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Technology trends that will drive productivity in 2020
January 9, 2020
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This post is sponsored by Philip Morris International.

For companies that are open to digital transformation, 2020 is going to be a banner year. Several technologies have advanced to the point that workplaces can realize efficiencies and increased productivity unlike anything seen since the ‘90s – when email and web services transformed business as usual. 

If that seems like hyperbole, consider this: 5G connectivity is expected to go mainstream in 2020, making mobile networks more usable than even wired networks running into homes and businesses. This won’t just mean faster, more reliable cell service. It will enable a wide range of internet of things devices and smart machinery that will create new product opportunities and streamline business processes. 

That’s not the only change underway, and not embracing the current comes with considerable risk. Leaders risk falling behind the competition or, worse, having their business models disrupted by upstarts and more agile companies.  
To stay ahead of the curve, they should take note of these trends poised to help businesses in a transformative state become more productive in 2020:

Hyperautomation

Chances are, you've already introduced automation into at least some parts of your business. It's a crucial way to streamline processes, build better predictive models and make data-backed decisions that are best for improving growth and productivity. 2020 will be about hyperautomation, which involves taking that to the next step: integrating processes across organizations, developing an organization-wide vision and strategy for automation, and implementing change management to ensure the benefits of automation are realized.

AI-driven strategy

Machines take a fraction of the time a human being does to process decision making, and can do so while processing an unprecedented amount of data. That means that as artificial intelligence and machine learning improve in capability, companies can integrate them more deeply and use them to guide strategy with greater confidence. Designing responsible systems and sound policies for how to use eliminate any bias in machine-led systems will be key to ensuring that the benefits of AI are realized without undermining transparency, accountability and brand reputation.

Data collaboration

As the benefits of data-driven decision making become even more apparent, more industries are likely to pool and share data to improve their processes, opening up possibilities for new and improved services. Health care data could be shared more seamlessly across providers, financial data across banks, and autonomous driving sensor data across automakers. By breaking down data siloes and enabling large-scale real-time processing, businesses can ensure that they deliver outstanding customer experiences that match their expectations.

Immersive technologies

Virtual reality, augmented and mixed reality offering deeper ways to engage with technology. For companies, improvements on this front offer new ways to communicate brand messaging and engage potential and existing customers with products and services. They also hold the potential to improve employee collaboration, productivity and retention by accelerating effective communication throughout an organization.

As companies embrace these trends and overall digital transformation this year, it’s important for them to also remember the importance of transparency. Growing privacy regulations are signaling that consumers expect brands to be responsible with how they use data. Being mindful of that is imperative to realizing the benefits of emerging technologies while maintaining trust in the marketplace.

When companies forge ahead in a transparent manner, they have the potential to unlock productivity and efficiencies that can be truly transformative.

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