Sebastián Romo
Managing Partner
Skala Ventures
Expert Contributor

Relevant Trends for High-Impact Organizations

By Sebastián Romo | Thu, 07/28/2022 - 17:00

Year after year, companies pass through the same cycles, from COVID-19 to political changes, to market ups and downs and so many other unexpected events, but one thing remains the same: the need for growth and efficiency.

One of the answers to maintain that objective is to rely on digitalization and the application of future trends that can help evolve business models or operations to achieve greater efficiency, growth and relevance in the market.

Being on the lookout for future trends to apply in a company or to digitize as many parts of the business as possible helps companies to find a better market fit and also to better serve customers who on a daily basis are demanding new ways of consuming products or services.

Fortunately, after COVID-19, companies have learned how to take advantage of digitalization and are proving that implementing technology is not that hard nor too far away to achieve.

Between 2020 and 2021, 57 percent of companies in Latin America implemented digitalization strategies to transform their business models and adapt to the changes of the market; however, 70 percent fail during the implementation (EY, 2021).

There are so many reasons why companies fail on this journey, but the main source of failure comes from a lack of preparation and knowledge of the trends and changes they are forced to make. That’s why it is important to prepare and look for the future trends that will impact your business.

Today, I will share with you some of the main trends that will impact the way we do business and operate our companies. The majority are focused on technology and digitalization, while others are market opportunities or execution philosophies.

1. Distributed companies

Companies need to operate and execute in a distributed manner. This means a strategy of work and market approach where virtuality and a separation of physical or traditional spaces is and will change.

On the one hand, employees are working remotely and are demanding to stay that way. On the other, consumers aren’t available in the traditional channels or physical locations; they are demanding a more virtual and distributed way of purchasing or interacting with the brand. That means more self-service and more decentralization of the contact points of the company.

It is expected that 75 percent of the organizations that exploit the benefits of this trend will have revenue growth that is 25 percent faster than their competitors. (Gallup, 2022)

To get started on this, you need to start giving your teams the tools and knowledge needed and help them in the creation of pivotal pilot programs for the operational and business models that employ an architecture based on the “virtual first, remote first” principle.

2. Hyper automation

With the need for operational excellence, automation is what comes to mind first; however, in the majority of cases, automation only generates results for some parts of the business but it is not a holistic approach.

Hyper automation stands for a more “holistic” automation approach of the company. It is not talking about robots, AI or any other tool as standalone tech. Hyper automation stands for a redesign and optimization of the company processes and the implementation of digital or physical technologies to automate full processes in order to create a more fluent process of information or transformation.

Decisions on what to automate are made strategically to impact quality, time to market, business agility or innovation for new business models. To start implementing these trends, companies should map out all the processes and initiatives that work together and see them as a whole, instead of single islands of processes to automate.

3. Total experience

User and customer experience has been the focus of companies in recent years. Some companies also focus on employee experience and some others on providing a multi-experience (how our consumers use our products through different platforms, such as phone, tablet, PC, physical location), but only a few integrate all of this and connect all the experiences into one place.

That is total experience: interconnection and enhancement of these types of experiences to focus on a more holistic experience that benefits all stakeholders.

Total experience requires the implementation of tools and systems that connect all the stakeholders in one place, provides information to employees regarding real-time data so they can make better decisions and gives customers a more complete and useful experience across multiple touch points.

We are expecting to see companies using total experience to achieve world-class customer and employee advocacy levels. To start your company down this road, make all leaders of experience-related initiatives equally responsible for solving combined employee or customer needs.

4. Decision intelligence

To generate success, decisions are made on a daily basis by every company and those decisions can be influenced by many biases, comments, misunderstood data or any other experience. But these days and in the years to come, CEOs and companies need to make better and faster decisions.

To achieve this, the need for data integration is critical. Decision intelligence helps companies to improve their decision-making by modeling decisions on a solid framework guided by an analytical team that can manage, evaluate and improve decisions based on lessons learned and feedback obtained from data, analytics and artificial intelligence.

With this, companies will be able to augment and automate decisions based on market analysis and current company data and evaluate historic decisions to come up with a better and faster action plan.

Start out by mapping areas of the company where decisions need to be improved by implementing more AI-powered and data-driven solutions, or where decisions can be scaled and accelerated through automation.

5. Silver economy

Probably, this is the trend that is farther in the future; however, it is not that far away and this will impact directly on your operations and market capabilities. The reason is that worldwide there are 962 million people over 60 years old, which is double the figure in the 1980s, and it is estimated that 30 percent of the population in the region will be over by 2050. Today, it is 13 percent (IDB, 2020).

This means that every day the workforce is changing and consumer trends will evolve toward the demands of this growing population. With this in mind, companies need to take action regarding employability and business or market opportunities.

On the one hand, the creation of jobs for this sector of the population will be very important. They have great knowledge but fewer physical capabilities. On the other hand, a great range of business opportunities arises in health, consumer products, technology, financial services and so many other industries.

It is relevant for companies to start creating a customer base that will evolve into this sector.

What to do next?

Plan and prepare for the future. Companies need to understand the present, create robust plans with capable teams to execute pilot programs that will test new solutions. When those solutions are ready, scale them and move to the next trend.

Use innovation methodologies or get help from external companies to implement the things that are outside your knowledge and expertise; don’t lose the focus of your business.

Want to know more about the trends that will impact your business? Contact me, I’m always happy to discuss and share valuable information for your innovation journey.

Always move forward.

Photo by:   Sebastián Romo