Digital transformation trends: What's flourishing and what's fading

Here are three digital transformation trends to watch and three that are fading as we start the New Year
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Global organizations’ swift transition to remote and hybrid work over the past few years has pushed digital transformation to the forefront much more quickly than analysts expected. CEOs and other C-suite leaders have since moved beyond embracing digital transformation in its most fundamental sense (e.g., digitizing paper files). They are adopting new SaaS solutions that can bring real insights to enterprise workflows – and exploring how to optimize them for the long term.


Only now is the enterprise as a whole beginning to understand how digital transformation will advance every aspect of how we do business. Leaders now understand that an organization’s digital transformation effort will never be finished; constant strategic action is required to ensure that the organization is using the tools in its toolbox to its fullest capacity and aren’t letting legacy processes hinder progress.

The capabilities of digital solutions to redefine areas of business are advancing rapidly. Here’s what’s hot right now and why:

1. Procurement

The global supply chain has still not fully recovered from disruptions caused by pandemic lockdowns. Most recently, amid the height of one of the worst flu seasons in history, many pharmaceutical products are unavailable because of an inability to predict demand adequately.

Intelligent procurement and supply chain management technologies will remain a priority for CPG brands. Advanced analytics and seamless approval workflows will be required to get a handle on the supply chain.

2. Security

Privacy and security are primary concerns for today’s consumers, who are wiser and savvier than ever about how their data is used. The average enterprise subscribes to 600+ SaaS tools, according to one article from Silicon Angle, and each has a direct line of sight into the organization and its data. Managing the security of third-party apps and data partners will be critical for maintaining consumer trust.

[ Related read: Digital transformation: 4 security tips for 2023. ]

3. Technology democratization

Through the explosion of advanced creator tools like low-code/no-code-based platforms and AI-powered ChatGPT and DALL-E, general business users have a wealth of new technology at their fingertips, designed to simplify everyday tasks. As this technology improves and non-technical employees become more comfortable integrating it into their daily workflow, we will continue to see the growth of user-driven tools.


Although the following digital transformation trends have cooled in the last several months, it is essential to understand that they remain critical for securing your organization’s digital future. Rather than become obsolete, these trends are par for the course when it comes to digital transformation. Nearly every enterprise has mastered them and is turning to the next iteration of digital transformation.

1. SaaS optimization

Refining internal digital processes so that they continue to evolve with the organization has become table stakes for many enterprises. This was one of the first steps in digital transformation journeys that are now in the maintenance phase. The challenge for leaders is to gain better visibility into their tech stack to guide broader infrastructure decisions.

2. Analytics

Ideally, every SaaS tool comes with data and analytics capabilities that help drive a positive ROI. Analytics will continue to be important in 2023, but the focus will shift from an application-by-application basis to how disparate SaaS applications work together.

3. Siloed IT teams

Gone are the days when IT teams were solely responsible for managing SaaS applications. With the advent of citizen development and low- and no-code tools, business users will work more closely with their IT counterparts. This idea will continue to evolve as enterprises look for ways to mitigate the effects of the IT talent shortage.

[ Discover how priorities are changing. Get the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report: Maintaining momentum on digital transformation. ]

Suresh Sambandam is the Founder & CEO of Kissflow. He is a first-generation, self-made entrepreneur who is passionate about technology and mentoring other aspiring entrepreneurs. He has three US patents to his credit and is featured in 4 books.

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