In today's business environment, the big trends arouse the interest of decision-makers. They show where an industry, a sector of activity, and economy are heading. Composed in turn of incipient emerging trends that become dominant, macro trends contain us.
For example, if you own a company, you may not be at the forefront of technological development. However, technology plays an important role in the growth and efficiency of the company and it is good to know what the usage trend is.
At the level of macro trends, the technologies of the moment are Artificial Intelligence, RPA, 5G. There is a lot of talk about these. Little, however, one talks about synergies and the size applied, or the result of the adoption of new technologies at the level of each company. Regarding the latter, the following 5 trends are emerging:
1. Digitalization of HR function
HR is an area that has grown in importance in 2020, as a result of the pandemic, which has led to the need for all-encompassing digitization of this function. This trend is expected to continue in 2021. Remote work has changed companies' perceptions of productivity, engagement, culture, communication, and employee development and highlighted the need for efficient technology to help overcome these challenges. Centralizing HR information systems has also become an important mission.
In Romania, according to the survey by the consulting company Valoria, “Trends and Challenges in HR”, 43% of the responding companies say that they have a solution to automate HR processes. Moreover, 51% consider the use of technology in HR to be of increasing importance for measuring the department's performance (ROI), 12% believe that it is only somewhat important, while 26% consider it to be a key element of critical importance.
2. Contactless purchase
In response to pandemic restrictions, large companies have used mobile technology, online shopping, and online scheduling to create a human-free shopping experience. Once considered a consumer fad to access companies' products on mobile, with the pandemic, it has become almost a basic requirement for most retailers. Shopping on the mobile, paying with the help of eBanking applications, are now more and more frequent. The argument of social distancing, contactless payment expresses this trend even in physical stores.
In Romania, the number of people shopping online increased by 13% in 2020compared to 2019, and the average value spent on online shopping increased significantly by 41% in 2020 compared to 2019.
3. Software unification
The adoption by companies of individual solutions to solve specific problems has challenged companies to integrate these solutions. It will be an important step forward when integration platforms will allow any software to connect well with any other software. The connection will eventually connect several platforms and allow for perfect communication. For example, customer information will switch simultaneously between platforms if integrated into one, and this unification can save companies’ time.
Currently, RPA is the most used technology for the integration of various types of software, especially in conditions of unification of outdated systems with new technologies. According to the research conducted by the consulting company Valoria,“The Barometer of Digitalization in Romania”, the areas in which the RPA technology is the most used are the following: general accounting (20%), financial (18%), and budgetary / analysis (14%).
4. The rise of automation
Automation, a word that was heard discreetly a few years ago, is being heard louder and louder today. With the continuing shortage of workers in certain areas, investment in automation will continue to grow. Examples of small businesses include online pricing automation to manage profitability and revenue growth, as well as inventory management systems to ensure optimal quantity availability. It is expected that company decision-makers will allocate budgets for automation solutions as a means of reducing costs and solving problems.
5. Productivity through digitization
The focus in 2021 will be on productivity systems. It is a trend that will become more and more pronounced as teams across the company face measures such as budget freezes, cost reductions, and/or layoffs. Moreover, the technology that supports employee training will increasingly focus on digital solutions to make training teams more agile and efficient.
In all industries, the context of 2020 has catalyzed a change of unprecedented magnitude. In the race to build strong digital capabilities and successfully reorganize the world of tomorrow, companies are looking for future growth solutions by leveraging technological trends today.
About Constantin Magdalina
Constantin Magdalina has 10 years of working experience, while he performed in multinationals both in Romania and abroad. Constantin has a master’s degree in Marketing and Business Communication from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest. He is certified in Lean Six Sigma and ITIL which provide him a good understanding of processes and transformations within organizations. The Chartered Institute of Marketing certification furthered complemented his expertise and knowledge in business. In those over 4 years of working activity in a Big4 company, he initiated and conducted studies that analyzed different aspects related to the business environment in Romania such as the economic growth predictions of companies in 2013-2016, knowledge management, the buying experience in the age of digital consumers, social media 2013-2015, the utilization of mobile devices in Romania. He is the author of numerous articles on topics related to innovation, the efficiency of business processes, social media, the consumers’ buying experience in the age of digital, trends, and emergent technologies. He is invited as a speaker at numerous events and business conferences.