At the CEO Institute Leadership Forum held last week, Head of Google Enterprise and Innovation, Stuart Mclean, discussed future trends for business that we need to be prepared for.
1. Greater Connectivity - enterprises will move away from the isolated silo system to inter-connected company ecosystems. Companies will need to create a more liquid network where people can collaborate and share ideas.
2. A Truly Global Market - your market will no longer be limited to any one geographical location, even if you're a small business. With ever more reliance on the internet for sales and communication, your customers, and competition, can be located anywhere in the world. You'll need to think globally to compete.
3. An Anytime Anywhere Workforce - forget time and geographical boundaries. You and your people will be able (and be required) to work anywhere in the world at any time on any device. PCs and desktops will be replaced by smart-phones and tablets as the preferred work devices. 30% of global tablet use is currently by the C-suite. Gartner predicts that by the end of this year 20 per cent of businesses will own "no IT" and instead use the Cloud. You need to re-examine your platforms and tools and let go of the need to secure people to a desk.
4. Increasing Power of Social Networks - communication via social networks will replace email. Many people already use twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as their preferred method of communication. This feeds back into trend number one as you need to think how you gather and use information.
The bottom line is you need to think like a kid! How so? You need to be ready to adopt new technology and trends with speed and ease in ways you never imagined. If you're finding a little difficult to think like a kid, hire a kid to help you. Their ideas may be well be your next competitive advantage.