2020 brought many changes. We launched BDO Digital in January with the goal of helping middle market organizations harness innovation and capture the full power of technology. At the time, no one could have foreseen just how much these services would be needed. The pandemic forced us all to reconsider how we work and learn, all while the number of cyber threats significantly increased. Accelerated digital transformation became critical for us all to continue to live our lives and do our jobs.
As we look ahead to 2021, we wanted to share our insights on some of the biggest digital trends and resolutions.
Video calls have managed to keep us all in touch as we’ve gone remote. With the world around us changing and many of us forced out of the office, communication platforms, including Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Google Hangouts, and Zoom became a large part of our daily lives and enabled us to remain connected, even while apart. Look for this technology to continue to be prevalent in 2021.
The idea that a machine can understand, intelligently digest, and provide a response in minutes is no longer just science fiction. AI and machine learning are changing the way businesses understand their current performance and react to crises. For middle-market companies to compete long-term, they must be able to manage huge volumes of data and extract valuable insights from it. Data analytics maturity is critical for companies to make insight-driven decisions.
If there were any lingering doubts about the necessity of digital transformation to business longevity, 2020 silenced them. True business transformation, including process optimization, identifying digital channels, and driving efficiencies, are all enabled by digital transformation. What is clear is that organizations which harness their digital capabilities will have a much better chance of thriving, particularly in times of turbulence.
Businesses have faced many acute challenges in 2020, and cyber threats rank high on that list. With abrupt business interruption and drastic revenue changes for many industries, these sudden disruptions also opened new opportunities for cyberattackers. As digital adoption accelerates concurrently with an increasing threat of cyberattacks and data breaches, businesses must take swift action to bolster their cybersecurity practices and build resilience.
With the workforce population spread out, the need for instant availability of IT resources, enabled by the cloud, has become greater than ever. Not only does the cloud offer top security, it also provides flexibility to organizations as they scale and develop.
January 1 ushered in a new era for data privacy in the United States when the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) took effect, with enforcement beginning on July 1, 2020. Companies that have already been struggling with the pandemic, must now also comply with a new privacy law that is certain to bring regulatory fines and potential litigation. To ensure privacy compliance and combat potential litigation if they experience a data breach, organizations need to understand what data they have, how it’s used and stored, and where and how it’s shared.
If we are to learn anything from this past year, it should be that returning to “business as usual” must not be our only objective. The goal, as we persevere and ultimately emerge from this crisis, should be to get to “better than usual” – making it important to adopt a resiliency agenda in 2021 and beyond.
The diagram below outlines a sequenced approach from immediate remediation to recovery to recharged and ready to thrive. Learn more about how you can build long-term resilience as you look forward.