What will your business look like in 2030?

According to the futurist Thomas Frey (from the DaVinci Institute and Google’s top rated futurist speaker), by 2030 2 billion jobs and over 50% of today’s Fortune 500 companies will have disappeared. It is a staggering thought but an actual reality.

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The amount of changes in the past twenty years is astounding: the Internet, the increase in personal computers, social media, how we use technology and how we communicate are a few of the monumental shifts still occurring today. Technology is always changing and its disruptions cause transformation to industries, business, employment and work.

As geographical boundaries become less relevant and with business engaging with people and markets not previously within their reach, should you be worried? The short answer is definitely yes. Any business that doesn’t continuously grow and move forward will eventually be left behind and this applies to both large and small organisations.  Kodak is a prime example of a company that didn’t adjust to evolving technology – and it ceased to exist.

In a Vanity Fair interview in 2011, Jack Dorsey (Twitter and Square), told the magazine when asked about his Square technology, “Payment is another form of communication.” This is such a simple but profound quote as it can actually also be applied to all technology because in reality technologies are forms of communication.

So, if we subscribe to the theory of technology as a communication tool, what will your business actually look like in 2030? Predicting the future is almost impossible, however, we can speculate based on current trends.  All we know for sure is that business as well as workplaces will look completely different than today.

Social media

This is the technology of the present and the future. It knows what you are doing, where you are, what you are looking at, all in a social context.  This information is an opportunity for business to establish and nurture customer relationships that will lead to business.  What we are seeing now is only the beginning. Data collection and usage of this information will only increase and become more sophisticated.

Cloud technology

If the Internet removes geographical limitations then the cloud removes our reliance of external hard and thumb drives meaning we are always connected. For business, this creates the opportunity for employees to collaborate and enhance creativity in real-time regardless of where they are; physical presence is no longer required.

Targeted communication

As businesses tap into the treasure-chest of big data, advertising, marketing and communication becomes more targeted to the consumers’ needs and wants. The more information we share, the more businesses will know about us; they will probably know more about us than ourselves. Instead of being annoyed by this consumers will actually like it as reduces their need to search.

Offices

As co-working and collaborative spaces increase, where does this leave offices? In my book, The Business of Being Social, I explore the concept of future workplaces.  As remote working, flexi workers and freelancers increase; as technology improves, becomes faster and more seamless, office space will shift.  Employees do not need to be in the office for meetings, collaboration or discussion.  Offices will adapt with this change and so will company culture.

Technology is allowing a cultural shift in so many areas, how can businesses prepare? It is actually the small and simple actions that can provide the groundwork.

  • Stay in touch with changes: keeping up-to-date with the trends and emerging technology in your industry, profession and also generally is essential.
  • Shift your mindset: adapt a pro-active and positive approach instead of a reactive and pessimistic viewpoint.
  • Do things differently: if you do the same things over and over again, you get the same result. Try another way and there are no failures, only enhanced knowledge.
  • Continuous learning: the ability to keep learning has always been important, however, it is becoming more critical to business and its employees. Making sure your workforce is thinking differently, gaining new skills and knowledge is vital.
  • Customer-centric model: understand your customers’ needs and wants better and faster and cater to this more effectively.

As bigger shifts occur, it is critical to think big picture, be creative and collaborative and harness the power of communication through the endless range of technology available. Failure to do so will leave your business struggling to survive.

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About the Author

Anna Cairo
Anna Cairo is the founder and Director of Anna Cairo Consulting, a boutique communications consultancy with its core focus on the disruptive social media and communication space. She has a passion for educating businesses, executives and leaders about the fragmentation of communication and its impacts on business as well as social media its risks and opportunities in the workplace.

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