to end users as well as business clients. For instance, the banking system in the US is interconnected, making it extremely vulnerable to the spillover effects from cyberattacks. Business clients of banks and financial institutions are at risk as major banks’ solvency can be corrupted, leading to financial mayhem.
With hybrid working continuing for the foreseeable future, it is imperative that companies ramp up their network control – software, cloud and hardware – and extend their cybersecurity strategies from the office network to securing home and mobile devices. Alongside with the robust adoption of digital technologies, massive data analytics programmes and multi-cloud acceleration, companies must identify the emerging risks and design their security controls to create convenient and secure user experiences. For instance, a newly deployed data analytics application with many sensitive end user data sets will enhance the digital experience, but at the same time it will make the company extremely vulnerable to breaches.
Some security measures currently being adopted include, but are not limited to, multifactor authentication (MFA), accelerated patching cycles for critical systems such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and monitoring high-risk user groups.
Don’t walk the tech road alone
Innovating on one’s own as a way to stand out from the competition may sound tempting, but many businesses have realised that it is not a sustainable strategy. Due to the fast-paced evolution of technology, many organisations find they don’t have the necessary expertise, scale or facilities to foster self-sustaining innovations.
Collaboration often proves worthwhile, especially in the pursuit of high-tech projects. We have already witnessed businesses coming together in industries like security, transportation or even food and beverages on projects such as cloud computing, last-mile delivery and cloud kitchens. On the other hand, a lack of collaboration with partners and ecosystems can create hurdles for companies in their digital transformation journey. Europe for example is straggling in the artificial intelligence (AI) race as studies show that 60% of companies don’t leverage data from other businesses.
In 2022, more successful partnerships will be forged as we see organisations team up to share their expertise, skills and talent resources. With the right companion, true digital transformation can be executed and accelerated on a global scale.
Do embrace 5G
We have been talking about 5G and its potential for years. Yet, it wasn’t until remote working, videoconferencing and online interactions became the norm that the demand for secure connectivity and higher bandwidth finally put 5G on the top of the DX to-do list.
The new-generation telecoms standard not only has the potential to improve the working from home experience, it could also connect assets like vehicles, buildings and roads, creating internal 5G operation networks that could power a smart city revolution.
On a business level, superfast connectivity from 5G is an essential catalyst to creating new sensor-enabled intelligent products and services due to its much higher speed, resulting in new business models and better value-chain offerings. Similar to building a cybersecurity strategy as a linchpin of digital business, companies must start to proactively research and pilot possible 5G use cases across all industries with a strong focus on the changed customer behaviour.
Do reinforce the hybrid work model
It is expected that many organisations will continue to support hybrid and remote working. This is not only a result of the ‘new normal’: businesses have realised the broad pool of talent and on-demand skills they can tap into with labour outsourcing.
However, designing a long-term hybrid infrastructure requires thorough planning. The changes already implemented in numerous organisations have so far been deemed more reactionary and haphazard than intentional and transformational. An October report from Dynatrace showed that 22% of the 1,300 senior-level development and DevOps leaders surveyed admitted to sacrificing code quality to satisfy the demand for faster innovation. When quality is put at risk, the corollary is profound: work performance is reactive rather than proactive, and innovation is fragmented rather than concentrated.
To effectively promote a high-functioning remote workforce, the key lies in harnessing digital intelligence. IDC estimates that by 2023, 60% of G2000 businesses will apply AI-and ML-enabled systems to facilitate the entire employee life-cycle experience from onboarding to retirement. In addition, the design of purposeful virtual communications enabled by AR/VR, or a complete 3D, immersive office environment powered by the metaverse are opening up exciting new opportunities.
Laying out concrete digital strategies will equip any business to deal better with potential future disruptions. To ensure productivity and performance, organisations should focus on designing a holistic DX solution that includes end-to-end observability, precise insights and continuous automation.