5 Biggest Business Trends in  | You Must Get Ready Now
The business landscape is constantly changing. It’s important for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to stay on top of these changes constantly.
This way, they can understand the direction most ideal for their various businesses and how to optimize adequately to move with the trends.
Similarly, those considering starting a business can leverage these trends to know what industries show the most potential in the short to medium term.
Overall, business trends are essential for every business stakeholder. We’ve seen how savvy business persons have leveraged trends to stay ahead of the curve in the past.
Thus, in this article, we’ll be discussing some of the most significant trends seen in the business world in . Let’s dive right in!
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Here are the 5 Biggest Business Trends in 2022
Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a remote frontier that will be relevant for future businesses. Technology is already here, having a significant impact on various industries.
In simple terms, AI refers to the ability to make machines learn from data and subsequently make decisions based on this data and analytics.
One of the major applications of AI that businesses can expect to see is automation. AI can be leveraged on a broader scale to automate various tasks that had to be otherwise performed by humans.
However, automation is simply a small part of what AI is truly capable of enabling in various industries.
For instance, in the insurance industry, we see how AI is increasingly being deployed for various purposes, such as fraud detection, risk assessment, underwriting, and pricing.
Similarly, AI is also being used to improve customer service by powering chatbots. This allows businesses to leverage AI to deal with more routine queries and complaints while freeing up employees to focus on more valuable and creative tasks.
Clearly, the benefits of AI to businesses are immense. The technology can be instrumental in streamlining various processes within businesses to improve efficiency further.
In addition, the technology can be more accurate in certain respects, allowing businesses to avoid potentially costly errors.
AI provides incredible support for decision-making through advanced analytics. It certainly appears that more businesses are recognizing the value of AI, with many adopting the technology.
For instance, according to Grand View Research, the global market for AI was worth $93.5 billion in 2021 but is expected to grow at an annual rate of 38.1% from 2022 to 2030.
However, while AI is undoubtedly valuable, it’s also accompanied by risks that businesses must pay attention to.
For instance, there’s the risk that an AI may be trained on bad data sets, leading to algorithmic bias, which could lead to reputation damage and regulatory action or businesses.
Given the backdrop of global warming and its various consequences on the planet, there is a growing focus on sustainability worldwide.
Of course, the energy crisis catalyzed by the Russia-Ukraine crisis might have slowed things down.
However, the broader focus is still on improved Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) in businesses. Customers and investors are increasingly becoming ESG-conscious, which means they are paying more attention to the environmental impact of businesses.
In essence, going forward, businesses would have to prioritize environmentally sustainable processes to improve their chances of receiving funding as well as appealing to customers.
In fact, according to a McKinsey Global Survey, 83% of C-suite executives and investment professionals are of belief that ESG programs are set to generate more shareholder value in five years than they currently do.
In addition, a 2021 survey by the National Retail Foundation (NRF) on 19,000 people found that 62% were willing to change purchasing habits based on their environmental impact.
This illustrates just how much sustainability will be a primary concern for businesses in the coming years.
Also, it appears that sustainability also affects the financial performance of companies. For instance, according to research by Accenture, businesses with higher ESG performance ratings had average margins 3.7 times more than counterparts with lower ESG ratings.
Notably, ESG regulations are becoming more stringent across various jurisdictions.
For instance, Europe has adopted both the Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which seek to institute much higher sustainability standards.
In essence, companies would have to adopt standardized sustainability disclosure. Similarly, in the US, the Securities & Exchange Commission has proposed new rules to standardize climate-related disclosures for investors.
Thus, businesses would have to be more transparent with investors and customers about the sustainability of their processes, which could make less ESG-focused businesses vulnerable in coming years.
Remote work has certainly been one of the most dramatic changes experienced in the business world over the past three years. Many businesses around the world have adopted a remote or hybrid work structure.
Undoubtedly, this trend of the remote workforce was catalyzed and more or less necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It, however, appears that it is set to become a permanent fixture in the business world. For one, this is because more employees have indicated a preference for report work.
For instance, according to the 2021 State of Remote Work Report from Owl Labs, 90% of surveyed 2,050 full-time remote workers said that they were more productive or as productive working remotely.
Eighty-four percent of them stated that they would be happy to work remotely after the pandemic.
This sentiment among the labor force has also been confirmed in a 2022 Ergotron survey, which shows that workers have settled into hybrid or remote office environments.
Thus, business stakeholders need to understand that there is a need to adapt to the changing sentiment of employees.
While some businesses have insisted on the physical resumption of workers, others have offered flexible remote work policies.
Businesses that resist the change might risk losing valuable staff, leading to expensive recruitment processes.
Not only would this require businesses to expend resources that could otherwise be saved, but it may also ultimately lead to these businesses becoming less competitive as rivals draw more talent.
It’s no longer news that the world is getting increasingly digitized. Since 2020, the pace of digitalization has only seemed to grow even further.
Understandably, the effects of rapid global digitalization are significantly reflected in the business world.
Many businesses are leveraging various digital tools to improve internal processes. These tools are allowing even small-scale businesses to punch above their weight.
An excellent example of this digital transformation is the increasing adoption of customer relationship management (CRM) software.
This software helps businesses keep track of various customer interactions, enabling these businesses to provide a much better quality of customer relations while maintaining high efficiency.
This technology is also useful for managing sales and marketing, often transforming to higher profitability for businesses.
Another digital tool that has become very significant in the business world is the employee recognition app.
Almost every business stakeholder, whether the business owner or manager, understands the need to constantly keep employees motivated in to get the best out of them.
Employee recognition apps help solve this problem. The software allows employees to appreciate each other’s efforts across various projects, strengthening team spirit, and improving collaboration.
Also, managers are able to recognize the performance of employees. These employees can also be rewarded in various ways, such as through badges.
Other digital tools leveraged by businesses range from accounting software that helps businesses with bookkeeping and monitoring financial performance to project management software like Trello, which facilitates collaboration and monitoring of multiple projects.
In the coming years, businesses may have to leverage digital tools to remain competitive.
Supply chain resilience
The year 2022 has demonstrated just how far-reaching the effects of supply chain disruptions can be on the global economy.
Many of these disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the Zero-COVID policy that has crippled the Chinese manufacturing sector, have been a catalyst for global inflation.
We are seeing companies being directly impacted by these disruptions. For instance, manufacturing restrictions in China recently threatened the production of the iPhone 14, weakening the company’s ability to meet the demand for its devices.
This situation indicates an increasing need for businesses to strengthen their supply chain in various ways.
Specifically, businesses have to improve the resilience of their supply chains in terms of exposure to disruptions and volatile logistical costs.
Businesses can mitigate this risk by seeking alternative suppliers or through self-reliance. They could shift their manufacturing processes to a more geographically ideal location to further guard against sudden disruptions.
Another option is to adopt inventory and capacity buffers.
Regardless of what approach is adopted, it’s clear that businesses seeking to maintain sustained growth must put in place measures to ensure supply chain resilience.
Over the past couple of years, the business world has changed in so many ways, from technology to remote work to supply chain problems.
Thus, businesses need to adapt as necessary to survive in the new business landscape. Forward-looking businesses can also leverage these trends to further develop.
Victor Fabarebo is a finance enthusiast who has created and published various business-related articles. He is deeply interested in the dynamics of business management and financing.
Victor is a certified Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA) and is currently pursuing his Business Intelligence & Data Analyst (BIDA) certification.
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