Big business tech trends for 2017

16 Nov, 2016

The world – and SA – is in a constant state of digital evolution. New business trends quickly and dramatically determine how people work, shop and communicate. Here are the most important digital business trends to expect in 2017:

On-demand economy
Consumers want things on demand. Whether it’s movies, accommodation, transport or business solutions. Businesses need to understand new markets and workforces to create innovative products based on consumer demands. The rise of services like Airbnb, Uber and Netflix demonstrate the rise in consumer expectations for immediacy. In the coming year, new products and services will need to deliver based on behaviour and expectation – big time.

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Experience trumps product
Customer experiences are more important than ever. In 2017, how products and services enhance lifestyle and workflow will be front and centre. Brands need to remain relevant by engaging and making the lives of their target markets easier.

Research shows 69% of customers switch brands because of a poor user experience, which has made the market increasingly competitive. More than ever, products are competing to stay ahead of the business game. Seamless user experience will find its way into business and office hardware and software in 2017, replicating existing trends in consumer tech.

Big data
The analysis of large volumes of data is used in a number of ways to solve problems. In 2017, it’ll be used in making data-driven decisions. Data analytics will draw meaningful insights from raw data to make considered business decisions at the right time and gain an edge over competitors. Automated data programs will be crucial for companies that want to expand in the coming year.

Changes in workflow
Workflow behaviour and interaction will start to mimic real-world apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp. Employees and customers want business communication to feel and work like their personal communication. In the new year, software will continue to mimic consumer apps and reshape processes that support employees. Slack is an example of the beginning of an enterprise renaissance that doesn’t just change tech – it changes how companies and people work.

Mobile-first transforms the web
The web will be re-imagined more dramatically for mobile in 2017 – it’ll become mobile-only, not just mobile-first. The purpose of the web will be radically transformed to be increasingly dynamic and personal for screens people carry. Businesses will be forced to modify product and service offerings to integrate with mobile.

Automated finance
Financial experts have identified automated banks as the next big disruptor in the banking sector. According to a recent study, automated banking could replace 30% of employment in financial services over the next decade. Financial advisors and analysts are due to be replaced by robo-advisors that have the data needed to make split-second, informed decisions. This trend will gain traction in 2017 and marks a new era in service delivery that’s geared towards automation.

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