A recent Forbes article highlighted seven trends that will affect business in 2018.
The business world changes faster now than it ever has in the past, so paying attention to predicted trends helps businesses – especially small operations – stay competitive in the market.
- Traceability and Safety Software
Businesses in the food industry pay increasingly more attention to food safety. In the coming months, the trend to use software for traceability and food safety will increase – eventually becoming required, along with inspections and certifications.
- Customer Scheduling
Software has allowed us to offer more diversity in how our customers interact with us. The latest iteration of interactive customer technology now allows customers to choose when they interact. Building more options in to your customer management systems, allowing for customers to pick the date, time, mode, and topic, allows the customer more control over their time.
- Big (Growing) Data and Machine Learning
Ours is definitely an era of information; we’re inundated with it. Now that we have it, we need to find ways to use it efficiently. Artificial intelligence will play a role in the analysis and presentation of what is sometimes an overwhelming explosion of data.
- Democratization of the CRM System
Forbes reports that about half of businesses with fewer than ten employees to not use a CRM, while predicting that will change in 2018. Existing providers of CRMs are offering more simple programs and new solutions.
- Return to Direct, In-Person Relationships Due to Automation
The most surprising trend appears to be a shift to in-person, more traditionally direct relationships. People are weary of digital outreach.
- Merging of Online and Offline with Augmented Reality
More products are hitting the marketplace that use technology to allow consumers to see how a product fits in their lives and/or businesses. This is beneficial for those people who have difficulty visualizing a particular project or product.
- Information Augmentation
With the abundance of information, it is critical to have that information available and accurate. “The ability to assimilate, correlate, and distribute enriched data will give business development professionals an edge over their counterparts who are ignoring this growing trend” (“Seven Big Tech Trends That Will Change Business Development in 2018,” Forbes.com, January 11, 2018).
Incidentally, our latest product, JAK the App, fits in the new paradigm. It’s exciting to watch it taking shape and evolving.