018 is upon us, and the digital landscape has transformed accordingly.
Thanks to things like enhanced infrastructure, IoT, artificial intelligence, and an increased focus on user experience, business practices have shifted, and this year stands to see some big changes in digital transformation trends.
Here's what you'll want to look forward to:
Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends for 2018
Don't want to get left behind by digital transformation? Keep your eyes peeled for these hot digital transformation trends:
1. UX Will Be of Critical Importance
The trend in the digital environment has been increasingly customer-centric over the last few years, but UX is center stage in 2018.
As digital technologies come in and allow companies to build more intelligent products and better experiences, an engaging UX becomes the thing that sets one company apart from others.
While most companies believe UX stops with a smartphone app, the fact is that it is much more than just that. For most brands, UX expands out to a streamlined digital experience and embracing mobile, IoT, and the web.
2. DevOps Will Continue to Expand
Digital transformation relies deeply on developing technologies. This includes automation, IT, operations teams, and more.
As DevOps capabilities continue to expand, it means companies will be faster to go to the market and roll out new features. This, in turn, will place increased importance on DevOps, which will continue to expand accordingly.
3. Apps Will Improve
2018 is the year that apps officially "go big."
As developers work to embed things like near-instant intelligence, AI, and enhanced implementation, apps are quickly becoming smarter, more powerful, and much more capable of helping people orchestrate the details of their daily life.
4. Digital Transformation Projects Will Undergo Internal Expansion
2018 is the year that some small digital projects will see high levels of internal expansion.
When small projects start using AI technology and similar digital transformation standbys, they're able to grow faster, streamlined, standardized processes, and improve workflows.
Automation is essential for this, as is any other digital process that causes a decrease in time-consuming, manual, repetitive processes.
5. Companies Will Expand Their Cross-Functional Teams
While cross-functional teams have been a standby for years, the introduction of digital transformation means that cross-functional teams need to include a company's business representatives, too.
This means that many brands are hiring what they call "chief digital officers," or professionals with other C-level titles to oversee the transformation process.
The addition of these supplementary professionals goes a long way to ensure organizations are better able to handle digital transformation, and that the entire organization moves as a cohesive unit toward change and adoption.
6. Infrastructure Modernization & Application Development
An essential part of the digital transformation is the modernization of infrastructure and the development of more streamlined and simplified applications.
These things, combined with increasing and cross-functional teams, go a long way toward decreasing cancellation and delay rates and allowing a company to expand its scope and access new markets.
7. The Cloud Will Change
The cloud was a digital transformation of years passed. As we move through 2018, lots of experts are calling for the formation of what they dub "mega-clouds."
A natural progression from multi-clouds, mega-clouds make it possible for companies to move a higher concentration of workloads and applications into the cloud, without inhibiting their ability to make the most of data and AI.
This, in turn, makes it possible for companies to access more positive outcomes and more streamlined workflows.
8. Organizations Will Modernize Their Mainframes
For companies that have created mainframes in their organizations, 2018 will be the year to modernize them.
This means integrating the mainframe system with data and IT centers and making it possible for said mainframes to communicate with various other parts of the organization. Mainframes are also likely to be integrated more fully with things like mobile apps and DevOps departments.
9. Network Infrastructures Will Improve
In 2018, it's expected to see more companies adopting new network infrastructure systems. These network systems will be better-designed to handle digital transformation and streamline workflows more efficiently for teams.
They'll also take those center-stage UX efforts into account and make it possible for companies to manage and improve their performance more efficiently.
10. Teams Will Build for Agility, Adaptability, & Change
Adaptability and agility are essential now than they've ever been before. This is where the concept of "the lean startup" emerged from, and it's something teams are likely to focus on even more in the coming year.
By staying light and agile, teams can address issues like emerging security threats, digital transformation, and past mistakes more thoroughly and quickly than ever before.
Digital Transformations Keep Coming
As the digital world continues to change, teams will need to do everything in their power to continue addressing those changes.
Luckily, these ten top digital transformations are easy to predict, and teams across various verticals are well-equipped to handle them in 2018 and beyond.
By implementing simple things like cross-functional teams with business leadership, enhanced UX, and a greater focus on adaptability, agility, and change, teams can forge ahead into the digital landscape and thrive on the changes that are, indeed, inevitable.