2020 saw the rise of COVID across the world which hugely impacted the way we work and do business, both here in New Zealand and overseas. With a changing landscape and brand new challenges that remote working creates, businesses have needed to adapt to meet the requirements of this new world – and it’s driving changes in the tech and business sector. 

Here are the 12 key trends we’ve seen emerging over the last year that we’re predicting will continue to drive the local industry into 2021.

  1. Urgency to get things done now. We have seen significant growth over the last 6 months, with many other companies in our industry experiencing the same demand from clients. The reasons vary from client to client; from things that were on hold due to COVID, to regulation, to risks exposed in digital channels due to COVID. If you have transformational initiatives that are a priority for your business, get started today. While the borders remain closed, the ability to hire people or get local services companies to help you is going to get harder and harder due to demand.
  2. Prioritising modernisation of legacy apps and core systems. Driven by the lack of flexibility in legacy and the next to integrate them into digital customer journeys, we’ve seen a huge surge in the number of clients prioritising modernisation for their businesses. Modernisation is also being driven by legacy finally breaking through to the top of the risk register, being held back by speed of change and cost to maintain, and expert talent retiring – leaving companies with few options other than to modernise.
  3. Transformation of digital channels is still a priority for many businesses – new digital solutions, be it mobile apps or web channels, self-service web or virtual assistants – are seeing significant demand at the moment, due to the expectations of customers in 2021.
  4. Self-service is still strong. Driven by the need to cut costs, self-service programmes are still seeing huge demand, as businesses look to remove low-value conversations from high-cost channels like contact centres – particularly seen through the challenges of operating contact centres in lockdown.
  5. Conversational AI & chatbots. We’ve seen a number of customers in different industries looking at chatbots/conversational AI experiences, to drive cost out for low-value conversations and improve the overall customer experience. We’ve also seen a spike in interest in chatbots with the ability to work into voice channels, as people look to future-proof their solutions.
  6. Increasing conversion through CX & UX. Almost all clients these days are conducting customer research to test assumptions and increase conversion rates. Understanding the customers’ needs behind the behaviours we see in analytics is key, as this ensures design and build activities are delivering the customer uplift expected.
  7. Omni-channel experiences. We are now past the need to be able to engage with customers across all channels – you need to seamlessly be able to move customers between channels without losing context. We’re seeing more clients value this as a priority for their business as we head into 2021.
  8. Investing in distribution channels. We are seeing client investment rising for distribution channels – think investing in new portals, or digital experiences for partners and 3rd party agents – making it easier and faster for them to do business with your company, especially in a world where face-to-face interactions aren’t always possible.
  9. Finding the best talent. Closed borders due to COVID are starting to impact the hunt for great talent – finding those specialists and niche talent in the tech sector isn’t easy. Many employers used talent visas to bring specialists from offshore, and now people are struggling to fill vacancies from the local market. Overall we’re seeing more stability in the local market – people are no longer worried about their roles, so they’re less likely to be looking for “security” in safe haven organisations, and starting to search for the better projects on newer tech.
  10. Huge impact on overseas-based outsourcers locally in NZ. Many overseas-based businesses who had a model of bringing people here to front customers (with the offshore team behind), are struggling in this new environment. They don’t have enough of their customer-facing team members in the country, so they are now coming to us asking for people to help support their businesses.
  11. Growing demand for resources. Local companies known to be “insourcers” are now looking for partners to fuel their growth. They have hundreds of vacancies, so having a local talent network like ClearPoint does is critical – it’s enabled us to grow by setting up new squad after new squad for our customers.  
  12. Technology driving staff efficiency. Businesses are now more aware than ever of the impact of legacy systems, poor staff experiences and digital interfaces. There is an increasing focus and investment in upgrading and tailoring internal systems and processes to improve service efficiency, empower remote working, and reduce the cost to serve.

With all that in mind, it’s important to think about how your business can stay ahead of the game by adopting these key trends. If you need a hand with how to implement or accelerate these changes in your own business and adapt to an ever-changing environment, we’d love to help – get in touch.