The bad news is that enterprises did not expect 2020 to turn out this way. The good news is that many have started their road to recovery through increasing levels of digital transformation.Today, in the pandemic-impacted business climate, the speed at which digital businesses can evolve has dramatically changed. Of course, this acceleration towards digital transformation means there are more opportunities to capitalise upon.

We live in an age where it isn’t just the OTT platforms and retailers who capitalise on AI-driven recommendation engines. With the rise of ML-driven workflows, it has become crucial to combine both collaborative and content-based filtering to maximise the extent of personalisation. Before the end of 2021, OEMs might even go beyond the recommendation engines to develop fully-fledged AI modules that deliver “bespoke” personalised services.

Blockchain is now at the centre of enterprise resource planning systems. In 2021, blockchain will be one step closer to becoming the primary transaction management technology for future-proofed enterprises. Blockchain tech will further solve those trust issues by enhancing how it can validate transactions, verify users, prevent data leakage, and help maximise the ROI of ERP.

It’s a myth that cloud hosting is cheaper for large or mid sized companies. What they need is a collaborative ecosystem for multiple systems to interact. The year 2021 will see more the hybrid cloud offering more architectural flexibility and stronger security protocols. SaaS-based model for managing applications will be recognised as being more expensive in the long run. And OEMs will leverage on-premise servers to deploy products, as iPaaS providers like Dell Boomi will emerge as game-changers.

AI-based ERPs are marking the dawn of a new era. They help critical business units like HR operations, finance operations, planning and procurement, and legal teams to become more organised. And they improve their decision-making capabilities with deep-dive data insights. In 2021, with more data-intensive applications, there will be extra pressure on functional teams to transform personalised data into measurable insights.

In this pandemic era, IT teams have been working extra hard to keep systems up and running. Now, cybersecurity has emerged as one of the biggest tasks for IT teams. In 2021, AI will become a larger part of the quintessential hacker toolkit. The decentralisation of security controls will take prominence to keep remote issues under control. However, evolving data governance policies will require a closer look at automating breach notifications.

In 2021, continuing to digitally transform your business or building a digital business is bound to come with innovation challenges. For better or worse, C-suite leaders will be under more pressure to seamlessly deliver digital initiatives without any hiccups.

The writer is Practice Head of Enterprise Business Applications, Aspire Systems