Digital transformation has drastically changed the way we live, work and communicate and will continue to play a major role in 2023. In 2023, we will see more digital transformation focusing on hybrid working, cybersecurity and the digital customer experience. In this article, we discuss the key digital transformation trends of 2023 and what they mean for businesses in an ever-changing digital world.
The importance of digital transformation
Major economic changes, cyberattacks, rapidly emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence: the world is changing at a rapid pace. As an organisation, you need to move with it - or preferably even anticipate it - and that requires agility. Digital transformation has been high on organisations' priority lists for years. Rightly so, as digital transformation initiatives not only help become agile, but also fuel innovation, provide a better customer experience and save costs. But what are the digital transformation trends in 2023?
#1 Artificial Intelligence
Large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT get a lot of attention, but fulfil little to no role in enterprise AI, or the application of AI and machine learning in everyday business processes. While enterprise AI is a very good tool for digital transformation.
A growing number of companies are embracing AI applications by 2023. Examples include predictive analytics (such as predicting prices, maintenance and potential prospects), automating business processes, personalising customer experiences or chatbots for customer service or HR, for example.
AI applications thereby help companies to work more efficiently, improve customer experience and market new products or services, among other things.
#2 Optimising hybrid working
Hybrid working is not new anymore. A trend for 2023 is that more and more organisations are focusing on optimising hybrid working. They do this, for example, by:
- Investing in technology: the right hardware and software ensures that employees can communicate and collaborate smoothly both in the office and at home.
- Working hours: employees are increasingly given the freedom to choose their own working hours.
- Being together: organisations in 2023 better understand what can and cannot take place in the office. For example, focus tasks are often best done at home, while the office is the place to be for, among other things, get-togethers and tasks related to creativity, innovation and mentoring.
- Guidelines: guidelines define how hybrid working is organised. How many days are people allowed to work from home? Are there fixed office days? And should specific communication channels be used?
- Training and support: educating employees in areas such as digital communication tools and creating the optimal home office helps to get the most out of hybrid working.
- Trust: trust by managers in their team members is extremely important, where the focus should be on results rather than location or working hours.
#3 Alignment between business and IT
There is growing awareness of the need to close the gap between business and IT. Due to the need for operational efficiency, increased productivity and faster innovation, among other things, business and IT need to move closer together. In doing so, IT strategy should reflect business goals.
Besides synchronising business and IT strategies, IT's role should change: from service provider to strategic partner. IT needs to truly co-create and solve concrete problems to deliver value to employees and customers.
When business and IT teams are aligned and cooperate in areas such as automation and integration, organisations can eliminate silos between different departments, innovate faster and respond better to employee and customer needs.
An interesting trend in this regard is the emergence of the Center of Excellence (CoE) concept, or a multidisciplinary team that drives and supports innovation. A CoE can improve alignment between business and IT by acting as a central point of contact, facilitating consultations and helping with technology choices.
#4 Digital customer experience
Simply having good products or services will not get you there. An excellent customer experience is crucial to stand out from your competition. Numerous innovations have raised the bar, especially in the digital world. During every step of the 'customer journey', the contact the customer has with the company must be optimal.
Improving the digital customer experience is a key digital transformation trend in 2023. Tools for this include personalisation, omnichannel communication and analysing data to provide better customer service. It's also important to create a culture where customer experiences are top of mind for everyone and information is shared within the organisation. This way, you can ensure perfect customer experiences that are consistent and tailored across every channel and platform.
Hyperpersonalisation can be an important asset here. Within this concept, you use customer data to create customer experiences that respond precisely to individual customer wishes. In fact, you predict customer behaviour so that they are presented with the best content, such as videos, images, texts and notifications, at exactly the right moment.
#5 Hyperautomation is here to stay
We also said it in 2022 and 2021, but hyperautomation is currently one of the digital transformation trends. Companies are deploying various technologies such as machine learning, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to automate more tasks and processes than ever before.
AI lies at the heart of hyperautomation and will continue to fuel attention to - as well as the importance of - the concept in the coming years.
#6 Change management as a great facilitator
Technology may be central, but it takes much more than technology to transform digitally. It also requires a certain culture and collective mindset. More and more companies recognise the importance of this and are betting on change management as a great facilitator for digital transformation.
Training employees is not enough; employees need to see the value of transformation. A comprehensive change management programme consists, for example, of making employees aware and involved, changing the corporate culture, redefining processes and implementing new technologies.
This way, you help reduce resistance to change, increase acceptance of new ideas and accelerate the adoption of new technologies and processes.
#7 The importance of the digital workplace
A digital workplace such as Workspace 365 helps with digital transformation. Not only because smoother communication and collaboration makes your organisation more agile and therefore better able to transform digitally. A digital workplace can also help reduce the complexity of IT systems and streamline processes. For example, it simplifies access to business applications, giving employees easier and more secure access to the information they need to do their jobs.
In addition, a digital workplace helps foster a culture of innovation and digitalisation. A digital workplace helps familiarise employees with digital tools and enables them to use these tools quickly and simply. As a result, they discover new ways to do their work and easily adapt to changing technologies.
Workspace 365 as an adaptive digital workplace
An adaptive digital workplace such as Workspace 365 adapts to the organisation and employees, rather than the other way around. Applications, data, documents, processes and tasks are offered in a personalised way. What exactly is displayed on the dashboard depends on a person's location, network, role and device, among other things. Employees therefore find everything they need within one digital workplace.
In short, an adaptive digital workplace is an important component within your digital transformation. Not only because it helps accelerate innovation and improve collaboration. But also and most importantly because it reduces IT complexity and provides finer technology experiences, allowing employees to embrace other digital transformation initiatives faster.