If it seems like you were watching Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears wear all-jean suits to the American Music Awards, you’re not alone. Of course, that was 2001. Today, nearly 20 years later, the 2010s have come to a close. To say the 2010s were a transformative decade for businesses across the world is an understatement. From the domination of big tech to the increasing emergence of a gig economy, the 2010s brought drastic changes to the world of business. So, what are business trends that defined the past decade and how will they shape the next decade? HJR Global will explore that here in the new decade.
The Digital Transformation Is In Full Swing
When you had to deposit a check 10 years ago, what did you do? You got in the car. You drove to the bank. You either went inside or to the drive-through. You gave the teller the endorsed check. They asked for your account number. You gave it to them. They deposited the check. You left the bank and got back in your car. You drove home. The whole process probably took 20-30 minutes or longer, depending on where you live. Today, you have to deposit a check. What do you do? You log into your bank’s app. You snap a picture in the app of your endorsed check. It’s automatically deposited. The money is in your account within a day. You never have to leave your home. The whole process takes maybe three minutes (if you’re slow). If businesses can figure out a way to digitize their operations or processes, they will. As a result, the digital transformation stands out as one of the most formative business trends of the 2010s.
The Complete And Utter Dominance Of Big Tech
In 2009, there were about one billion searches processed by Google per day. Today, that number has increased to 5.9 billion. In the last decade, Amazon’s revenue has increased from $2.5 million per hour to $32.5 million. Big tech has completely and utterly dominated the world. China has banned western tech monoliths such as Google and created their own search engines and eCommerce giants are trying to keep up. The impact of big tech, from Ecommerce enterprises like Amazon to social media platforms a la Instagram or Facebook, hasn’t only changed the world of business. It’s changed the world in general. The average US citizen spends more than two hours a day on social media. These effects are compounded by the ever-increasing popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones. Businesses have had to evolve operations and strategies to account for the prominence of big tech. From figuring out ways to combat third-party sellers on Amazon to the emergence of social media specialists and snarky brand Twitter accounts, it’s fair to say big tech has completely transformed the business world and earns a spot on this list of business trends.
The Unstoppable Rise Of Big Data, Data Analytics, AI And More
The digital transformation and turbulence of big tech have resulted in the meteoric rise of big data, analytics, AI, business intelligence Software as a Service (SAAS) and more. For businesses today, the landscape of a market can change overnight. Companies can rise to fame or fall from grace within just a few weeks. Just look at the recent combustion of WeWork. Given that instability, understanding precisely what customers want, and how operations or processes can be streamlined to create those customer experiences, is more critical than ever. Enter big data, analytics, AI, business intelligence software, and a slew of other high-tech data-driven operations. As the demand for data-driven technology has increased, so has the supply. Finding cutting-edge data-related solutions has never been easier or cheaper for businesses. The ability of data-driven technology to create innovative customer experiences while simultaneously relieving stress on companies marks it as one of the standout business trends of the 2010s.
The Gig Economy Is In Full Swing
There are currently about four million Uber drivers completing 14 million trips per day around the globe. Enterprises like Lyft, Task Rabbit and Fiverr are home to thousands or even millions of freelance workers who are fully immersed in the gig economy. The ability to work from home in a specific niche has transformed the way many workers go about their business. Whether or not the gig economy is good news for workers is an entirely different topic. Some posit the gig economy and its contract-based workers are undermining a century of worker’s rights movements. Worker strikes are at an all-time high in the United States and workers, particularly in tech giants and startups, are increasingly pushing for unionization. In the coming years, expect to see a clash between gig economy enthusiasts and union activists. Whichever group comes out ahead will have a significant say in what finding work looks like in the coming years.
Competition Is Fierce
Market concentration, particularly in industries such as tech, is creating steep competition among companies. As a result, most companies are all-in on figuring out new ways or business trends to outpace their competitors. For example, the subscription-based price model for products and services recently rose to prominence, Subscription-based pricing allows businesses that adopt it to create additional value with add-ons such as increased support or streamlined experiences. Subscription-based models change the relationships between customers and suppliers, allowing enterprises to tier their offerings in ways that out-value competitors. However, the saturation of valuable markets like tech with “unicorns” (businesses worth over $1 billion) and overvalued IPOs (think WeWork’s IPO plummet from over $40 billion to under $5 billion within mere weeks) has made investors wary. While every venture capitalist wants their own Amazon success story, most of them balk at risking millions or tens of millions just to land one lucky investment.
As a result, startups that need investors find themselves in an awkward position. They need to provide customers with value that separates them from competitors while simultaneously presenting investors with an attractive, properly valued IPO. It’s a tall order, and it will be interesting to see how new startups navigate their markets in the coming years. If you don’t know what to expect next for your business, HJR Global provides cutting-edge consulting services to small and medium enterprises. Visit our website to learn more.