Lessons from 2020, Implications for 2021

One of the many things we will remember about 2020 is how completely it upended our beliefs about the way we work and use technology. In the space of a few days, organizations all over the world moved to a distributed work environment. In the space of a few months, companies and industries made more progress toward digital transformation than they had in years.

In this report, we examine how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the use of data and intelligent technologies. We looked at the increasingly strategic use of data science and artificial intelligence in organizations and how it is accelerating as a result of incremental and disruptive change. Finally, we reviewed how organizations are using conversational technologies — not only as a productivity tool, but as a way to connect previously disconnected parts of the organization.

While 2020 was a challenging year in most respects, it also provided a rare opportunity for organizations to align both on the value and the challenges of intelligent technology — a move that will become even more critical in an increasingly digital and distributed world.

The report has five major takeaways:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated data use and data strategy.
  • Larger companies still have the advantage when it comes to data science.
  • Data and AI are becoming critical enablers of business strategy, possibly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • AI is becoming table stakes but without the scale needed for real transformation.
  • Conversational technologies are now mainstream, but their real potential is yet to be realized.


Download the full report to learn more.

Susan Etlinger

Industry Analyst