The global impact of COVID-19 was quite varied for organizations in the services industry. It was a challenging year to say the least, especially with restrictions on direct human contact. Enterprises in the personal grooming, travel and tourism, entertainment and hospitality sectors were severely hit due to the nature of their business.
With all the disruption, COVID-19 has become a catalyst for digital transformation in the services industry. Due to social distancing guidelines, organizations shifted quickly to paperless & contactless transactions that enabled them to get back to business.
Paperless business functions are not innovative. However, with mandates of social distancing, paperless documentation quickly became a critical functionality. Virtual meetings, e-documentation processes and record management systems are now here to stay. With a stable internet connection, they simplify organizational activities, offer continued availability, accelerate business transactions, and help leaders make decisions on the go.
Contactless services will witness a spike in the coming year with communication, logistics, customer experiences. Most functions, even in healthcare, are on the road to become contactless. Technology, with all of its power and potential, is here to provide simplification, convenience, accuracy and more.
Here’s an overview of the top technology trends and their impact on the Services Industry –
- 5G – Connectivity is productivity
Connectivity fosters data sharing and accelerates business outcomes. We share documents, emails, pictures, videos, news and information across the world within seconds. 5G connectivity will only boost that mobility in data, people, processes, systems and business functions to connect the global workforce across multiple devices and users. With the rapid rise of mobile devices, platforms and solutions, enterprises can create a strong culture of connectivity between their internal business functions and consumers.
- AI & ML – Intelligence at its peak
The human-machine collaboration is a technology trend that will surge in 2021. Humans need machines to alleviate the challenges of manual labor and machines need humans to train them to serve more efficiently and intuitively. This dynamic duo, when aligned well, can make or break businesses.
- Data Science and Analytics – Power of personalization
For service companies, the key to success lies with leveraging data insights to design custom solutions. By capturing customer details and preferences, they can analyze preference patterns and provide complementary or enhanced customer services.
- Cloud – From complexity to convenience
Remote work is helping the services industry to survive the pandemic. By taking devices literally anywhere, many businesses witnessed uninterrupted productivity. Cloud infrastructure made this possible and will continue to do so in 2021 and beyond.
- More businesses will move their data to cloud – continuing the trend shift from on-premise licenses to subscription-based cloud applications.
- In the wake of heightened remote working, online delivery services, in tandem with retail and e-commerce companies, will shift their data to cloud to derive analytical insights to improve services and user experience.
- Containerization of web and mobile applications will support growing user loads. Increased security and risk measures will be applied in solutions likely to be used outside of VPNs.
- Virtual Reality – Simulating exceptional experiences
To comply with social distancing norms, paperless and contactless solutions incorporating virtual reality will rise.
What should enterprises do to embrace change?
The old proverb says- necessity is the mother of invention. The pandemic has accelerated transformation tenfold for businesses of all sizes- especially small businesses. These new ways of doing business will be the norm moving forward. To ride the wave of change, businesses should focus on these three areas-
- Digital and Business Transformation
Adoption of digital technologies and automated processes has become a necessity to survive. When embraced, organizations see higher efficiencies and accuracy, greater productivity, better customer service and more powerful user experiences. The time to start your evolution is now.
- Talent Empowerment
Automating human activities doesn’t mean replacing the human workforce. Instead, humans will be freed up to focus on more strategic tasks including training automations and systems for desired results. Empower your teams to excel in the new norm with training and certifications to expand their skills.
- Intelligent Automation
Combining human and machine intelligence, new business models maximize productivity and operational efficiency. With repetitive tasks automated, humans can focus on higher value strategic activities to pave the way for future growth and sustainability.
Looking to enhance your digital capabilities in 2021? Emtec Digital can help empower your team. Contact us to learn more.