The ways of business have been changing at accelerated rates in the past couple of years, and it can be difficult for companies, big and small, to keep up. So what is the prognosis for 2017 to keep afloat?
The rise of smart technologies has transformed entrepreneurial scene on all scales and, nowadays, leveraging big data and adapting to fast-changing agendas quickly is the name of the game. Whether it involves using technology in new ways, incorporating agile processes, familiarising yourself with new software models or putting a guard up against cyberattacks, in 2017, it is essential for businesses in any industry to be alert to new methods for competency and relevancy.
Secure your cyber space
If you’re a small business, you might presume that the plight of cyber attacks does not concern you. The trends, however, show otherwise. In the last 5 years, many internet security reports indicate that targeting small businesses with malicious emails is on the rise.
As the nature of business changes, so does the nature of cyber security. The Australian government assessed that the toll from cyber crime can be as high as $17 billion per year. As long as you are a business with private information that can be held hostage, the chances of you becoming a target are quite high.
The verdict: in 2017, even small businesses should allocate appropriate resources to safeguard their information from cyber attacks.
Get on big data
Harnessing big data used to be exclusive to big enterprises, yet in 2017, data platforms deem to be the standard for businesses of any size. The good news is, these platforms are also quite easy to obtain without braking a bank.
The technological sector is booming, giving the tech market ample competition that provides affordable pricing and a wide variety of choices for any customer. IoT, or Internet of Things, that leverages smart technologies, is no longer the subject of futuristic sci-fi movies; it’s a reality. There is a cornucopia of data-gathering hardware, software and cloud computing that apply to any enterprise, from selling local services to conducting large government operations.
With most transactions happening online and a bigger focus being put on ‘business to people’ strategies, big data and its analytics not only give insight into business performance, but also help cater better and faster customer service that can put you ahead of the competition. Using data platforms, you can automate a lot of manual labour, accurately track and organise resources digitally, increase your work capacity with the same number of employees and improve customer satisfaction.
New technologies liberate more time, and the “time is money” idiom will always stay true.
Replace email with tools
Although email will stay prominent for a while, there are many new communication tools that are changing the way businesses interact internally and externally. Communication apps like Slack significantly reduce the use of email, allowing for quicker interactions and speedier operation processes. You can manage various projects, get the right people together, format better messages, share files, and customise message notifications to reduce noise.
The implementation of these tools will increase in 2017 as companies continue to adopt them at high rates.
On-demand service economy
Another big trend that will keep growing exponentially is the on-demand service sector. Working remotely or even from home is an all-too-familiar concept already and is becoming a norm in many companies worldwide. According to Ai Group, 32% of Australian population has taken on freelancing, and this number is expected to go up to 63% in the near future.
With the new ‘gig economy’ on the rise, on-demand services like Uber and Workfast create careers that allow people to work around their own availability while giving the consumer greater convenience and much better prices.
Using smart technologies, businesses need less and less to do more, trimming down their processes and optimising operations to the maximum. As a result, freelance services are used more often to save costs and allow for more flexibility. This trend will impact especially smaller businesses in 2017, yet if embraced, this may prove more beneficial that detrimental.
Novelty will always affect how businesses are run and, if a business is to succeed, it must be flexible enough to adapt to the new economic climate. Riding the wave of new trends will not only allow making it through 2017, but will give strong leverage for success.