How CEOs can prepare their business for 2021?
The unexpected entry of COVID-19 and its consequences blew away the year 2020. Technology rose to the occasion and helped businesses cope with these changes to a certain degree. However, the “new normal” has proven that we can adapt and come through any mishap. A fresh surge in innovation and new technologies promise to help us deal with the new normal of 2021 and beyond. However, with future business technology trends shifting in real-time by consumer behavior, volatile markets have become a daily reality. As businesses emerge from a chaotic year, CEOs need to begin a rebuilding phase in 2021. It is not just a restoration because the rebuilding must form the foundation of a new era. Are you prepared for it?
Fingent supports customers to ensure business continuity during COVID and enables employees to engage effectively during the current pandemic. Our business technology consulting solutions are tailored to address the unique requirements of various industries.
This blog explores five such business technology trends CEOs need to follow in the coming year.
1. Transformation of workplace and work culture
Work from home (WFH) has become a growing trend in today’s work environment. While some businesses already practice a regular remote working option, COVID-19 has made WFH mandatory.
As coronavirus’s terror continues, most businesses have already considered the work from home set up as a permanent feature. Some companies have announced work from home for their employees till the middle of 2021. Few others went a step ahead and allowed their employees to work from home forever! According to an estimate by Global Workplace Analytics, 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.
This trend may worry CEOs as it involves a massive element of trust. Laying down work-from-home policies and metrics to ensure productivity will help.
2. Bridge gaps and renew relationships
“That unplanned kind of interaction that contributes so much to how we build relationships with people and how we build culture, those things are what are missing,” says Andi Owen, CEO of Herman Miller Inc.
Both CEOs and employees can empathize with Andi Owen’s sentiments. Perhaps one day in the future, face-to-face meetings will return to normal. However, right now is the time to shift strategies toward the digital realm to improve relationships.
Whatever the circumstances may be, businesses must ensure they have a defined work from home policy. For this concept to be practical, CEOs must ensure that the need for inspiration, connection, and a sense of purpose are met in the workspace. Though remote working makes it practically impossible to have in-person meetings, CEOs must ensure that their employees have newer ways to work – where they feel connected and enjoy a sense of purpose, though isolated.
Additionally, businesses will need to adjust their marketing plans. This could include strengthening their online presence to gain and retain customers while keeping their employees engaged and happy. The most successful CEOs will find ways to improve their network even in the most challenging times.
3. Embrace innovation and a creative approach
In the past, a CEO could be successful by specializing in certain areas while delegating other responsibilities. Some CEOs may shy away from embracing new ideas and technologies because they do not have the resources to commit to significant innovations. However, the pandemic has completely changed the business landscape. If a CEO is not prepared to accept new ideas and practices, it may turn into a business disaster.
A successful business will always have data and technology at its core, but a successful CEO will encourage creativity in his employees and welcome new ideas and practices. He must have a hands-on approach to every sector of the business and communicate with employees, partners, and customers.
4. Better online presence
All the trends mentioned before this – accommodating a work from home culture, strengthening the network, and embracing innovation – require businesses to improve their online presence and digital profile. It means that CEOs should revamp their online presence by following these tips:
- Business websites must become more interactive yet easy to use.
- Improved customer service should be a top priority on your radar.
- In addition to product launches, continue to update your social content on social media.
- To build your audience, look at the suggestions in their feed.
- Include images and short video clips.
- Look for tools to increase time and bandwidth.
5. Flexibility is the key
As the new year approaches, every business makes some long-term and short-term plans. However, 2020 taught us that the world could change suddenly and dramatically. Upheaval will continue as the pandemic persists, and we must contend with social and economic collateral damage. Businesses thus need to assess their ability to be flexible.
“The supply and demand for office space may change significantly. Many people have learned that they can work at home or that there are other methods of conducting their business than they might have thought from what they were doing a couple of years ago. When change happens in the world, you adjust to it.” – Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. The best thing a business can opt for during these historically tumultuous times is to remain flexible.
Retooling for tomorrow
The coronavirus brought in an unprecedented whirlwind of changes. Technology has been so helpful to businesses in coping with a global economic crisis. The pandemic has been the catalyst for new tech trends, and it will continue to drive innovation to the new normal.
CEOs who leverage these technologies born out of today’s crises to their advantage have an opportunity to elevate their business. Though no CEO can predict what will transpire in 2021, you can get ready for the new year by focusing on these business technology trends. Talk to us and let us make your business equipped for a better tomorrow.
What Machine Learning is and why it is important in business
Given the increasing prevalence of data today, machine learning has evolved rapidly to advance computing a step forward. Enabling computers to automatically learn and improve performance using data, ML is viewed as a disruptive technology with the potential to transform areas like enterprise, manufacturing, healthcare, e-commerce etc. Global ML adoption rates points to huge investments and diverse use cases in the coming years making it one key technology to focus your efforts.
This infographic focuses on the essentials of machine learning together with how it helps in uncovering insights from huge data stacks. Besides, its applications, global adoption rates, and future developments are also dealt with to give you a basic understanding of machine learning so that it can be put to use for uplifting your business processes and operations.
Deploying proper machine learning systems can uplift your business and maximize the ROI. Get in touch with us today to discover and implement the right machine learning solution that will transform your business altogether.
The past decade has been a game-changer for the way businesses operate in the realm of retail. The advent of e-commerce and its subsequent boom has compelled brick and mortar outlets to undertake a paradigm shift from a profits-first to a consumer-centric approach. Failure in conforming to new consumer demands fueled the retail apocalypse that toppled the brick and mortar landscape. Thus, we see retail giants like Bon-Ton Stores Inc., Sears and Macy’s filing for bankruptcy and liquidate their holdings.
Implementation of targeted mobile promotions, loyalty benefits, e-payment gateways is just some of the strategies adopted by retail outlets to maintain a competitive advantage in the face of fierce technological overhauls. With disruptive innovation gaining a strong footing now more than ever, the need to constantly reinvent and augment is more pressing than before. Here are five key disruptive technology trends that you need to sync your business model with, to offer consumers retail experience par excellence:
Related Reading: 5 Ways to Enrich Customer Experience at Your Retail Store
1. The advent of Artificial Intelligence
Robots and AI bots capable of not just learning but also executing real smartness are the new focus in tech innovations. Retail giants are already experimenting with ways to implement these AI bots in their business operations. A strong case in point would be Amazon’s no-checkout cashier-less convenience stores, Amazon Go being tested across different states in North America.
Then there are self-driving grocery stores and automated trucks making home deliveries that are still undergoing trials. Of course, that is not to say that AI dominating retail operations will become the new normal tomorrow, but it is in the offing. Businesses that are in the retail sector for the long haul will stand to gain from their preparedness to embrace this change.
2. The Internet of Things
The ability of devices to interact with humans, understand commands and execute them is passé. The Internet of Things (IoT) puts the limelight on the ability of machines to interact with one another. The slow but consistent development of IoT is shaping up a new ecosystem where our gadgets will be able to operate without human intervention. Besides, the global market size for IoT in retail is expected to grow around 94.44 billion by 2025.
The emergence of IoT will inevitably alter the dynamics of the way consumers interact with retail business and the way businesses interact with distribution networks and supply chain partners. More importantly, it will usher in a connected customer model by relying on smart-store applications like smart shelves, beacons, and customer service robots. Making room for these swift connections powered by the internet will help you build a business model that is future ready.
3. Striking the Online-Offline Balance
It is the age of digital customers where the lines between online and offline existences are forever blurring. Brick and mortar businesses need an online extension to sustain themselves. Now, the spotlight is on understanding the dynamics of virtual and augmented reality and creating a marketing strategy that caters to the customers’ dual persona – considering their social media image and real identity – to encourage continued interactions and conversions.
The result – a complete overhaul of the shopping experience by bringing in a consistent omnichannel approach built around a convenient digital backend. For instance, Oasis, the UK-based fashion retailer is closing the gap between in-store and online purchasing by merging shopping experiences across its mobile app, website, and brick-and-mortar stores.
4. Personalized Shopping Experience
Take a look at how e-commerce websites function – bringing customers exactly what they need, every time, on every device, without fail. This carefully curated shopping experience eliminates the need for buyers to browse through the inventory of online stores to find what they need. Over time, this approach toward shopping has been normalized to an extent that customers expect the same out of their retail shopping experience too. Installing smart screens, tablets etc. is one way of using technology to recreate the same sense of personalization in your retail business.
5. Banking on Data
Big data is the next big thing in terms of business operations. Multinational corporations are pumping in billions of dollars to assimilate and organize this seamless information to create the right kind of marketing strategies. While big data may be out of your reach as a standalone business entity, you can create your own pool of data and use it to offer improved retail experiences for your customers.
Fun quizzes, for instances, are a great way to gather insights into your customers’ buying preferences, which can then be used to offer personalized product recommendations. You can take it a step further by tracking these recommendations to know if they are appealing to your customers and tweak them accordingly.
[Courtesy : European Bank for Reconstruction and Development]
Meanwhile, other technologies like virtual and augmented reality will continue to grow in popularity and efficiency. As a retailer, the onus of using these disruptive innovations to offer a seamless customer experience falls on you. Pairing with the right technology partner is the first step. Get in touch with our experts today to uplift your retail experience with cutting-edge software solutions.
For a long time now,there has been a seemingly prevalent trend in the world of business. Leading companies or market leaders often fail to stay on top of their industries, as technology or market conditions suddenly change.
For example, Xerox was once the market leader in copier machines, but later on, Canon took over the small-copier space. Wal-mart took over the once popular Sears.
In the software industry too, there was once a time when Apple computers brought in and popularized the idea of personal computing and literally established the standards for user-friendly computing as well. But they went behind by almost 5 years, in the introduction of portable computers from the market leaders in this space.
As you can see, this has been a consistent pattern in most industries. Established companies often invest heavily and aggressively in technologies that are essential to retain their existing customers, but seldom foresee the directions of their future journey together. They fail to focus on investing in certain other advanced technologies that might be important for their future customers. Hence even though they are successful in retaining their current customers and dominating the market, their slack on meeting future demands of customers brings them down.
Why does this happen?
The real reason for losing the wave
From a broad perspective, it may be the result of several issues combined, like a lack of proper planning and execution, short-term investment issues and internal issues too, such as bureaucracy, monotony, inefficiency and the like. But the main reason for this pattern is actually right at the heart of the paradox. All established companies fall prey to one of the most popular and undeniable principles of management – being close with customers.
Even though most business managers have everything under control, customers have a certain dogmatic power over a company’s investments. Businesses always make it a point to direct their activities to what customers want. Whether it’s the introduction of a new product, or new technology or venturing into new channels of distribution, the first priority of businesses is to look up to what customers want – is it something that their customers would want? Is it going to be profitable? Is the market big enough? – the questions are many.
This is how most businesses fall into the cycle. It’s fine as long as the customers are satisfied. But the problem arises when the customers reject a certain new technology or product, because it doesn’t meet their needs as effectively as the company’s current product or technology. In the end, they find themselves being burned by the very technologies or products that their customers led them away from.
From an ongoing study of technological changes, it has been consistently found that most established companies stay ahead in their respective industries, in developing new technologies that address the performance needs of their next-generation customers. However, industry leaders don’t really focus on being in the forefront of commercializing new technologies that don’t meet the initial demands of mainstream customers and focus on appealing to emerging markets alone.
In order to remain on top, businesses need to identify those technologies that serve the next-generation needs of customers, and pursue them only while keeping themselves protected with the technologies and processes that serve mainstream customers as well. There is only one solution for it – creating organizations that remain independent from the mainstream business.
Striking that fine balance, takes time, effort, and most importantly many failures. We might be able to see more businesses in future, embracing this approach.