Doing business in the future won’t be anything like today

Expect tremendous disruption and transformation of business models by 2025 through sensors, wearables, increasingly online and global services, data analytics, changing consumer attitudes, new technologies, increasingly daily cyber-attacks, drive for global sustainability. Contact us today to find out how we can provide you with real-time and continuous strategic foresight.
What is changing?


  • More than 50% of the world’s population will be online.
  • Growth probably is going to be slower in terms of aggregate GDP over the next 50 years than it has been over the last 50 years.
  • A key driver for sustained growth will be foreign direct investment (FDI) occurring within the improved business environment.
  • Customer experience management will become a significant driver for investment.
  • Sales of many goods and services will falter.
  • Customer expectations of simplicity and transparency will foster innovations in product/service design and delivery.
  • The production of highly customised products with short life cycles addressing volatile markets will require new structures and operation strategies of their supply chains.
  • Customers will reward truly transformative services and products.


  • Cloud services will be used by young entrepreneurs to ensure their success through connected collaboration and broad access to markets and businessservices.
  • Hadoop projects will get done faster because the enterprise’s very own application developers and operations professionals know the data, the integration points, the applications and the business challenges.
  • The next wave of automation will take aim at the more creative side of the business.
  • The Internet of Things will change the definition of what companies sell and how they sell.
  • Email will remain the standard for online B2B and B2C communication.
  • More tools that enable visual communication from people to content will help break down communication borders and enable more global success.
  • The range of opportunities for hackers will continue to expand as the world becomes ever more internet-connected.
  • Cloud will eventually dominate the market for IT services.
  • Exponential new technologies will emerge in digital money, mobile commerce, and big data.
  • Harnessing data intensive science to the needs of industry could transform every business sector as well as every scientific discipline.
  • Social tools could provide companies with data on processes and practices they’ve never measured before (the level of communication among individual employees, for example).

Business practices

  • Business models that incorporate 3D printers will revolutionise certain product market segments.
  • The current trend of employee-centric, people-first tech firms will likely continue well into the future.
  • More employees will look to their employers for flexible yet productive “offices” to conduct work from wherever they choose.
  • Junior managers will more often than not ‘own’ and drive innovation in an area when they can see how it is going to enhance the performance and outputs that they and their teams can achieve.
  • One measure of company engagement going forward will be companies’ proactive involvement on political issues that could accelerate the transition to a low-carbon and more sustainable economy.
  • Companies will be asked to provide the scientific rationale for theirsustainability goals.
  • As peer-to-peer networks expand and grow they will become more professional and pose stronger direct competition to traditional services.
  • Real-time data from sensors and devices will continue to transform the business model.
  • Machine intelligence will play a much larger role in value creation.
  • Over 60% of companies globally expect to see a rise in the number of theirshort-term expatriates compared with 43% for long term assignments.
  • By 2020 85% of manufacturers expect to have implemented Industry 4.0 technology in all important business divisions.
  • Brand management will have become significantly more important to build product/service synergy.


  • An effective response will encompass business continuity and third-party notification as well as crisis management and forensic IT investigations.
  • Business leaders will need strong antennae to understand where new opportunities are arising.
  • Having the right data on talent and requirements and operating the right systems will provide valuable input.
  • Business-to-consumer (B2C) companies will have rewards or gamification linked to the use of wearables as a way of keeping customers engaged with their brands.
  • Supply chain-driven innovation will be critical to sustaining a new business model focused on different types of products, services, and methods of engagement.


  • Business leaders will need to understand how technology can improve their operations and bring them closer to their customers.
  • A company already using social tools could broaden the technologies’ impact by adopting them in areas such as operations.
  • Social technologies could effect some key changes in structural and management processes.
  • CIOs who have the disciplines of data management and integration architecture in place will be positioned to create harmony out of the existing landscape and to leverage orchestration services when they arrive.
  • Innovations will have to come more quickly for companies to stay relevant.
  • Achieving improved leadership quality, bench strength, and leader engagement/retention along with the resulting financial impact will be much more challenging without an integrated and solidly reinforced strategy for leader growth.

Inability to change

  • Many organisations will fail because of an inability to adapt or to change their business model to a multichannel reality in which boundaries between the online and physical worlds disappear.

If you are in one of the groups below you will almost certainly need to know just how the above dramatic changes are going to impact upon your organization in the next five years and to know when and know how to respond.

Planners | Innovators | Risk managers | Marketers | Consultants|Change agents | Researchers | Portfolio managers | Security advisers |Educators | HR managers

A deep understanding of how these changes will affect you, your competitors and stakeholders is a pre-requisite for good strategy building, agility and resilience building today and ultimate success.

Try answering our fast, ‘Fit for the future‘ global survey and see if you have what it takes to be successful in the next five years and where your opportunities to quickly improve are.

Learn more
To find the sources and more resources on Shaping Tomorrow about the future of business some of which were used in this Trend Alert. View Future of Business Report.

Also, click here to find out how Shaping Tomorrow can help your organization rapidly assess and respond to these and other key issues affecting your business.


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