What Is The Next Big Digital Transformation In Business?

Updated: December 13th, 2023

Digital transformation is responsible for many businesses reaching new heights in both productivity and profits. Technologies like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) have transformed formerly-awkward communications systems into modern, multi-functional platforms that boost efficiency and productivity and enable powerful collaboration. Advancements in internet speeds like ultrafast business broadband have allowed the transfer of data quicker than ever thought possible.

Digital transformation has offered businesses so much, but there’s always more to be had.

Technology is constantly moving, meaning digital transformation will follow suit. But what is the next big digital transformation in business? What new or evolving technology will businesses leap on to take their next step? And how will that technology work alongside tech like VoIP, if it can?

VoIP will become a necessity after the PSTN switch-off

Businesses still relying on old phone lines will need to switch to a digital alternative if they want their communications to go unaffected. In 2025, BT is planning to switch off the classic PSTN copper lines that have powered most phones in the UK for decades. But the ramifications of this move go beyond simply phones. Any technology that runs through the old phone lines will need to move. Services and solutions like alarm systems, door entry systems, security cameras, electronic point of sale systems and more will all be impacted. They’ll need to move to a cloud connection alternative or utilise a more direct connection like FTTP (fibre to the premises). This is why services like VoIP are more than a handy tool – they’re a necessity.

VoIP converts the voice signals received through a phone into digital signals that can be sent across the internet. This means calls received over a VoIP connection aren’t just able to be transferred, they can be used in a multitude of different ways too. For example, through VoIP, it’s easy to transfer the call to another VoIP-powered device, even if that device isn’t the same as the device transferring the call. You could transfer calls from a VoIP office phone to a mobile phone, PC or even a tablet, if the technology in question is VoIP enabled.

VoIP makes remote working a breeze, too. As long as an employee has access to an internet connection and a device able to handle VoIP, they’ll be able to receive calls from customers as well as stay updated with all other essential elements of the business through a connected business hub.

Speaking of which…

5G will open up greater connectivity

Once new technology enters the fray, older technology becomes obsolete. Even if that technology isn’t particularly old. This will likely be the case with 4G. Despite only being around for a few years, the rollout of 5G will force the previous option into obscurity, as 5G is so much faster. Up to 10 times faster, to be exact. This level of connectivity can be a godsend when traditional internet connections aren’t available.

5G can handle more simultaneous connections than 4G because it makes use of smaller wavelengths yet higher frequencies. In layman’s terms, it’s able to transfer more data, faster.

If you’re working away from the office, or away from a reliable internet connection altogether, a 5G signal could be the lifeline you need to stay online and stay connected with all the resources you need, wherever you are.

As VoIP calls are particularly data-demanding, a strong 5G signal will be useful when workers need to stay connected to these resources without access to Wi-Fi. 5G isn’t available everywhere yet, but the rollout is continuing, with over 750 towns and cities in the UK with 5G connectivity.  With 5G predicted to outgrow 4G by 2024, according to GlobalData, now is the time to check your available connectivity. If you’re considering devices with remote connectivity as part of your digital transformation, take a look at what 5G devices are available to you and keep yourself at the forefront of connectivity for the next few years, at least.

Artificial Intelligence Will Help to Handle the Heavy Load

Artificial intelligence (AI) used to be the stuff of nightmarish science fiction, but today, it’s more embedded into our work processes and culture than people realise. Everything from automated chatbots to stock management systems uses AI in some form – both of which are used by businesses. Almost 50% of all businesses already use AI in one way or another, according to data from O’Reilly, showing how quickly it’s become a widely-used tool. But as AI becomes even more intelligent, its applications will evolve too.

For example, the chatbots that were once limited in their responses and actions will be able to understand more complex customer requests easily, as well as fulfil complex tasks like taking large orders, answering several questions at once and even planning for future requests and orders. These chatbots are also useful in VoIP business calls in the form of intelligent auto attendants and virtual assistants. Not only will AI voice bots be able to answer questions, but they’ll also be able to analyse the tone of the caller, along with picking up other indicators from their voice, to properly respond and direct them to the right person.

AI tools can also be used to analyse your business sales, traffic and other important data to produce accurate forecasts your business can use to plan for the coming months. It’s safe to say AI will have its place in many areas of business. So when you’re planning for your next digital transformation, keep an eye on which of your processes could benefit from a little intelligent automation.

Data speeds and storage will keep expanding 

Data speeds and storage will keep expanding 

In the digital world, data is king, and how you’re able to manage or move your data could determine your long-term success or failure. Internet speeds have been steadily rising in recent years, with some businesses now able to boast regular download speeds of 1Gbps, or even higher. This is thanks to advancements like FTTP, which gives businesses a dedicated broadband line, with no competition from other network users, resulting in ridiculously fast speeds in both directions.

These speeds and the privacy of the network come in handy for applications like VoIP and cloud call systems, which run exclusively on data passed through the internet. The speed and bandwidth required will depend on how many VoIP devices will be connected to your network – the more devices, the heavier the demand. Luckily, speeds like the ones mentioned above are becoming more readily available for businesses as we head towards the PSTN switch-off. Meaning even large businesses making the move to VoIP will be able to continue uninterrupted.

Data-hungry businesses that can move large files quickly will outpace the competition, making use of faster internet speeds alongside cloud storage solutions.

By 2025, it’s predicted that 50% of the world’s data will be stored in the cloud, with almost 100% of workload data stored the same way, according to Cloudwards. That’s compared with 2015 when only 25% of data was stored in a cloud format.  Plus, internet speeds are improving constantly. Top wi-fi speeds could be capable of hitting up to 46Gbps by 2024 in some areas in the US, according to Frontier. The faster internet becomes and the greater the capabilities of cloud storage and data sharing, the more your business will benefit.

Where are you heading in your digital transformation?

Technology is progressing all the time. The next big digital transformation in business could be one of the above, or it could be something different right around the corner. Businesses should always remain open to adopting new technologies, even if they feel their decades-old systems are doing the job. Especially in the case of cloud technology and VoIP, which most businesses will struggle to operate without in the future. Otherwise, they run the risk of becoming just as obsolete as their outdated systems and processes, while their competition runs away with the profits.