Business Trends to Look Out for This Year

Business is a volatile industry. Innovation is a necessity to survive in whatever industry, but innovating randomly won’t make your business rise. You have to keep up with business trends and take the right steps to stay on top of your game. From artificial intelligence to remote working, here are five business trends you need to look out for this year.

More Artificial Intelligence and Automation

Forty-seven percent of jobs in the United States are at high risk of being replaced by automation in coming years, says a study at Oxford. Tech giants, like Amazon, Google, Spotify, and Microsoft, are investing in artificial intelligence. AI has revolutionized how tech companies have done things.

Earlier this year, Amazon opened its first supermarket with no checkouts, powered by AI technology. AI is also making strides in the health-care industry. NVIDIA and Nuance are working on an AI-powered imaging service that will change medical professionals’ work in the field of radiology.

Experience over Quality

Millennials and those who belong to generation Z put more importance on experience than on products. They spend more money on concerts, traveling, yoga classes, and cafés than they do on cars and homes. You can find evidence of that on social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook. This trend has allowed start-ups like Airbnb, Uber, and WeWork to rise considerably quickly.

Rob Rector, founder, and president of travel company Experi has noticed a change in their clients’ itineraries. Customers favor specific experiences, like wine tasting in Italy and hunting in Tuscany, over tour packages, where they visit a number of places in a few days.

Emphasis on Values

Consumers demand greater responsibility from companies. More than marketing gimmicks and promotional materials, customers want to be engaged and find value in what they’re spending their money on.

In fact, 70 percent of millennials willingly spend more on brands that commit to social causes they support, says Omnicom Group’s Cone Communications. On average, millennials give about $600 per year to charitable causes.

Millennials and incoming generations put a lot of emphasis on shared values. If companies want to engage the current generation, they have to up their corporate social responsibility.

Blockchain Technology

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value,” say, Don and Alex Tapscott, the authors of Blockchain Revolution.

Blockchain technology has already made an impact on the banking industry. This year, it’s anticipated to make huge waves of change in new industries.

While it was originally invented for the use of Bitcoin, blockchain holds other potentials for storing, distributing, and decentralizing data. It can consolidate a massive amount of new data without being controlled by one single entity. Blockchain technology will revolutionize how many industries work.

Shifting Workplaces

Remote work, flexible working hours, and work-life balance are some of the changes you can anticipate in workplaces this year. Companies like Dell, Glassdoor, and Amazon offer work-from-home positions, giving flexibility and convenience to employees. Start-ups are also jumping on the bandwagon. Remote-working technology has made it easier to work remotely, and it saves on business cost.

Some practices will remain in workplaces. Hiring practices, like interviews and background checks, will remain. And despite new trends and new laws, passing a drug test will remain mandatory in most institutions.

Organizational structures in companies will stay the same, but there will be more emphasis on a merit-based rewards system. Employee engagement and productivity will be given greater priority.

Final Words

Trends come and go, but some things are meant to stay longer. With the way humanity is going on, trends like artificial intelligence, experience over quality, shared values, blockchain technology, and remote workplaces will likely stay for a long time.

Their great potential for increasing productivity, saving costs, engaging consumers, and making human life easier guarantees keen commitment from institutions to innovate in these areas. If you want your business to survive, you need to keep up with these trends.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan