Now we’re in the second decade of the Twenty-First Century, business is accelerating as a combination of changes in technology and society come together.
Some of these changes are global, such as the continued rise of China and the Western world’s ageing. Others affect us on a personal level. All of them will have a big impact on our businesses and the way we work.
Many of these trends have been predicted for some time. It’s the availability of the cheap (almost free!) computing power that’s delivering many of the promises made by technology over the last thirty years.
The top twenty business trends in 2020 could be:
1) Robots taking our jobs
Probably the biggest change that is affecting our businesses is how machines are taking over tasks ranging from window cleaning to inventory management. Anyone with a transaction based job or business will be having a forced career change before the end of the decade.
2) The Internet of machines
Those robots and computers are talking to each other which speeds up business decisions and will strip layers of management from organisations.
3) Flatter organisations
A consequence of those faster decisions is the need for less management. Organisations need to be flatter in order to process information faster unless they want to risk nimble competitors seizing business opportunities.
4) 3D printing
One of the most exciting, and business changing, technologies is 3D printing which allows you to print a coffee cup at your desk, help robots construct new buildings and a give a little boy a set of fingers.
The 3D printing is happening alongside biological engineering. By the end of the decade, we’ll be able to print our own skin. By 2030, we’ll be printing replacement body parts like heart valves.
6) Mobile apps redefining service industries
The mobile phone app is currently booming but the real effects of these mobile services will be felt on industries as diverse as the taxi industry to the mining and agricultural sectors.
7) The fight for control of the mobile payments system
An upshot of the app economy is the question of who processes, and makes money, from online payments. The battle between banks, credit card companies, telcos and software companies is going to be a major business story of the decade.
8) Reinventing entertainment
Apps and connected machines are going to change consumer behaviour and nowhere is this more notable in the entertainment industries which are being revolutionised by tools like Google Glasses and social media.
9) The fall and rise of social media
Like many innovations social media was greatly hyped and now we’re seeing the backlash of it being oversold. Over the rest of the decade organisations are going to figure out how to use social media services effectively and profitably without hype.
10) Newspapers cease to exist
One of the effects of social media, mobile phone apps and the pervasive internet is the end of newspapers by 2020 as futurist Ross Dawson has predicted.
What are your thoughts on this ?