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Conga 2021 Predictions: 2020 Jumpstarted Digital Transformation - What Does That Mean for 2021?

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

2020 Jumpstarted Digital Transformation - What Does That Mean for 2021?

By Eric Carrasquilla, SVP of Product, Conga

While the circumstances have been far from ideal, 2020 has impelled advancements and innovations onto companies that otherwise may have been a distant dream, never to become a reality. In fact, nearly one-third of companies (31%) admitted that without the COVID-19 pandemic, they would have never implemented the technologies they did, with 23% projecting it would have taken them one to three years to realize such changes were even needed.

While digital transformation has been an unexpected silver lining of 2020, companies are entering the new year with better tools, digitized processes and in many cases an entirely new version of business. With that underway, here are my predictions for what companies should expect in 2021:

Remote work creating a limitless talent pool

Not too long ago, if you were hoping to make a career in the tech industry, you had to move to Silicon Valley, Seattle, or New York to find a good job with an exciting company. Now, with more and more companies understanding that they can remain effective with a remote workforce, talent searches can expand nationally, and even globally, rather than being confined to regional locations near physical offices. This benefits companies in a couple of ways. They have access to a broader array of candidates for a given position, and they also can save money, both on commercial rent due to a reduced re physical footprint, as well as on payroll due to cost of living adjustments in more expensive areas.

Cracking the code on - and crushing - remote collaboration 

As much as companies would love to "virus proof" their business, no one can predict what may or may not happen. During this time, it's important to take a step back and look at workflows, technology or even processes that are producing the best results -  and then start reverse engineering your thought process around them. Rather than focusing on the "how" you're producing these results, look at what you're actually producing. Is there a way to do this with less cost, better technology, more online tools - or even a way to temporarily tweak the offering and end result to make it similar yet more pertinent to what people need now? The answer will almost always be yes.

To that end, come January, many employees will have been working remotely for nearly one full year. During this time, companies - and their employees - have become experts in remote collaboration. As organizations look to adopt long-term remote work policies, both employers and their employees will continue gravitating toward technology to help them do their jobs more productively and efficiently. Whether it's collaborating in Google Docs, recording meetings and transcribing speech to text for those not able to join the meeting, or whiteboarding virtually instead of explaining things over the phone, businesses will become even more collaborative (and productive!) come 2021.

Data becoming even more of a differentiator

As organizations digitize their business, it's creating more data - and in turn, a gold mine for making better, more informed decisions. The data created by digitizing routine business processes will provide insights that will guide them on to market, negotiate agreements and monetize their products and services. While data has always been a differentiator, the digital transformation that's taken place in 2020 will pay dividends in data come 2021.

Additionally, while the digital transformation that's now under our belts has its obvious benefits to internal processes, it's important for businesses to also recognize the ways these technology advancements are improving the way their customers - and their customers' customers -  operate. A company is nothing without its clients, so ensuring technology and solutions are agile and flexible enough to meet changing customer needs will be the ultimate key to success in 2021.

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About the Author

Eric Carrasquilla 

Eric Carrasquilla is Senior Vice President of Product at Conga, where he is responsible for the vision, design, and delivery of Conga's product portfolio. Eric has over 20 years of experience building, launching, and monetizing enterprise-grade applications that deliver successful customer experiences.

Prior to Conga, Eric served as SVP of Product at Model N where he led the strategy to identify and drive the right angle to enter markets and dominate them with innovative products and solutions. He has also held various product and marketing leadership roles at [24]7.ai, Amdocs, Baan, and Fujitsu.

Eric holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and a BS in Marketing from San Jose State University.

Published Tuesday, December 22, 2020 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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