Top 6 business trends for 2019

As elements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) continue to permeate more areas of our lives through global hyperconnectivity, digitisation is shaping the way business is conducted while bringing new developments in industry and changes in how services and products are offered.

Let’s take a look at some of the trends for 2019.

Reskilling for the digital age with closer alignment between educational qualifications and institutions with workplace
In the digital age, the rate of change within the workplace has far outpaced the ability of universities to adapt formal curricula to meet these requirements. As a result, the “non-accredited” online short course arena will be used to fulfill the need for digital skills within the workplace, particularly in areas like cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Another key area is that of the Internet of Things (IoT) where billions of devices can communicate via sharing and collecting data via internet connectivity – from computers, cellphones, security systems, to home appliances which can be programmed remotely to sensors which alert a driver to adjust tyre pressure or any physical object (natural or man-made) connected to the internet and with an IP address. CVs populated with micro-credentials of these skills and workplace experience will increase in importance.

Formal educational arena
In the formal educational arena, educational institutions will need to align themselves more closely to commerce and industry. Formal educational providers will move to implementing graduate programmes geared towards workplace practicalities. Companies will look to hire graduates who are able to display a combination of formal skills and the ability to apply these skills in the digital world.

Disruption of employment via IoT
Driverless cars, automation being applied to various industries like call centre operators, stockbroking, automated farming operations etc. will result in a complete disruption of the formal employment sectors as we currently understand them. This will lead to a migration of people looking for new skills and new careers. Researchers estimate that within the next 5 years more than half the existing jobs will need reskilling by adopting new technologies and retraining of individuals into new careers.

Consumer data facilitates personalised commercial experiences
Greater emphasis on personalising commercial initiatives based on big data analysis of consumer data integrated from multiple sources. Consumer choice has expanded significantly due to online suppliers who are able to supply products irrespective of geographical limitations, coupled with ability of the consumer to research products and features in an online mode. As a result, personalisation of products and services will become a greater differentiator in the supply chain.

Disruption of traditional banking
Digital banking options will continue to disrupt the traditional banking arena with multiple players offering personalised banking solutions, from cell phone companies through to social media giants offering mobile banking applications and multiple payment gateways.

Increased importance of cybersecurity to prevent fraud and abuse of data as the world gets more connected and ability to hack systems for financial gain becomes more prevalent. Cybersecurity will become a key consideration when developing new systems so that it’s an intrinsic part of a company rather than an after-thought in response to a particular cyber threat.

We are living in exciting times where digitisation is opening up new opportunities for growth and development with an emphasis on a big data-derived customised experience which drives service.

One thing’s for sure and that is whatever happens, digitisation is going to be at the core. The year promises to bring new innovations as more people take advantage of digitisation and the 4IR.

Hold onto your seats. It’s going to be an exciting ride.