When businesses were preparing for the start of the new decade, they likely did not expect the challenges that were to come. In the past two months, businesses have responded to the global pandemic by transitioning their operations online, where possible. Though 2020 technology predictions have been shaken up, they still provide useful insights. Let’s examine the common business challenges companies will face in 2020.
1. Ensuring Data Security and Protection
According to Statista, just last year, there were 1,473 data breaches in the U.S., leading to the exposure of over 164.68 million sensitive records. Additionally, the World Economic Forum cites “data fraud/theft” and “cyberattacks” as two of the top 10 likely risks facing our world today. Emphasis on Digital Transformation in 2020, and the urgency to adapt to remote working environments, has made digital security increasingly imperative.
With these challenges in mind, enterprise businesses are in need of better security procedures and requirements, in addition to more thorough data governance and management. Key steps toward effective data governance include securing the storage and use of company data, implementing proper documentation and managing access to sensitive data.
Too often, businesses are left vulnerable and unprepared for a cyberattack, with no plan for how to handle or combat the breach. Developing a security and data breach response plan is essential for reducing response time and maintaining the reputation of your company. Additionally, enterprise businesses must ensure that they comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.
2. Adopting Efficiency and Automation
In order to increase efficiency, more and more businesses are embracing automation each year and determining how to streamline their processes. In their technology trends, Gartner predicts that organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by 2024 due to combining hyper-automation technologies with redesigned operational processes.
Forester also focuses on automation as part of its 2020 guide, predicting that the robotic process automation (RPA) global market will be worth $7.7 billion in 2020 and $12 billion in 2023. Whether it is RPA, AI, Machine Learning or another form of automation, companies are investing in automation technologies to reduce their operational costs and improve productivity.
3. Embracing Change, Innovation and Digital Transformation
Companies that don’t want to be left behind are focusing on growth and how they can scale. However, true success is not just avoiding failure, but achieving success through innovation. This could include keeping up with changing technology trends in your industry, streamlining your back-office systems and taking advantage of current data tools.
Businesses need to buy into a strategic vision and mission in order to move forward. This includes companies that have been forced to adapt or begin the digital transformation process recently. If companies are constantly stuck in a reactive or defensive mode, digital transformation will be difficult to implement. However, disruption could be the catalyst that your business needs to spur innovation.
4. Customer Acquisition and Retention
With the abundance of choices in a consumer-driven economy, businesses are being challenged to provide greater value for their customers. When a company markets a product or service, they must now reach potential customers through multiple channels and touchpoints. It is a necessary challenge to maintain brand consistency across platforms. Additionally, once you are successful in acquiring a customer, the challenge does not stop there. The buyer’s journey may end with the decision stage, but a critical stage of the customer life cycle is retention.
With the vast majority of resources at their fingertips, if customers aren’t satisfied with the experience, they will find another brand that delivers. Reducing church rates is a common challenge for business. The overall Customer Experience (CX) drives customer satisfaction and loyalty, and in turn, purchasing decisions and retention. In order to prioritize the customer experience, businesses should take time to identify what is important to their clients.
Often, customers place high value on speed, convenience, helpful employees and friendly service. However, these priorities will be tailored toward your industry and services. As technology and data analytics improves, so does the opportunity to customize the consumer experience.
5. Combating the Economic Effects of COVID-19
The biggest challenge of 2020 for businesses has been the impact of the global pandemic. Thanks to COVID-19, companies have unexpectedly been forced to
- Rethink their business models
- Adapt to dramatic changes in consumer behavior
- Alter their advertisement and communication strategies
- Adjust to remote work or adhere to social distancing measures
- Navigate timeline uncertainty and
- Prepare for and adjust to an economic recession
Many plans made for 2020 have gone out the window. Even those who are fortunate enough to maintain “business as usual” — or whose services are in higher demand — have had to adjust their strategies. The full economic impact of COVID-19 is uncertain but states are creating plans to begin reopening the economy while still attempting to stop the spread. What this will mean for businesses remains to be seen.
Combatting Common Business Challenges in 2020
Though these past few months have brought new and unexpected challenges, 2020 predictions shed light on how our economy has shifted. As businesses work toward combating these challenges, both new and old, their best hope is to continue moving forward, prioritizing digital transformation and tools that can help them succeed in this new business climate.
If your company is ready to start the digital transformation process, 7T is ready to help. We guide businesses through cloud integrations, data lake creation, custom software development, data governance and more. Our approach is to tackle challenging problems head on, developing custom solutions that meet the unique needs of our clients, deliver a large ROI and help them scale their business. To work with our team, contact us today.