2017 was a year of tremendous growth all across the business landscape. The Dow, Nasdaq, and U.S. GNP all saw monumental gains which all point towards an extremely bullish 2018. Naysayers may warn of a looming correction or recession but on the ground, optimism is high as Americans have seen unemployment drop and innovation surge. Technology continues to be one of the most exciting areas to watch and a source of many of the key business trends which will guide success in the years to come. Firms that are willing to go all in in advanced tech are expected to cultivate success.
Keep reading to take the 40,000ft view of the business trends guiding the most innovative companies in the year to come!
Key Business Trends Shaping Organizational Culture in 2018
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
In 2017, the approach of artificial intelligence guided supremacy was unmistakable. In 2018, the rise of the machine and their complete mastery over data sciences and the human experience seems inevitable. The Internet of Things and connected mobile universe are just a couple of areas which were heavily influenced by the proliferation of smart machine-based algorithms, platforms and software innovations.
While the push of big data has been looking for several years, in 2017 advanced informatic reasoning, predictive ability and computing prowess of big data really came into its own. Businesses are succeeding all over the world by embracing these technologies and dedicating their staffs towards trying to find a way to balance human ingenuity with the power of machine-based intelligence.
In 2018, watch as humans continue to interact more meaningfully with the technological innovations around them. AI and machine learning allow businesses to be more nimble, agile and aware of the shifting landscape of business awareness.
From marketing automation to manufacturing productivity and logistical awareness, artificial intelligence is creating new conditions for sustainable success. AI allows business to collect and disseminate information in new and exciting ways. Being able to anticipate decisions, forecast trends and analyze behavior are just some of the ways AI is bridging the gap from R&D to the front of boardroom consciousness and the utility of business divisions at every level of organizational culture.
Deep learning is allowing businesses to streamline processes and become more sophisticated. In noticing the patterns of business successes and failures, these pieces of software are able to represent a potent complement to the best of what business leaders have been working towards for decades. Machines may not be able to replace the best members of a given team but they can provide a powerful adjunct which places the power of Prometheus in the hands of those willing to juggle its massive power.
The regulatory landscape around artificial intelligence is very open-ended at the moment. Companies are experimenting with solutions which in future years could be seen as very unethical or even dangerous. Nonetheless, at this fertile time of discovery, there is a lot of freedom to explore and create the new world that our children shall come to inherit. One of the most exciting business trends to watch is the evolution and maturity of artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented intelligence or the combination of human and machine power.
Keep an eye on these key business trends related to AI in 2018:
- The power of the Deep Learning and Ensemble Modeling methods continued to demonstrate its value and superiority over the rest of the machine learning tools in 2017. Deep learning, specifically, has seen a wider adoption in a variety of fields and industries.
- As for the trends in 2018, Deep Learning will likely be used to generate the new features and new concepts from the original inputs and be replacing the need to create or engineer novel variables by hand. Deep Nets are incredibly powerful in detecting features and structure in data, and data scientists are realizing the value that unsupervised Deep Learning can unleash for this purpose.
- Effective anomaly detection will likely be the focus in the near future as well. Anomalies and other kinds of rare events are the focus of data science efforts in many industries: intrusion detection, financial fraud detection, fraud, waste, abuse, and error in healthcare and equipment malfunction are just a few examples. Detecting all of these rare events is enabling competitive edge over the contenders in the fields. Keeping up with the evolving nature of these rare events will be an intriguing and difficult challenge in this area.
Business Accountability and Transparency
In 2018, you will see a renewed focus on business ethics, accountability, and transparency. Driven in part by a consumer culture which is able through the power of social media to very quickly and decisively strikes back against any organization caught acting maliciously. Couple this with President Trump who passed an Executive Order Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption and the conditions have been laid for a complete renaissance of business best practices and approaches.
One business trend that was very unexpected for late 2017 was a huge number of resignations posted by U.S. CEOS on multinational corporations. At this time, the United States government is able to completely seize the assets of any individual or organization caught violating human rights. This is extremely serious and many analysts suggest that this executive order is the reason why 2017 saw more CEOs from major corporations step down than any other year in the history of the world.
While it is absolutely possible that many of the departing CEOs who left lucrative positions in 2017 simply because they wanted to play golf with their families and live a quiet life. Others such as former CEO of Eric Schmidt of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has been increasingly linked to speculation around Trump’s executive order as a major game changer and driving force behind the shake ups.
In 2018, expect businesses around the world to look more closely at how they treat employees and local communities, where and how they source raw materials and what they are doing to reduce corruption within their organizations. Gone are the days of rampant violations of ethics.
Businesses everywhere will seek to be more accountable and transparent to the needs and wills of the people and the guidance of government. CEOs will step up as proud members of the community as they will increasingly face scrutiny if they choose to believe they can make corrupt decisions in isolation and in direct opposition to the public will.
One of the most powerful business trends in 2018 will be a push for organizations to be more accountable to the public and transparent about their behaviors. Gone are the days when abuses on the other side of the world go unnoticed and all businesses are tasked with embracing ways of better aligning themselves with the public will.
An internal organizational culture of accountability can lead to success in many unique areas:
- An uptick in employee participation in your organization
- An improvement in worker performance and productivity
- An increase in employees feeling empowered and competent
- An uptick in your employees’ commitment to their work and to the organization
- A boost in worker satisfaction and morale
- A sustained surge in your workers’ creativity and innovation
Evolution of Global Business Culture
2017 saw truly monumental shakeups occur in deeply entrenched business sectors such as Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Washington. Men of high position, in nearly untouchable positions of might, saw in just a few short months, the entire edifice of their power tumble down. Some have called it the Weinstein Effect but it has been swift decisive and unbelievable in its scope and magnitude.
Galvanizing behind the #MeToo Movement, women everywhere have stood up against systemic abuses which have long been swept under the rug as business as usual. Those days are gone and men of power everywhere are on notice that their abusive ways are toxic, illegal and terrible for business. One of the most powerful business trends of the moment is a push towards abolishing the toxic workplace culture that has been so prevalent in many businesses.
Franchises have crumbled and stars have become tabloid fodder as sitting politicians have been forced to resign in record numbers. 2018 is picking up speed to be a truly incredible year for the global business culture. Though the dramatic changes discussed in this section were largely centered around the United States, many analysts predict that this movement will continue to gain steam and go global as companies everywhere are forced to take a good hard look at their best practices and the leaders who were guiding the ethos of their organizations.
Across the business landscape, expect companies of all shapes and sizes to lean into the tough job of trying to reinvigorate their organizational culture by addressing the legacy of brutality that was a fixture of so many workplaces. Global business culture is changing and there is every reason to believe that we, as a society are moving towards a more just and equitable way of life.
The abusive and barbaric tendencies which characterized so much of the landscape of global business culture is crumbling. Tough choices will have to be made and new business icons may yet emerge. It seems certain, however, that the incredible bombshell stories which made late 2017 such a heady and exciting time in the world of business and politics are set to accelerate in 2018.
Key Business Trends Guiding Strategy in 2018
1. Outsourcing Reduces Bloat, Creates Opportunity
Your company may not need to hire as much full-time staff in 2018. This will help you reduce costs while also creating extremely attractive opportunities for many workers. In 2017, remote work became a very real opportunity for many of the most talented people around the world.
Instead of being tied down to one geographical location or job, they shared their talents and moved from project to project. This trend is useful for professionals and businesses in tandem. By outsourcing, you are able to secure the expertise you need, when you need it, without having to take on extra expenses for payroll, benefits, and resources such as office space and technology
In 2018, there are tremendous opportunities for outsourcing to reduce costs and create more sustainable conditions for innovation and growth. Businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries can benefit from outsourcing.
2.The Potential of Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology has already disrupted the finance interest while making inroads into insurance, legal services, and others.
In 2018, watch as blockchain technology continues to create new opportunities for industries and businesses looking to innovate. Key draws will revolve around cybersecurity, privatization, the ability enhance accountability and transparency through workflows and customer experience.
Strong interests in Asia and the Middle East are experimenting heavily with blockchain technology. Banks in Japan and South Korea have been experimenting with international financial transfers that cut transaction costs by 30% while also reducing the time it takes to move vast quantities of funds.
Watch as many unique and tailored solutions arise from blockchain tech. This is a business trend that will be sticking around.
Capitalize on the best opportunities!
3. Automation and Optimization
Automation is a key business trend impacting all industries. The more strategic decision-making businesses are able to accomplish by using advanced data collection and machine learning techniques, the more optimized business can be.
Everything from marketing and social media automation, to 24/7 available chatbot interfaces, automated supply chain management software and a million other SAAS solutions. Automate, optimize and dominate. The human touch will still be a very important factor in decisions but as time progresses, even the most complex of areas are likely be enhanced with the assistance of augmented intelligence systems that combine the best of hardware and software based solutions with true human ingenuity and insight.
Businesses everywhere are turning to technology to help them to better understand their challenges and how to best get ahead. Seek to optimize data collection, streamline processes and reduce cost by optimizing operations wherever possible. Get ahead of
Be lean and mean, automate, optimize and profit in 2018!