The world is changing faster than ever before. For business leaders, this means anticipating and preparing for the market forces that will upend traditional business practices. Moving with the times is no longer optional; agility and the creation of growth drivers are now crucial for firms across the globe.
What is Disruption & Growth?
Concerning market shifts and the need to embrace changes if a business is to survive long-term, the theory of disruptive innovation was first introduced by the Harvard Business Review back in 1995. Concerned specifically with the new technologies rapidly emerging in the 1990s, the authors lamented once-successful businesses’ inability to keep pace with change and accurately forecast what tomorrow’s consumers would come to expect. The HBR article lists Xerox, Bucyrus-Erie, and Apple Inc. as victims of these errors; proof, perhaps, that forecasting accurately is no mean feat.
The disruption today’s business world is experiencing is no less significant, and will prove just as challenging for many organizations as it did for the digital laggards of the ‘90s. Technology still leads the way, but businesses must also ready themselves for the other market and social forces enacting lasting change on commerce and the world at large.
We break down the megatrends facing businesses in the very near future.
Megatrends causing disruption
Technology is the most well-known disruptive force in business today. From enhancing customer relations to developing new products and services, technological capabilities are now intrinsic to success. We have already seen many firms become obsolete as they failed to keep up with the latest developments: just 52 of the original Fortune 500 companies still exist. Two thirds of c-suite executives believe that 40% of the current Fortune 500 will not exist in 10 years due to digital disruption.
Advanced analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are powering the most successful businesses today. Most industries are less than 40% digitized at present, but digital frontrunners have faster revenue growth, higher productivity, and improve their profit margins three times faster than average. These digitally savvy businesses are also the fastest innovators and best disruptors in their sectors.
AI and automation are the technologies powering the next wave of disruption. In fact, it’s predicted that 69% of traditional analytics techniques could be improved using AI.
Workforce changes are also impacting business. The expectations of younger generations, including new or hybrid ways of working, a desire for meaning, and non-traditional career paths, mean that companies must adapt their approach to talent and reassess their organization’s culture.
As a result, firms are increasingly turning to freelance platforms to access top talent. As well as providing agility and controlling workforce costs through hiring on a project-based ‘as-and-when’ basis, specialist freelance platforms offer companies direct access to specific and specialized skill sets.
Reports suggest that by 2030 up to 800 million workers will have been displaced by automation, but that up to 890 million jobs will be created thanks to gains in productivity and new applications of technology. These new roles will require existing talent to be upskilled, meaning businesses must solidify their plans for attracting, retaining, and inspiring loyalty from the talent they train and invest in.
Talent from developing economies will come to the fore, as demographic shifts will see the global center of power move away from the West in the coming years. With ageing populations in most developed economies, immigration will play a significant part in future recruitment. By 2050, 50% of the world’s population growth will originate in Africa, and already the world’s fastest growing economies are African and South Asian countries.
Decentralizing talent through the use of remote or hybrid working models, freelance platforms or project-based hiring will help companies gain the agility and reach needed to access specific talent pools across geographies and regions.
Consumers living longer presents opportunities for businesses to cater to their unique needs, particularly as state-funded support begins to give way to private wealth across the world. Retired consumers with disposable income will represent a valuable market in the near future.
Climate change and the push towards sustainability is becoming ever more urgent. From innovative solutions to existing carbon-heavy practices to the move away from fossil fuel-powered supply chains, business of every kind will be under pressure from regulators, governments, and consumers not just to reduce the harm their operations cause, but to actively improve their environment and have a positive impact on the world.
Making the leap from negative to positive impact is a challenge for all businesses, but ecological concerns will prove a key area of growth. Opportunities for green alternatives, the circular economy, and emerging rental models mean businesses who get ahead of the trend stand to benefit considerably.
Although not a new trend, we are still witnessing ever-expanding populations migrating towards cities. At present, 55% of the world’s population live in cities; this will be 68% by 2050. Around 90% of this increase will take place in Africa and Asia as rural communities upskill and leave cottage industries behind.
By 2030, it’s predicted that the world will have around 43 ‘mega cities’, each with populations over 10 million. This unprecedented concentration of people will pose new challenges as well as providing opportunities; businesses’ customer experience, employer branding, and reputation will become ever-more crucial as an increasing number of companies vie to become front-of-mind with their consumers.
How we’re helping businesses
Taking advantage of change and opportunities for growth is how companies will thrive during the coming years. Whether they pursue M&A, diversification, or new market entry, we partner with our clients from the beginning of the entrepreneurial cycle to the end to ensure that their growth is efficient, sustainable, and maximizes returns.
Mantu’s expertise enables us to support businesses as they adapt, evolve, and expand to meet tomorrow’s challenges. As well as connecting high-potential startups with organizations where they can flourish, we’re also experts in Market Intelligence; our team of analysts stay on top of the trends shaping the world of commerce so your business is prepared and ahead of the curve, whatever direction market forces are blowing.
Understanding disruption and opportunities for growth isn’t enough, however. We’re actively contributing to disruption using cutting-edge technology, giving businesses the opportunity to drive and manage suppliers and top freelance talent through SaaS platform LittleBIG Connection, which streamlines supplier panels while increasing companies’ sourcing flexibility.
Today’s global market moves faster than ever before. It’s our job to not only ensure our clients’ business is ready to face whatever disruption may come, but that it emerges stronger, more agile, and fully ready to take advantage of growth opportunities.