Six Business Trends You Should Know About
Now Trending for 2014 & Beyond
Several of the biggest trends already have a footing in the business world. Most are centered on technology which continues to be the major driver of change. Savvy professionals will vet these trends for validity in terms of the big picture for new opportunities to innovate and thrive.
The Internet of Things
The “Internet of things” refers to a world where man, machine and the web are fully intertwined. We already see this in home automation systems that allow remote users to turn on the lights or set the temperature. Wearable computers, like the smart watch, will also link us more tightly to the Internet, as will industrial technologies that can control objects from a distance.
This may be one of the most exciting technology advancements available to businesses today. Gartner estimates that worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow by 75 percent in 2014 alone. Sectors ranging from manufacturing to biomedical research are finding 3D printing technology to be a cost-effective way to create new designs and prototypes.
Cloud computing has been slow to take off in some industries (i.e. healthcare) due to data privacy and security concerns. However, the exponential proliferation of the amount of data being collected, shared, processed and managed is justifying the need. We can also expect to each have our own personal cloud for accessing information from multiple devices, from anywhere in the world.
Mobile marketing will become increasingly pervasive in the years ahead. According to e-mail intelligence company Return Path, almost half of all e-mails are opened and read on a mobile device. But e-mail is only one way of marketing to mobile users. The most innovative companies are also employing location-based apps that target customers when they are in close proximity to a specific brick-and-mortar site.
Can business travel change for the better in the years ahead? The Sabre Travel Network thinks so, with advancements in smartphones apps for rental cars, improved high-speed rail systems, and enhanced hotel technology. Get ready to check in using a kiosk hosted by a friendly avatar.
Sustainable business practices have become commonplace over the last several years as companies strive to be more eco-friendly and environmentally conscious. That movement has since expanded to include other desirable aspects of social responsibility including community involvement, employee wellness, educational advocacy, income equality and more.