We’ve gone from a world with digital to a digital-first world, and there is no going back, according to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.

He was speaking at this year’s Adobe Summit, still an almost entirely digital event — except in Australia, where the company held an all-day briefing for media and analysts.

He also said Adobe was predicting global eCommerce would exceed $US1 trillion in 2022.

“This past year, in the face of unprecedented challenges, we witnessed an emergence of unity, purpose, and hope. Around the world, people played their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Human ingenuity and science prevailed, with vaccines and therapies developed in rapid adoption.”

In a nod to the re-emergence of brand purpose, he referenced the demonstrations for racial equality in the US and noted how companies were embracing purpose, and contributing their expertise to solve entrenched problems facing our societies.

And of course he highlighted the role technology plays in this.

“Digital experiences have played a vital role in making every aspect of our lives possible. In fact, we’ve gone from a world with digital to a digital-first world, and there is no going back.”

Every business has to be a digital business, he said.

“We’re working with companies like Pfizer, to deliver data-driven experiences for patients and healthcare providers on critical information such as the latest vaccine development. And as eCommerce went from a more convenient way to shop to the primary way to purchase essential goods, we worked with FedEx to supercharge their web site with new content and personalised journeys for every segment.”

He said stories such as these illustrate Adobe’s reach and impact across every industry and dimension of life.

Narayen also said Adobe provides the only real-time barometer of digital commerce, something it achieves by analysing trillions of online transactions with Adobe analytics.

“This past year, eCommerce spend was $US844 billion, a 20 per cent year over year increase, but we expect future growth to build off this base and predict that 2022 will be the first trillion dollar year in eCommerce.

Acceleration

Like many digital businesses, Adobe is benefiting from the widespread and accelerating digital transformation of business and government.

“Adobe is transforming work, learning and play, and we finally see massive growth in categories of creativity, documents, and experiences.”

He claimed Adobe was the leader in each category.

“With Adobe Creative Cloud we’re unleashing creativity — giving anyone, anywhere, the tools to tell their story. With Adobe Document Cloud, we’re accelerating documents’ productivity, reinventing how people view share and engage with documents, and with Adobe Experience Cloud, we’re powering digital businesses of all sizes, giving them everything they need to design and deliver great customer experiences.”

He said that becoming a digital business is a continuous journey. And he said the company’s move into digital marketing, which began with the acquisition of Omniture in 2009, foresaw the convergence of art and science.

“Solving the untapped needs of the Chief Marketing Officer, digital marketing has actually unlocked a new world of data. Customer data and interactions have become the new asset on every balance sheet to drive both customer value and business growth.”

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