Looking ahead to business innovation in 2018

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The top 5 business innovation trends for 2018

December 7, 2017

Innovation Factory

The year 2017 saw a rapid pace of digital transformation in global business, and the coming year will be no different. From AI to the fundamental power of the people, we look at the top 5 trends that are set to define business innovation in 2018.

1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been on company radars for the last few years, and considering the overall progress of AI and the pace of the underlying technological innovation, it will remain at the top of the hype cycle in 2018. This year will see further investment in AI-enhanced systems to improve decision-making, reinvent business models and ecosystems, and remake the customer experience. However, businesses will have to invest in skills, processes and tools, as well as data scientists, developers and business process owners, to exploit these techniques and keep up with the rapid evolution of AI.

2. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been transforming the way we live and work, but in 2018, there is more of a focus on strategy. While manufacturing, consulting, business services, and distribution and logistics are the top four industries leading IoT adoption, companies must create detailed plans to harness the potential of the IoT value chain. While the objectives of growing revenue and increasing competitive advantage remain, this year, IoT projects will be driven by more strategy and customer insights to become transformational.

3. Blockchain
A foundation of disruptive digital business for both startups and enterprises, blockchain as a decentralised ledger of transactions has moved from the realms of financial services to other industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing and supply chain. While still in its infancy, the technology holds long-term promise, with businesses investing in several potential blockchain applications in the coming years.

4. Pursuit for talent
Thanks to advanced technologies, evolving dynamics and a growing skills shortage, competition for talent today is fierce. In fact, companies consider it their top priority for 2018, and are scrambling to adapt to the modern workforce. Finding the right talent for complex roles, with the necessary skills in niche areas, has become increasingly competitive. Strategic Workforce Planning can help get the best out of recruitment, selection and talent development, and drive organisations’ current and long-term business needs.

5. Inside-out strategy
In a departure from the customer-centric approach of recent years, 2018 will see innovative companies look inwards to achieve greater efficiency and drive change. Executives are increasingly valuing their employees, with the majority considering them their most important innovation partners. From building a workplace culture that fosters innovation and adopting a design-thinking approach, to aligning business with IT and digitising internal processes, in 2018, innovation and digital transformation comes from within.

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