2015 is almost here. It’s that time of year again when we all look back and come up with our list of New Year’s resolutions that we’ll definitely stick with (this time). As we rapidly approach this New Year, we’re highlighting the biggest trends that companies will need to pay attention to for business in 2015. Unlike our resolutions, they’re here to stay.
X and Y, meet generation Z
We’ve finally run out of letters of the alphabet to segment consumers, and it’s this last letter – Generation Z – that’s creating the biggest buzz going into 2015. The oldest members of Generation Z will be turning 21 in 2015, and although they’re young, they also represent an enormous amount of future buying power (that’s 2 billion potential customers).
But appealing to Generation Z will take some serious effort. They tend to go against the grain. They have an admiration for innovation, are attracted to risk, and see failure as a valuable stepping stone. They’re also increasingly mobile, but we don’t just mean on their smartphones. Z’ers are less tied down throughout their whole lifestyle, from their purchases to their living situation.
Brands are going to have to adapt to this new generation, so perhaps it’s best to go straight to the source for help. In 2015, companies are planning on hiring more members of Generation Z for internships, kicking off their recruiting at high schools. Not only will this give them unique input from a fresh group of rising students, but it also gives them a head start on talent acquisition by creating brand awareness early.
All hail the Internet of Things
If you’ve fully connected your business on every screen imaginable, pat yourself on the back…and then get back to the drawing board. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is growing rapidly, and is poised to take over all of those screens in market size. There are currently 10 billion “things” in this extensive network, from smart factories to FitBits, and it is projected to grow to 25 billion in 2015.
The Internet of Things is exactly what it sounds like – it’s the connecting of physical objects through the internet, allowing for direct communication through a network of “things”. And it’s not just a way to tell your coffee maker to make a cup of joe without getting out of bed, it also has giant implications for business too.
Think about it: with everything in your business completely interconnected, integrated horizontally and vertically throughout your company, and able to be updated in real time, your company could reach new levels of efficiency. The IoT will enable companies to decrease costs, ensure consistency throughout the business, and streamline communication and reporting. 68% of companies are already investing in IoT, and 96% of companies say they will be using IoT in the next 3 years.
Digital business means a paperless office
It’s more organized, increases efficiency, and oh yeah, it’s saving the planet; no wonder going paperless will continue to trend upward in 2015. We all wish we could be more productive, and most of the time it’s the little things – like trying to find where we last put that file – that sneak up on us and add up. One minute you’re looking for a folder, the next you’re rifling through your drawers wondering when you accumulated all of these papers. Companies that have made the move to the paperless office reap the benefits of something as simple as a “search” button that cuts down on this time, and enhanced organization of files, creating a consistent system that the entire company can easily follow.
In an increasingly mobile environment, going paperless also extends the boundaries of the office. Employees can stay consistently connected on any of their devices – they can access any document they need, wherever they are. This ensures that traveling employees are kept in the loop, and decreases the stress associated with packing for business trips.
The modern day workplace is also transforming as companies strive to keep employees happy (and more productive) with greater work/life balance. This has led to more employees working from home or working different hours to accommodate their personal lives. The paperless office streamlines communication in these new workplace structures, and allows for employees to access the office at home without actually bringing the office home.
Business in 2015 will be a lot like business this past year: constantly changing. But, we can tell you firsthand that with constant change also comes constant improvement.
About the Author:
|Stephanie Sells has a background in sports marketing, and this is her newest adventure. She dabbles in everything digital marketing – from social media management, to content creation, to online advertising. Though she’s working in the digital world now, she still follows her beloved Chicago White Sox closely, and tries to pretend she can still do gymnastics. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.|