Whatever the industry, there are a few constants in the business world – one being that how things are done today are not necessarily how they will be done tomorrow. Through technology, new discoveries and the shifting tastes of consumers, the corporate environment is a living, breathing thing that can rapidly change direction.

Preparing for these incoming changes should be an essential part of any smart organisational strategy. Learning how to read your industry and preemptively evolve to meet what's coming can make a huge difference to your bottom line, and give you a significant head start over your competitors. 

A number of the world's most prominent research firms have been looking into the future of our business lives, revealing some expected trends that could be of benefit to your organisation. From increased technology investment to the demands of the next generation of workers, almost every organisation will be touched in some way by these findings.

The next generation of employees have new career demands.The next generation of employees have new career demands.

A greater focus on data

There is little doubt that modern businesses are relying more heavily on digital information than ever before. Collecting, analysing and utilising that data is considered a key part of moving companies into the future, but until now most organisations haven't felt the need for a specialised role to manage the new resource.

That appears to be changing, as Gartner estimates that 90 per cent of all large businesses will have employed a Chief Data Officer (CDO) by 2019. As maintaining more and more consumer data becomes a larger part of day-to-day operations, as well as a factor in strategic planning, having someone responsible for that role will become more of a necessity.

"With the explosion of datasets everywhere, an important task is determining which information can add business value, drive efficiency or improve risk management," says Mario Faria, research vice president at Gartner.

"The CDO's role will raise expectations of better results from an enterprise information management strategy, with stakeholders wanting a clear idea of the exact mechanics of making success a reality."

Collecting, analysing and utilising that data is considered a key part of moving companies into the future.

Tech investment continues its upward path

With companies adapting more aspects of their business to the digital age, perhaps it's no surprise that spending on technology is showing no signs of easing. In fact, according to Forrester Research, tech investment is expected to hit $2.9 trillion in 2016. 

That spending covers a number of areas, but the research shows that telecom services and software, including cloud and analytics, take the largest share of investment. Taking office operations online through web apps, cloud-based phone and operating systems and greater device integration, seems to be increasing in popularity amongst corporates. 

All this new technology will need people to run and maintain it, however, which is why companies like PwC are investing large amounts of money in fostering the IT talent of tomorrow, and supporting greater focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) in schools. 

Is your business strategy ready for the future?Is your business strategy ready for the future?

What workers want

As we move further into the future, some organisations are predicting a more demanding workforce, those who grew up in the digital age and want more from their working life than just a pay cheque. Deloitte's recent Millennial Survey found that half of those born after 1982 expect to leave their current job within two years, as maintaining loyalty depends on new factors some businesses are not prepared for.

A flexible office environment is among the main concerns for the next generation of tech-savvy leaders, with options such as remote working considered a large incentive to stay with one company rather than jumping ship.

Keeping your business relevant in the modern business environment means having forward-thinking and remaining agile. For the best advice and effective strategy management software, get in touch with StrategyBlocks today.