Businesses are not immune to change; it occurs in a subtle manner, primarily through patterns identified as a result of innovation and changing times. This requirement for innovation necessitates awareness and comprehension of important global trends that organizations will be forced to follow. The ability of a company to follow these trends will ultimately determine its viability. Clear House Accountants’ specialists have identified ten major business trends that are currently in use around the world.3.
Technology and Innovation
Technology and innovation are the real game-changers in the present age, and this trend will continue to revolutionize not just businesses but the whole world in 2021 and decades to come. Technology has redefined several traditional business concepts, such as the concept of business premises which has been radically changed through virtual interfaces. An employee can be a continent away from the business’s headquarters and still be able to participate in meetings; a customer can be at home while still being able to try (virtually) outfits before buying.
Similarly, automation has shattered traditional bottlenecks, with machines performing repetitive tasks at a much faster pace than humans to take production and efficiency to unprecedented levels. Moving forward, technology will be continuously influencing other business trends through its vitality and ability to change the dynamics of doing business materially. Cloud-based software has introduced businesses to a new form of agility; this allows businesses to process and store data online that can be accessed from anywhere, thus reducing costs of storing data and reducing complexity levels to a bare minimum.
Innovation will keep on catalyzing the evolution of technology, introducing efficient ways to handle tasks, sometimes completely changing them, and the businesses that will adapt at a faster pace will eventually emerge as leaders.
Intensified Drive of Automation
Automation, impacted mostly by technology and innovation, will continue to have an impact on how organizations run, and firms will adopt this trend wherever possible to enjoy the benefits. Companies will look at processes where humans may be replaced by machines or robots; this will help them not only be more efficient but also reduce biases in the workplace due to decreased human-to-human interaction.
Where it is not possible to completely automate a process, businesses will identify the parts of it that can be automated. For example, negotiating a deal requires human involvement, but the administrative work can be automated, and machines can be programmed to work in sync with their human counterparts.
The current pandemic has accelerated the march toward automation, as most of the workforce has been confined by statewide lockdowns, and the global economy has suffered as a result. This has prompted firms all around the world to move toward automation, delegating as little responsibility to humans as possible. This does not mean that people will be rendered obsolete; some jobs may be lost, but the future belongs to those who can develop skills to work with machines.
Managing Social Engagement
Social interaction has always been important for growing a company’s customer base, but the advent of social media and its widespread popularity has created a new means to connect and converse with potential customers that is considerably more effective than any other.
Businesses gain from social media since it not only brings a large number of interested people to them, but it also gives them free access to their network, with which they are likely to share their great experience, resulting in more clients. This continues in a chain reaction, generating additional clients and increasing revenues from network to network.
The additional attention a business receives as a result of social media can aid in brand awareness, allowing it to set product prices for a loyal consumer base.
Businesses will also place a greater emphasis on effective content marketing via social media to generate more leads, and in doing so, they will place a greater emphasis on brand personality content, which entails associating human characteristics with brands to help potential customers relate to them, thereby strengthening engagement and increasing the chances of converting a lead into a customer.
Data: The New Gold
Companies will focus more on data in the future because it has been shown to be one of the most profitable assets. The fact that data is more realistic and not entirely based on assertions has increased its value. The Internet and social media have made it easier to analyze data from many users; the fact that it comes directly from the potential client sets it apart from what firms estimate on their own.
This data then drives targeted marketing, i.e. tailored marketing campaigns for people with different inclinations; this helps organizations better plan their resources and generate more sales from fewer resources.
Businesses will collect data to analyze it and identify patterns of customer behavior; this information will then help companies plan and produce commodities that might be fine-tuned at different levels to serve potential customers that might belong to different sexes, age groups, or geographical areas.
Work can be done remotely with significantly more productivity, as the Covid-19 epidemic has demonstrated. Employees who were told to work from home during the worldwide pandemic may continue with their normal routine. Companies such as Google, Facebook, HSBC, and Salesforce, among others, are adopting a hybrid working style in which employees report to the office 1-3 days per week.
Remote working will fundamentally revolutionize the future of work, and corporations recognize that setting up an apparatus to work from home can be tough, which is why employees are receiving financial assistance from their employers.
It is now being estimated that 70% of the employees will be working remotely by 2025; Twitter, the US-based social media giant, has informed its workers that they may continue to work from home indefinitely. Facebook also has plans to shift a significant chunk of its workforce to remote working conditions. Remote working is the new normal, and more companies will follow suit in the future.
Evolving Business Models
Businesses have had setbacks in the past, too, like the 2008 Financial Crisis and the Great Depression of 1929, but the pandemic was much more worse in magnitude than any of its predecessor calamities. It disrupted supplies, enforced lockdowns, instilled fear in society as a whole, leading to voluntary social distancing.
All of these events were unthinkable in the pre-pandemic world that was referred to as a global village, but the Covid-19 led unpredictable events that urged businesses to look beyond the horizon and adapt. Some companies got permanently shut off, but the smarter ones got a hold of the changing circumstances and acted accordingly to adjust.
The remodeling that took place in the hospitality industry is the most noticeable, i.e. some restaurants have resorted to catering for just the online orders; this resulted from the fact that half-full restaurants, due to coronavirus SOPs, cannot cover rental expenses. Some restaurants that couldn’t afford to go online due to the composition of their dishes have placed mannequins dressed in clothes from different brands, i.e. generating additional income through cross-industry cooperation while ensuring social distancing.
In Italy and Austria, some of the clothing and textile companies have shifted their operations to help alleviate the shortage of PPE, such as masks, while Amazon, an online movie watching platform, had to shore up the technical side of its operations as the demand surged. Businesses in the future will try to increase their readiness to adopt the changing trends after experiencing the unpredictable events amidst global lockdown.
Shift Towards Local Supply Chains
Global supply chains were jolted as the world went through rigorous lockdowns; the disruption has led many businesses and countries to source supplies locally. The situation worsened as the world went through a severe shortage of essential PPE and medical supplies, mostly coming from China. The ongoing trade war between the US and China (the world’s production house) has also discouraged businesses to source supplies globally (from China, in most cases).
Despite the vulnerabilities of global supply chains, it would be impossible for businesses to shift all the production from Asia to more developed and expensive European and American markets. This doesn’t mean that supply chains will be left untouched, exposed to a potential threat in the future; businesses will shore up against the weaknesses highlighted in the process and look for more reliable sources.
If the supplies are mainly based on exotic and high-end products, it will be further challenging for the businesses to replicate such products at home as the technology is not so widely available and only a select few countries are capable of producing tech-savvy products, such as China, Germany, Japan, and the US. In such cases, businesses might look for further diversification to tap a secondary resource if the primary one, for some reason, can’t deliver.
Sustainable Growth and Green Energies
Economies around the world are primarily fueled by fossil fuels that have an alarmingly dangerous carbon footprint. The excessive CO2 and other greenhouse gasses have triggered global warming even further, leading to disastrous climatic conditions just like the recent cold wave that hit Texas in the US; the loss inflicted by the calamity is estimated to be around $50 billion.
The environmental costs associated with the use of conventional fuels are too high, and the world is realizing it fast. This has already made countries pledge to quit using fossil fuels and shift to green energy, making growth sustainable and not at the expense of nature. China, for instance, the world’s largest carbon emitter, has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2060. Similarly, under President Biden’s leadership, the US has pledged to invest $2 trillion to push green energy programs.
The required momentum for green energy generation has already been set, and more countries and businesses will flock under its banner for two practical reasons, one, to reduce the global warming that is making earth unlivable with each passing day and, two, to enjoy goodwill in markets that value responsible attitude and sustainable development approach.
Rising Middle Classes
The middle-class population of the world, i.e. people who spend between $10 to $100 daily, is on the rise, and much of the rise can be attributed to the Asian countries of China and India. According to some estimates, by 2030, Asia will be home to some 3 billion middle-class people, i.e. ten times more than North America and five times more than Europe.
A surge of this size among the developing economies’ consumer class will push disposable income to previously unheard-of heights. Businesses around the world may aim to expand into such countries, and capital investment will rise over time to take advantage of the growing middle class. Technology spillover may also occur as a result of tech corporations relocating operational facilities to such nations to take advantage of low labor costs and ripe markets. Businesses will surely be enticed to move quickly in order to catch the boat.
Defining a Purpose
Education has become more accessible to the masses around the world as the middle class has grown and poverty has been eradicated. Young graduates on their way up the corporate ladder are more motivated to work for a cause, a goal that will keep their spirits high and their energies focused.
Businesses with stated aims and objectives will attract more ambitious and competent employees. As a result, the organization’s goal congruence will improve, and the general attention on targets will improve.
Because these trends are all driven by situations that are currently occurring on a small scale, the world has seen a reflection of them; this makes it even more important for businesses to learn about them and consider how they might incorporate them into their operations. Time is short, and circumstances are fast changing; those that can adjust to the changing tides of business will reap the benefits and be better positioned to adapt to future trends