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Nintex 2021 Predictions: 5 digital investments for successful organizations in 2021

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

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

5 digital investments for successful organizations in 2021

By Dustin Grosse, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Nintex

While the pandemic has impacted different businesses and industries in myriad ways, one commonality emerged: the need for digital and productivity improvements across the workplace.

Businesses that had already implemented some digital workflows were better equipped to handle the shift to remote work, while those who weren't were left completing years of digital transformation work in weeks. By continuing to take advantage of new technologies and tools, businesses will be able to streamline workflows, improve processes and ultimately arm their employees with the right resources to get work done more efficiently in 2021. In the next year, business leaders should focus on the following trends as organizations shift to hybrid and entirely remote workplaces that offer more flexibility to their employees.

  1. Continued automation and digitization investment: The pandemic exposed a number of inefficiencies for businesses who delayed their digitization efforts. Outdated processes caused major setbacks during the move to remote or hybrid workplaces, but companies relying on fewer paper-dependent processes had a smoother transition. The City and County of Denver, for example, invested in automation before the pandemic hit, enabling them to quickly create a virtual Emergency Operations Center to comply with social distancing and public health best practices. And this agility will only set them up for future success. 

  2. The evolution of mobile technologies: Evolving mobile technologies like 5G services will enable more agile and responsive remote workplaces in 2021. Organizations will be able to better equip their workforce with power-efficient hardware that offers greater flexibility, improving productivity on the move. For example, construction companies are leveraging mobile-accessible health check forms for their employees working on-site. 5G services enhance these mobile capabilities and once fully implemented, organizations can create more concrete plans for the future of remote workplaces.

  3. Increased cloud adoption: In 2021, cloud services is expected to grow 18% totaling $305 billion Additionally, 70% of organizations using cloud services today plan to increase cloud spending. Cloud working benefits work-from-home staff as it provides easy access to applications and documents with a connection to the internet, instead of relying on corporate data centers. As businesses look for ways to return to the office, there will be an increased use of hybrid cloud architectures where on-premises IT infrastructures are augmented by cloud-based alternatives. This is a more cost-effective alternative that delivers improved efficiency, too.

  4. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): The development and implementation of AI and ML is currently on the rise across nearly every industry. Gartner found that 24% of IT professionals who use AI increased their AI investments during the pandemic - and this number will continue to grow in 2021. As more businesses look to improve their processes, they will turn to AI and ML tools that offer businesses data insights that were previously impossible to achieve, allowing significant returns on investment.

  5. Increased security awareness: Working from home exposed security risks IT departments were not prepared to handle in 2020. Businesses rushed to provide employees with remote-capable software that decentralized cybersecurity. Fifty-three percent of employees working remotely conduct company business on personal laptops, and 29% of workers allow kids and spouses to use their work computers for online games and shopping. While many companies were able to combat cyberattacks and inconsistencies in security protocols, 2021 will bring increased investment in security strategies to further protect valuable information from attacks.

The next 12 months will be far from a return to "normal." Companies must accept and embrace remote work as an opportunity to adjust and adapt for greater process improvement. Technologies including automation, mobile, cloud, AI/ML and cybersecurity can make these transitions easier. As organizations consider where to invest in 2021, they will need to make decisions with the remote employee in mind.

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About the Author

Dustin Grosse 

Dustin Grosse has more than 25 years of management, strategy and go-to-market experience with leading high tech companies at various stages of growth. He previously worked at Microsoft, DocuSign, McKinsey & Company and P&G. He holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Published Friday, January 08, 2021 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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