2017 Outlook North Highland Shares Emerging Trends for the Year

Planning for Obsolescence

Business processes, technology platforms and employee functions are being displaced by automated and outsourced systems and services. Embracing this truth, and planning for it, can help organizations survive and thrive during marketplace turbulence. Organizations must build cross-functional, agile teams with a bias for action, and encourage collaboration. It means creating a systematic approach to seek out opportunities and develop an environment to design and scale nonlinear business opportunities.

Weighing the Cost of Innovation

For several years, innovation has been a buzz word – everyone wants to be innovative. However, we see businesses now weighing the cost of innovation, how it services business objectives and how it’s measured. It’s less about being innovative for the sake of innovation, and more about leveraging the insights we learn from innovation. Great innovation comes with great amounts of data, so businesses will need to assess the value of actionable data or data that can be used to provide a relevant output. The value of innovation cannot be measured by the originality of an idea, or the net sales it ultimately produces. To effectively capture greater ROI, we must share freely – encouraging safe risk-taking along the way and a willingness to take things apart to understand how they might come back together better.

Becoming Borderless through Digitization

Digital technology does not stop at functional or organizational boundaries. It should empower businesses to function globally. However, there is a need to balance the advantage of global synergies while remaining local, all while looking for opportunities to scale faster. Companies must seek out opportunities to push the advanced areas of their organization to the digital edge. With the help of cloud integration, voice assistants, and frictionless experiences, businesses must harness this technology to remain relevant. However, this does not give companies a pass on forgoing the importance of human interactions.

Humanizing Virtual Interactions

With the advent of digital entities, such as agents, bots and avatars, many of our interactions live in the virtual world. But, at the end of the day, we’re still humans and crave real interactions. As customer experience continues to elevate, people’s standards have shifted to seek companies that offer a meaningful experience and a common purpose. Companies should focus on how these digital entities can be leveraged to help an organization match its value proposition to an individual’s values. An organization’s purpose will become mandatory as people will seek out companies that impact the greater good.

Moving from Big Data to Big Algorithms

Whether intentional or circumstantial, enterprises, government agencies and communities are increasingly relying on data analytics to inform and potentially manage daily activities and transactions. This ultimately shapes how organizations and communities behave and interact. Investing in smarter data sources and algorithm-driven systems allows you to harvest that data and determine a company’s next move in the market. From hyper-local sensing and targeting technologies to the impact of fictitious or fraudulent data, companies need to understand and adapt to the changing dynamics. An organization’s ability to tap into data that allows them to fully understand their end user will put security at the forefront to protect identities and sensitive information.

Join us for the year ahead. Contact us at info@northhighland.com.

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