Five Factors Shaping Business for the Next Decade

August 5, 2020

by Matthew McKeever
Chief Executive Officer

The past decade ushered in technologies and business models that have forever altered the way we live and work.  Ubiquitous social media, self-driving cars, cloud-based computing, the Gig Economy, the Internet of Things…

We may not know precisely what’s next; yet, we can see enough change on the horizon to name a few trends that will shape business for the next ten years.

The Continuing Rise of Customer Experience

We’ve heard the phrase “customer experience” uttered more frequently in recent years; this will continue through the next decade as the notion that every interaction a customer has with a business can affect its success.

Customer Experience will come to be viewed as everyone’s job; companies will increasingly attempt to affect an improved customer experience through everything they do.

Digital Transformation Will Give Way to Good, Old-Fashioned, Transformation

We’ve also come through an intense focus on the integration of digital technologies into all areas of a company’s business.  This process, known as “digital transformation,” erupted into a cottage industry and resulted in fundamental changes to how businesses operate.

But why stop there?  Why not walk away from or alter other business practices that make us comfortable, but no longer serve the needs of our customers most effectively?  Why not fully pivot?

Over the next decade — in response to changes in customer preferences and demands for increasingly relevant products and services — we’ll see companies go after new markets, bolt-on surprising new services, and adopt strategies we never even associated with these companies to begin with.

The Robots Are Coming

Mention robots, and many folks get a mental image of some sort of walking, talking metal robot that approximates human behavior.  But the robots emerging over the next ten years might not look how you think.

Expect an explosion in “chat bots” designed to respond to emails, assist with customer service, or provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Over the next ten years, we’ll likely reach a point where we can’t tell the difference between chatting with a “bot” and chatting with a real human being.

Re-training Is Coming, Too

As process automation explodes, so will the need to retrain displaced workers.

Imagine the ability to take an expert in a company’s products or services — someone who spends his or her day answering questions or responding to email — and to repurpose that business-savvy employee to a sales role or to some other revenue generating activity.

This isn’t something new, but it’s something that will grow exponentially in the coming decade.  One group of winners will be distance learning companies and training organizations — who, themselves, will likely leverage “bots” to make their work more efficient.

Geopolitical Fragmentation

For global companies, managing risk includes understanding the potential for geopolitical disruption.

Due in part to both the success of globalization AND its failures, over the next decade we’re likely to witness a shift toward increased polarization — a world where geopolitical rivals establish ground rules within their respective spheres of influence.  The result will be higher levels of complexity for global businesses.

This is one area where Choice Logistics can assist.  Global leadership has always been rooted in relationships, local knowledge, and technological superiority.

With a presence on six continents and deep understanding of local markets, Choice will help clients benefit from the growing relevance of emerging markets, manage the increasing complexities of global trade, and mitigate the uncertainty of geopolitical risk.  If you’re going global, you’ll need someone familiar with the globe.