Ten Changes That Will Transform the Business World over the Next 10 Years

There are many areas organizations will need to invest in to compete in the future and many ways companies will need to transform to be successful. However, these changes are often hidden by misguided beliefs, inaccurate assessments, and irrational ideals.

The future of business is complex, intricate, and matrixed. It focuses on leveraging synergies and capitalizing on efficiencies and involves creativity and transparency. It is undeniable that changes will take place over the course of the next decade, but the path ahead is not clear. However, there are certain inevitabilities that cannot be argued. The following are 10 of the many changes that will have an enormous impact on the future of business over the next 10 years:

  • • Automation and artificial intelligence
  • • Data analytics
  • • The Internet of Things
  • • Apps and mobile devices
  • • Money management
  • • Expanded home delivery
  • • The death of television advertising
  • • The gig economy
  • • Reskilling the workforce
  • • Functionality over formality

Identifying the changes that will take place over the next decade can be beneficial, but it will only create value if you can take advantage of them in your business. It is on you to determine how you will respond to the impending changes that will occur over the next decade. This chapter will go through each of the 10 changes that will take place and provide probing questions to help you leverage these changes to help you generate better outcomes.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

Automation is the use of technology by which a process or procedure is performed with limited or no human involvement. Artificial Intelligence (Al) is technology designed to perform tasks commonly associated with human thinking and decision-making. These technological advances are very different. However, in this context they will be connected, knowing that both involve replacing human work with technology and/or robots.

The use of automation and Al is already taking place in almost every industry and market in the world and will continue to increase over the next decade. Due to a never-ending battle to cut costs and streamline service, and automated tools being more reliable and able to run around the clock, the replacement of manual labor with automation will continue to increase dramatically.

This will create a transformational shift in the way businesses operate and employees are used. No longer will companies be able to remain competitive in their industry by relying on employees to perform manual labor that can be completed by machines.

Industries that will transform the most because of automation and Al are:

  • Manufacturing: Manufacturing has always been at the forefront of automation and Al, making it no surprise that it will continue to lead the charge in the future. Enabling robots to assemble products is faster, simplifies production, and reduces errors.
  • Packaging and shipping: The delivery of physical items has already been affected by automation and Al and will see considerable impacts in the future. Due to continual advances and the repetitive process that comes with delivering goods, expanding automation and Al in the packaging and shipping industry is a natural fit and will drastically reduce the time, effort, and financial resources required to deliver goods. Companies are already leveraging systems to simplify the process, with adoption expected to continue as frontrunners like Amazon and Walmart find innovative ways to fulfill orders. Within the next 10 years, companies will package goods and deliver to their final destination, all without any human intervention.

Customer service: Frontline employees who serve as customer service agents will continue to decrease over the course of the next decade as they are replaced by machines. From computers that take your order at McDonald’s and self-checkout machines at the grocery store to voice-automated customer service agents taking your phone calls and machines that process orders online, the need for human interaction is becoming less and less. In the future, technology will become so sophisticated that you won’t know when you are speaking with a human and when you are communicating with a robot.

Financialservices: With an advanced ability to develop highly complex financial models and predict stock trends based on market data, the need for human involvement in the financial industry is declining. In its place are finely tuned systems that deliver expert analysis on financial matters, both big and small. These transformations won’t come overnight. However, the vast amount of financial data and significance of making timely decisions will push companies toward increased reliance on leveraging technologically savvy programs.

Healthcare: Hospitals, healthcare companies, and doctors’ offices are becoming increasingly reliant on automation and Al for a variety of medical activities and procedures. Areas in which robots particularly excel involve diagnosing diseases, delivering anesthesia, and performing surgery. As technology becomes more sophisticated, their accuracy and dependability will surpass human healthcare providers, making automation and Al no longer an option for healthcare companies but a necessity.

Agriculture: The grueling hours of farming are not likely to disappear anytime soon, but with advanced technological equipment now becoming the norm, manual labor has dropped considerably. This trend will continue with the increased use of drones to survey land, cultivation tools to optimize the amount of produce crops yield, satellites that can measure the moisture in the ground, and simulation modeling applications to determine the best time to harvest.

• Transportation: Fully autonomous vehicles will have exponential growth over the next decade. This will initially be with personal vehicles. Self-driving trucks transporting goods will follow. At the end of the decade, autonomous air travel will be available.1

Taking Action

The transition away from manual labor and toward automation and Al puts those who resist adoption in peril. Automation and Al are levers for increased efficiency, reduction in costs, and optimized productivity, and if you don’t jump on board, you will be on the outside looking in. You must identify where you can change so that you are able to keep up with the competition and maintain a competitive advantage.

  • • What processes are you completing manually that you could automate?
  • • What are industry leaders doing that you could adopt?
  • • What could you invest in to reduce variable costs?
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