By Pedro Lopes, Group Managing Director South Africa, Seidor Africa
By mid-March 2020, business plans went out the window and many shifted focus from thriving to surviving. Pedro Lopes, group managing director, Seidor Africa says that “Technology trends will increasingly evolve in line with our online and digital lives in 2021.”
He explores what else 2021 will bring:
Business management systems are more important than ever
Challenges differ from one organisation to the next, but business needs remain the same. Now more than ever, an end-to-end business management system is needed to manage and control daily activities. An integrated solution designed specifically for the business will help managers reach targets by cutting manual tasks and automating business-critical functions. A centralised database at the heart of the solution will allow for reconciling data from multiple systems, enabling automation which brings with it efficiency and productivity. Informed and efficient management decisions will be enabled by having access to integrated, real-time data.
Adaptability is critical to success
The key to sustainability in 2021 will be the ability to understand the full picture using business intelligence and rock-solid systems. We are continually having to adapt because we do not know what’s coming, although we can be sure there will be some unexpected twists and turns. How do we make assumptions with so many disruptions? At the moment, it is critical for businesses to adapt to market and environmental changes on a daily basis and to do that, they need an integrated system that gives them real-time data.
COVID-19 is accelerating e-commerce growth
The increasing use of technology to work and stay connected is creating new digital habits globally. The way we shop is changing, with e-commerce having boomed under lockdown. Now is the time to transform business operations to match the new digital expectations that have emerged. According to research from IDC, two-thirds of the CEOs of Global 2000 companies will shift their focus from traditional, offline strategies to more modern digital strategies to improve the customer experience before the end of 2020, with 34% of companies believing they’ll fully adopt digital transformation within 12 months or less.
WFH is here to stay
Remote work is the future we all must get ready for. With the work from home (WFH) trend unlikely to lose momentum, remote monitoring and management will enable managed IT service providers to monitor client endpoints, networks, and computers remotely and proactively. This is also now known as or referred to as remote IT management. With operational and sales staff working remotely, integrated human capital management (HCM) solutions in the cloud will become increasingly common, and performance reviews will increasingly be moving online as the world becomes more digital.
Work sharing and collaboration
Collaboration is the new normal in the workplace, with employees no longer expected to work cut off from one another. Document management systems and collaboration platforms are more popular than ever, allowing secure access to documents for remote workers from any device of their choice.
The conversion ratio will remain sluggish
In the B2B world buying decisions are taking longer. The time from lead to prospect, and from prospect to closure has had a big impact on new sales across many sectors. It may be time to reassess innovation strategies and perhaps re-prioritize the product pipeline. I would wager that in general people are stalling decisions until we have a vaccine, and they start to feel safer and more confident about the future.
One thing is clear: the events of the past year have had an impact on technology as much as every other part of our lives. Beyond WFH, we can expect that tech trends will increasingly evolve in line with our online and digital lives.