Businesses have faced enormous challenges and undergone tremendous changes in recent years, and this isn’t slowing down in 2023 either. They’ll have to deal with an ever-faster development of technologies, the aftereffects of the global pandemic, and economic challenges.

Change is familiar to businesses as it allows for innovation and adaptability. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, know that you have two options in this regard: to accept the fact that you must have an open mind and search for ways to embrace change when it knocks at your business’ door, or to let it perform its course of action and figure things out as you go.

LinkedIn released a 2023 trend report that analyzes what will be on consumers’ minds this year, including sustainable business practices, digital transformation, and the talent challenge.

The talent challenge

Lately, the world has seen massive migrations of talented people, or brain drain and gain, as employees and talented youngsters have reassessed their work-lives and determined they wanted something better or more opportunities. This has put pressure on employers to ensure they are providing more benefits, attractive careers, an enticing work environment, and the flexibility of hybrid work. This year, offering people opportunities to grow and learn, value-oriented company cultures, and fulfilling work and diversity is essential.

Plus, the accelerated digital transformation leads to increasing workplace automation, augmenting most jobs worldwide. People will share their work with smart robots and intelligent machines, which can significantly impact the talents and skills companies need in the future.

On the one hand, companies must deal with skills gaps in AI, data science, and other tech areas, ensuring they’re developing the tech-savvy workforce needed later. On the other hand, as tech implications are increasingly visible in human jobs, companies have to re-train employees with the skills necessary to work alongside smart machines. This year, it includes skills like interpersonal communication, critical thinking, leadership, creativity, and applying “human qualities” like compassion and empathy.

Sustainability

The world is becoming less tolerant of unsustainable practices because, nowadays, the negative impact that human activities have on Mother Earth is more and more remarkable. Therefore, eco-friendly practices have been gaining ground, with governments worldwide creating new policies and directives for businesses to shift towards more sustainable strategies.

Consumers and investors support start-ups and companies that try to greenify their operations. Shoppers turn to second-hand, vintage, and resale outlets for clothing and buy eco-friendly materials.

LinkedIn predicted sustainability would remain a hot topic in consumer habits, life, and business. Thus, companies keep shifting towards environmentally-conscious practices, including using alternative energy sources, choosing green suppliers, and managing waste better. Poor waste management directly affects both businesses and ecosystems, so reducing the carbon footprint while saving time, space, and money is essential. Companies like Miltek Australia offer similar management solutions that benefit the environment and the company. Companies looking for ways to get rid of general waste, cardboard, and aluminum in a cost-efficient manner have the opportunity to do so.

Immersive customer experience

Customers crave experience more than anything this year. This doesn’t necessarily mean that quality and price point take the back seat, though, as they’re both essential to some extent in how the process of choosing, buying and using the products and services goes.

Technology’s role here has been to improve operations and reduce consumer hassles. Think of online customer service portals handling after-sales support and problems and search engines helping customers choose what to purchase. These still play a key role, but interactivity and immersion are here, too.

The metaverse is the stage where this will play out. It’s often described as the “next level” of the internet, where you can connect with fellow customers and brands through VR, 3D environments, and other immersive technologies. Think of online shops where you can “try on” digital representations of accessories and clothes. You might dress up avatars of yourself in virtual dressing rooms – as pioneered by Hugo Boss – or you could employ augmented reality to see how items would fit on you, as used by Walmart.

These trends toward experience will impact offline and online retail, and are so powerful that Adweek and Adobe appoint CXO (chief experience officers) to guarantee that it’s made an essential aspect of corporate strategy.

Businesses must also consider staff experience as the competition for the most skilled and talented employees grows more intense.

Digital transformation

Digital transformation is an all-time trend. However, this year, the pace is accelerating. In 2023, there’s a continuation of developments and innovations in transformative technologies like the following:

  • Super-fast network protocols like 5G
  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • The internet of things
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Cloud computing
  • Block Chain

New solutions for business decision-making, hybrid and remote working, augmented working, and the automation of workloads combine those technologies in ways that allow them to complement each other. The world’s getting closer to creating “intelligent enterprises” where processes and systems support each other to execute mundane and laborious activities efficiently.

To prepare for this, businesses must ensure that the appropriate technology is embedded throughout their processes and in all areas of operations. More efficient supply chains, streamlined manufacturing processes, services and products that align more with consumer needs, and more effective sales and marketing are all on the table in 2023.

Many of them, like blockchain and AI, are available in “as-a-service” models through the cloud, and new apps and interfaces allow businesses to access them via no-code environments.

What about inflation and the supply chain?

The economic outlook doesn’t look fantastic this year for most of the world. Subdued economic growth and inflation are realities. Many industries still face supply chain issues linked to the global shutdowns and the current state of the world. To overcome them and stay afloat, businesses need to improve their resilience, which means building protective measures into supply chains and lowering exposure to unpredictable commodity market prices.

They should also identify their exposure to inflation risk, and this way, they’ll find ways to mitigate risks, like becoming more self-reliant and finding alternative suppliers.

Author

Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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