April 17, 2007

6 business and technology trends

Below are 6 trends that I, by doing research not least on the Internet and by communicating with competent people, have identified as important in the months/years to come. A trend implicit in more or less all the below mentioned trends is the use of collaborative software such as blogs.

Trend suggestion # 1: Low cost products
Low priced products will continue to be popular – not least because low cost products offer people the opportunity to do more with their money. Among the important drivers for making low cost products are information technology which is, continuously, becoming more powerful and cheaper, countries with low labour costs, as well as economies of scale of the companies making the products.

Trend suggestion # 2: Individualization. Individualized products. Innovation driven by customer participation
This trend is not least driven by information and communication technology such as blogs like this one – as well as the desire of customers to participate in making the product. To learn more about the software driving participation, take a look at this.

Trend suggestion # 3: Health care
The population of many countries is getting older and heavier. This development puts pressure on individuals and companies to come up with innovative health care solutions. Therefore, companies that have the possibility of growing will, probably, not least be in the following areas: Hotels, wellness centers, fitness centers, hospitals, beauty salons, insurance companies, life science companies, companies making and selling well tasting and healthy food and beverages, and companies making Information and communication technology for the health care sector.

Trend suggestion # 4: Clean energy
How do we get out of the current climate crisis? In this video clip, venture capitalist John Doerr talks about why clean technology could be "the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century"

Trend suggestion # 5: Increase in global trade
According to McKinsey Quarterly, total world cross-border trade as a percentage of global GDP was 18% in 1990 and will, in 2015, be an estimated 30%. Source.
In other words, we will see a large increase in global trade – driven, not least, by individuals and companies purchasing products and services over the Internet and through travelling.

Trend suggestion # 6: Global recruitment and competence development
Here are some education trends resulting in students/participants learning more in a reduced period of time:
* Individualization: Customers/students want individualized competence development, i.e. education that fits to their personal working situation.
* More dialogues and less one-way communication: Increasingly important roles for teachers will, besides being professional experts, be the coaching and facilitator roles – the role of leading the competence development process, guiding the participants through various modules, asking questions in exercises, challenging etc.
* Globalization of education: Education will increasingly be international, i.e. students / participants will come from various cultures and speak different languages.
* Life Long Learning. Education is not something that ends when you’re in your 20’s or 30’s anymore. Increasingly, people want to learn their whole life.


What do you think? Which trends do you see as important for the company/companies you work for?
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