Before Christmas, our CEO, Rob Jones, gave us his take on data fabric, one of Gartner’s strategic technology trends for 2022, and why he feels we’re still some years away from it becoming a genuine possibility. Now we’re turning our attention to the new data developments and innovations we can expect to come to the fore in 2022. Here, Rob shares his predictions with us.
Although we’re still some way away from the widespread adoption of a genuine data fabric, we are expecting to see more steps being made to enable its precursor, DataOps. DataOps is all about enabling the automated preparation, transformation, and delivery of data to the people and places that need it. Organisations need to get their DataOps in order before they can go on to consider introducing the AI and machine learning elements synonymous with today’s definition of a data fabric.
Many organisations are beginning to realise that they’ve got lots of important siloed data that really should be connected. We’re expecting to see more organisations working towards bringing their data into one place and making it accessible through applications as well as to employees, customers, and suppliers. However, to get to this point, you first need to make your data fit for purpose and easily available – in the right format, at the right speed, and with the right level of accuracy.
As it stands, we estimate that only around 25-30% of organisations in the UK have their data mobilised and ready to take this next step. And these are the early adopters. The majority aren’t there yet. They may have some data connected, some elements of governance in place, and some interesting cases where data is being pulled into applications. But, in reality, this is not as holistic as it needs to be for DataOps. I think this is going to be a big focus for these organisations this year.
More Widespread Adoption of Machine Learning and AI
Through 2022, we’re also likely to see an increasing number of tentative steps into machine learning and AI. We’re seeing innovative business cases being developed from organisations that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be taking advantage of these technologies, using them to manage the likes of PPC ad spend and contact strategies.
We’re also seeing AI being embedded into more conversational channels, with the rise of chatbots and natural language processing over the phone. Conversational AI is on the tipping point. Organisations that don’t get on board and implement these tools through 2022 risk being left behind and losing customers to those that are already using them effectively to deliver fast and accurate responses to queries.
Customer experience technologies are also set to gain traction through 2022. Especially those that enable organisations to provide an omnichannel experience. Customers now expect to be able to communicate with you through any channel, or use several different ones at the same time, and for past interactions to be recognised and reflected in each new conversation. And for this to happen effectively, organisations require real-time data integration.
In the past, many organisations shelved an omnichannel experience as a ‘nice to have’. But the stakes are higher now. Customers expect an omnichannel experience in line with what they’re used to in their interactions with so many other companies. And, if they can’t get it, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere. This is why, through 2022, we’re likely to see more organisations investing in customer service tools such as connected contact centres. They will also need to consider data hubs to connect these contact centres with the different areas in their organisation, such as their marketing and CRM platforms and their website. This is the level of connectivity customers are going to expect over the next few years as the norm.
To learn more about how to manage and integrate your data to help you meet your goals, get in touch.
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