Business leaders assess emerging trends in business and technology to identify growing societal, business and technology issues. Companies identify these issues and explore future innovation, emerging technologies, business processes and best practices to identify perspective markets and areas of business growth. Through the assessment of emerging trends in business and technology, businesses can maintain a competitive advantage and identify business areas where difficulties may arise.
As real-time global communication brings individuals closer together; business must identify product and service opportunities using a more human-centric approach. Studying the behaviors of consumers helps businesses to adjust business models and advertising to attract specific demographics. An example of how societal trend affect business is the new trend of "Social TV." A joint 2010 U.S. study by Nielsen and Yahoo! discovered that more than 86 percent of mobile Internet users communicate with each other during television broadcasts. A 2011 survey by Digital Clarity discovered that 72 percent of people under 25 in the U.K. use social networking to comment on shows as they watch them.
Globalization and technology are changing business. New business models take into account the global market place through the development of global strategic markets, manufacturing and advertising collaborations. A business’ capacity to understand global and societal trends will determine its products, marketplaces, marketing and its survivability.
As business and technology continue to create global networks, the need for security will increase. Businesses will need every-changing data security plans to continually safeguard sensitive data and protect consumers from fraud and identity theft. Disaster-recovery plans also become essential as disasters in other countries may affect business product or sales in another. Businesses need emergency procedures in place to cover all kinds of disasters including terrorism and societal unrest.
Innovations in communication technologies have given birth to social networking. Real-time reviews of products and services instantly affect businesses. Moviegoers no longer wait for movie review or to tell their friends about their movie experiences, instead they use social networks for movie fans, such as flixster.com, to post their comments. Movies that could make money over a weekend now fail on their first day of release. Global issues, such as energy and the environment will encourage businesses to develop green technologies to reduce energy expenditures and clean the environment. Emerging green technologies, such as fuel-celled power, will continue to develop. Business will begin to look to energy-efficient technologies to reduce costs.
The Great Recession has had an impact on the America and global economy. In a 2010 survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 54 percent of Americans say they are just getting by while four out of 10 surveyed say the recession forced them to make major lifestyle changes. Most surveyed cited cutting back or eliminating non-essential items and entertainment to save money.
Recessions also affect global migration and hiring. According to the International Organization for Migration, about 3 percent of the global workforce works as migrant labor. These workers are often the first to be let go in their host country and find difficulties repatriating to find work. Studies in the U.S., Canada and Europe indicate business tends to contact applicants with native names more than applicants with ethnic names. During harsh economic times, finding employment can become difficult and consumers tend to limit purchasing to essential items. These economic stresses require businesses to re-evaluate product and service development to retain viability.