At the beginning of the year, we published Vincit’s trend review, in which our experts wrote about the business trends of 2021. One of the authors was Mikko Seppä, who’s a Tech Director at Vincit and works with mobile applications and online services. In this article, Mikko shares his views on business trends: What things need to change when it comes to digital business? And what should companies really invest in in the months to come?
It’s safe to say the year 2020 was far from business as usual. What things would you say changed the most for companies business-wise?
Last year was marked by the coronavirus pandemic, which caused many companies to digitalize their business once and for all. Companies have been forced to come up with new, innovative ways of virtually marketing their products and services. The significance of online services and sales has increased, and many consumers have begun to almost exclusively buy products and services online.
For a growing number of people, mobile applications provide the preferred and most natural way of using these new digital services. Digital services are now required to have more and more real-time features. Today, many everyday services from doctor’s appointments to banking services use a real-time chat or video connection.
What things are currently trending in digital business?
This year, we’re going to see increasingly innovative platform economy solutions, which are now gaining a foothold in completely new industries. The popularity of platform economy marketplaces is explained by the fact that they provide consumers with an easy way of comparing and buying products and services. When we talk about services that bring together thousands of companies and millions of users, matters of information security, usability and performance become paramount.
This year, more and more people will start using mobile payment. New forms of payment, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, will provide a safe and effortless payment method not only online but also on mobile apps and in brick-and-mortar stores. It’s my belief that many companies will launch their own mobile application and offer an easy way to buy products and services through the app.
This year will also introduce lots of new IoT solutions which will integrate with our everyday lives. An increasing number of household devices will be connected to the internet. Speech recognition capabilities are developing all the time, which means that products based on them, such as Google Home, will become more commonplace and find their way into people’s homes. Apps designed for the touch screens of cars and smart watches will continue to become more widely used, turning them into natural extensions of mobile apps.
In your opinion, what should companies invest in in 2021?
Now that more and more companies are digitalizing their services, setting yourself apart from your competitors becomes key. A good user experience is something worth investing in when it comes to an online service or a mobile application. Service design, user-centered UI design and careful technical implementation will ensure smooth service and a better customer experience.
Matters related to accessibility are bound to increase in significance once more and more people start to use services primarily online. In Finland, over 1.2 million people need accessible online services. The directive on accessibility already requires that public sector bodies provide their users with accessible websites, and in 2021 the mobile applications of public sector bodies need to be accessible as well. Accessibility is an investment in customer service, which is why private operators as well should pay attention to the accessibility of their digital services.
What things should your company prioritize this year? If you want to start developing your business or create something new from scratch, do not hesitate to get in touch.
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