5 Key Digital Changes to expect in 2021

5 Key Digital Changes to expect in 2021

With Christmas and the end of the year fast approaching, there’s no denying that, over the course of the last 12 months, the world has changed dramatically in ways none of us could have predicted. Aside from the life-changing tragedy suffered by many through the Covid-19 pandemic, there are the everyday changes that we now all know as The New Normal: we no longer shake hands, we wear masks almost everywhere we go and, bizarrely, the homes of some people have become toilet roll warehouses. 

The way we do business has also changed radically. Small, independent retailers have had to adapt and survive with many local entrepreneurs having to turn to online sales, local deliveries and click and collect services as well as introducing new products. Even larger businesses are having to accept new working practices as part of their ongoing strategy, including online sales meetings and many staff working from home as standard practice, rather than just when they have a dentist appointment. 

This has led to a near universal reliance on digital products, and far more rapid adoption of digital strategies than would otherwise be the case. With many businesses enjoying the benefits of a more digital way of operating, this is set to continue long after the pandemic is over. Forrester has released its annual predictions for business trends in 2021, within which, the report focuses on five key points regarding digital business. 

20% of worldwide businesses will create a digital division 

Forrester predicts that digital engagement will become the number one driver of customer value in 2021. The report suggests businesses will follow the likes of BP, John Deere and Siemens in introducing data, AI and software-driven divisions.  “By the end of 2021, we expect 30% of $1bn+ firms to have a significant digital product portfolio and 20% to stand up digital divisions dedicated to launching disruptive products.” 

Cloud-first strategies will be a top priority for growth

Forrester predicts: “Every new digital division will embrace innovation through ecosystems, and we expect a further 50% of enterprises to make cloud-centric transformation a priority, moving business-critical operational apps and all experience apps/digital products into the cloud.”

This is a trend we’ve certainly seen at Atomic: many of our clients have seen the benefits of a cloud-based digital strategy over the years and we are expecting this to grow exponentially as more businesses are reliant on cloud technology to enable teams to work remotely and bring customers into the business and we look forward to working with clients on developing strategies to align internal and external resources. 

The ‘Buy’ button 

In digital marketing terms, and for so many businesses, we are moving into uncharted waters. This means businesses will be more reliant on a trial and error approach to determining which marketing channels are right for their business model. The result will be the ‘buy’ button appearing anywhere and everywhere. We also believe this will feature heavily in mobile apps and that mobile commerce will really accelerate with subscription models, repeat purchases and context based purchase decisions becoming more and more popular both in retail and business transactions..

Enterprise Resource Platforms (ERP) will be replaced by Digital Operations Platforms (DOP) 

DOP will allow businesses to consolidate their operations within a single platform. Atomic has seen this trend grow over the last five years and even more so in 2020. Forrester predicts this will continue to develop in 2021 as more businesses are joining Atomic clients in consolidating their resource planning through a single digital portal. 

Outcomes based pricing will grow for digital transformation services 

Forrester predicts that organisations adopting digital strategies will be sourcing work through external vendors and will likely rely on outcomes-based pay structures in order to ‘accelerate time to value.’ This will have an impact on budgeting, particularly for providers of digital services. 

The digital world is rapidly evolving as new technology and new practices are developed but the events of 2020 have accelerated that considerably. At Atomic, we’ve been at the forefront of digital technology for two decades and our team of experts continues to keep abreast of emerging and developing trends in order to keep our clients ahead of the game. If you would like to discuss how your business can benefit from a digital transformation as we enter this brave new post-covid world, contact us and a member of our team will be happy to chat through your business needs. 

Andy Webber

Andy Webber

Managing Director


22 January, 2021

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