2021, the Digital year

2021, the Digital year

Philippe Sanchis, CEO,  VialinkPhilippe Sanchis, CEO, Vialink
The challenging times we are facing give us a unique reminder that technology and innovation are the most powerful tools to help us move forward and face the numerous challenges ahead, from global warming to natural disaster and pandemic…

2020 also taught us that we must get used to uncertainty, that our way of life is more fragile than we thought, a reminder that resilience is key for individuals, for companies and for societies.

2021, more digital for more resilience

Even if Digital transformation has been a major focus in the past years, a vast majority of companies recently discovered they still had a long way to go when the Covid changed everything.

We know for years that regardless of the generations, Gen X, Millenials, babyboomers, our customers all want the same thing: simple and efficient services, quickly delivered with competence, which means a mix of digital and value-added services delivered by actual people.

To be resilient means to be able to adapt our processes in a matter of days, and going 100% digital is obviously the best option to achieve that goal. Even if it is not possible for all companies in their customer relationship, at least, all internal processes must be 100% digital.

How can Tech companies help?

Replacing obsolete and manual processes with innovative technology is a solution to meet this digital challenge. Many companies are therefore turning to a broader use of Artificial Intelligence.
As a powerful driver of growth and innovation, AI has become in the past years a flagship technology used in day-to-day use cases.

However, the main challenge associated with the implementation of AI is the lack of qualified skills. Turning to expert technology players can therefore be very beneficial for companies, which do not have the appropriate resources. The emergence of Fintech and Regtech is indeed a real opportunity for industries like Banking and Finance where their innovative services can help automate and accelerate complex financial processes.

Even Tech companies need to change their current pace

Changes in habits, ways of doing things, technologies, etc are occurring faster nowadays. As a Tech company we need to adapt even more quickly than before to help our customers in a constantly moving and challenging environment.

The pace of tech innovation will be exponential in the next years. It will put a lot of pressure on Tech companies. Finally the main challenge Tech companies might face could be to constantly deliver new products/services with limited time to make a profit with that innovation.

This is not going to be agility; this will be contortion and will probably be a whole new challenge in term of processes and R&D organization.

Is Artificial Intelligence the ultimate solution?

AI will continue to be a key technology trend for 2021 but probably in a lot more mature way. AI is a powerful tool but still in an artisanal state for most. AI will need to scale in a more industrialized way in 2021.

As AI pioneers at Vialink, I consider our major 2020 achievement was not to release multiple brand-new Machine Learning (ML) models designed to automate manual onboarding processes, but the way we industrialized these, mixing AI and DevOps, to be able to deliver very quickly and in reliable ways improved services to our customers.

AI is not just the latest trendy buzzword, the learning curve is extremely difficult for most of the companies, AI is driving concrete digital transformation but doing a nice ML model is just the beginning of a long path. 2021 should be the year of AI industrialization and maturity from both buyer and seller sides.
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