5 Trends for 2016

When I read Thomas Koulopoulos’ 5 big trends that will give your business an edge in 2016, they all resonated with me.  Perhaps that’s because over the last week I have experienced most of them.  Our business, InvestorCOM is delivering out biggest project in the history of our business – our Point of Sale 3 platform for the Investment Industry.  We are working closely with over 10 of our clients to deliver technology that will allow them to meet their compliance obligations.  I have often referred to this project using the human body as an analogy – our application is so tightly integrated with our client’s apps, it will become one of the “vital organs” within our client’s ecosystem.  Thomas states that the emerging business ecosystem model is an orchestrated set of capabilities across digitally connected businesses and consumers that creates entirely new value.  This is exactly what our POS3 project is all about.

 I never travel anywhere in this traffic-choked city without using Waze.  From my first Waze-directed trip that saved me 45 minutes, I was committed.  The fact that Waze data is leveraged in real time to deliver value that improves the lives of so many people might be technologies highest calling.  If Datafication can deliver this much value through the Waze app, I have little doubt that this trend will change many business models.

 The Frictionless Economy delivers similar value to our world – it simplifies our lives.  Uber is such a great example.   Notwithstanding the conflict between old business models and Uber (and I agree that UberX should compete on a level playing field), this technology has truly transformed an industry (that feels decades old) to a client experience that is convenient, pleasant and customer-centred.  How can this trend not continue?  I think it is safe to say that none of us are seeking experiences that add friction to our lives and technology will enable the removal of this “commercial friction” – while disrupting some dated business models along the way.

 I will skip over Thomas’ 4th trend – the Internet of Things because this trend has unstoppable momentum – it is here to stay.

 I thought his final trend – Conversational Intelligence was perhaps the most important of all 5 big trends.  The challenge to “effectively harness digital conversations to create and reinforce trust, collaboration, and alignment among teams is one of the most important challenges as we move towards a globally connected human population” is massive.  Even in our company of 100 people, we see the challenges that digital conversations create – email trails have replaced face to face conversations and the inevitable challenges of misunderstanding, misalignment and confusion are natural outcomes.  Some of us in the organization, who have been around for a few years are constantly coaching our colleagues to pick up the phone, go speak to your teammate you are about to email and spend more facetime with your client.  Any technology, process or company that is able to achieve Conversational Intelligence in a digital world will be a huge winner.  We are experimenting with an app called www.slack.com  – a messaging and collaboration tool that is designed to improve the value of digital conversation between teams.  We hope that this will help us improve Conversational Intelligence!