Industry standards are changing as technology evolves and new generations become vital stakeholders in the workplace and marketplace. With the next generation preparing to take center stage, we began our search to find which significant business trends are on the horizon and would revolutionize how we work.
Based on trend forecasts, census reports, and survey data, we discovered three trends that the next generation is focused on, the first two being: how and where they work, and the ability to customize products as they like. The last emerging business trend is a focus on Connected Planning; we are seeing an emphasis from businesses on the need for increasing cross-department functionality and maintaining agility within the organization.
So what do these trends mean for you? Let's dive in and find out how you can use this knowledge to stay ahead of your competition:
Gen Y has started to transform the workforce with their need for flexibility and their entrepreneurial spirit. Company loyalty is being exchanged for the freedom of "gig" or contract positions. According to the Office for National Statistics, 15 percent of all people working are currently self-employed, which based on the 2017 census report amounts to 14 million people.
Technology improvements have made it easy to get started in the "gig" economy. In 2017, the total workforce grew 2.5 percent, while the freelance workforce far exceeded that with a growth of 8.1 percent. Some workers become self-employed due to a lack of other options. Others, typically in younger generations, are drawn to self-employment for the flexibility it offers, which is cited among the most desired non-monetary benefits for workers.
Industries have started to evolve in order to capitalize on this fast-growing entrepreneurial ideology. Companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy have created hubs to fuel flexibility and allow workers to enjoy self-employment with a bit more predictability.
So the big question on everyone's mind: How do I attract talent and plan for an invisible workforce?
In Mary Meeker's 2018 Internet Trends report, she shared that there is a continued call for consumer personalization. While monogrammed items are nothing new, there is a considerable push for product personalization in just about every industry. Customers now expect everything to be customizable, from clothing to laptops to virtual experiences, all delivered in 48 hours or less.
With so many products and purchasing options available to them, and a marketplace that promises increasingly instant gratification, consumers are driving change by expecting to get exactly what they want as soon as they ask for it. Companies are even beginning to build their offerings around instant personalization through tailored subscription services—customized "boxes" delivered by specific dates every month.
Cornell University researchers estimate that consumers make 35,000 decisions within a given 24-hour period. How do you ensure that you stand out? You deliver not only a custom solution to their product needs but also a personalized experience. Customers aren't just looking for an on-demand option; they also want to feel like they are the only customer you are marketing to. It's now about the experience.
With all of the personalized item requests, how can you plan for large-scale customization stock without going out of business?
Connected Planning has grown from an idea to a movement and is continuing to spread from industry to industry. But what exactly is Connected Planning? We're glad you asked.
“Connected Planning joins together people, data, and plans to help accelerate better business performance. Connected Planning breaks down information silos to eliminate any inefficiencies in financial planning, corporate planning, and operational planning." - Anaplan
This summer, we realized something was missing in our company: a C-suite champion who would make sure there is a comprehensive, yet flexible, governance system, ensuring people are using the same language and the same set of central assumptions. This gap led to the creation of a department dedicated to Connected Planning.
Anaplan CEO Frank Calderoni quickly recognized this massive industry shift. "It requires a C-Suite leader," he wrote, "who intimately understands the value of Connected Planning, can adjust to the external forces behind any transformational journey, and who possesses the ability to connect all the dots across an enterprise. This new role will revolutionize how businesses think about their plans when it comes to increasing profits faster, when to enter markets globally, and how to provide better services to their customers."
Simon Tucker, planning industry veteran and previously Anaplan's Chief Customer Officer, has stepped into the role of Chief Planning Officer (CPO) at Anaplan. In his new position, Simon will continue to grow Connected Planning throughout Anaplan, developing a successful showcase for implementing it within any other organization.
Companies around the globe are shifting how they run their businesses; silos are coming down and connected plans between departments are spreading. In light of this need for greater planning, communication, and collaboration, what is the first step to starting your planning governance committee?
What do you think of these new business trends? Has your organization started preparing for them or incorporating them into your business plan? Or maybe there is a different trend that is top of mind for your company. Share your thoughts below in the comments.