Business, Social and Technology Trends for 2013
On the morning of Valentine's Day, Grove hosted 2 events - well - the same event in 2 different locations, London and Cape Town; ‘Business, Social and Technology Trends for 2013’ where we, along with industry experts, presented and discussed what lies ahead for businesses in the UK and South Africa respectively.
Obviously a topic close to the hearts of businesses in both countries, both venues were down to standing room only, with delegates at Google London HQ having to queue out the door to get in! Full of meeting-and-greeting, enjoying wonderful Valentines cupcakes and loads of great guest speakers (including recently ‘Gone Google’ business Haymarket) and of course, trend predictions for 2013, it seems both events went down a treat.
Here are some of the things we learnt:
Business Trends for 2013
- Businesses will become increasingly imaginative to find ways around ‘blockages’ in the system, e.g. low quality broadband in Africa. Businesses will also have to cope better with change and develop a more agile approach, or risk becoming a ‘boiling frog’ where change goes unnoticed until it’s too late - according to Terry White of CXO Advisor.
- Analysis of ‘Big Data’ will become a real focus for businesses in 2013 as off-site computing power becomes more readily available
- According to Pip Witheridge (Grove CEO), the business environment is changing with “increased number of employees working from home, and employees embracing a BYOD (Bring your own device) culture”. This was reiterated by Terry White of CXO Advisor who suggested that employees are going to bring and use their own devices whether businesses allow it or not as a statement of independance
- At Grove we believe there has been a fundamental shift from corporations to individuals, thriving on personal voice and genuine interaction, Integrity, reputation and authenticity and this will develop further during 2013
Technology Trends for 2013
- Cloud-based business applications are bringing down the cost of entering the marketplace for start-up businesses which are thriving in a recession economy. Venture capital will be relatively easier to secure with significantly lower startup costs and a pay-as-you-need pricing model encouraging many entrepreneurs to take the plunge
- “Cloud isn’t a piece of technology, it’s a business strategy and a mindset” Terry White, CXO Advisor. Businesses can gain a significant advantage through leveraging the opportunities offered by Cloud Computing.
- According to Pip Witheridge, “Getting to the Cloud is a Journey” - there are multiple steps to be considered as it’s a business strategy. Businesses cannot forget the importance of proper planning and change management.
- We’re becoming more mobile - much quicker. 1 Billion Smart Phones were shipped in 2013, the highest number event. Matthew Guest of Deloitte concurs, “Globally, unit sales of smart devices are staggering - over 800m in 2013 and with YoY in triple digits”.
- “PC’s are not dead: it’s about usage not units” - Deloitte predicts that in 2013, more than 80% of Internet traffic (measure in bits) will continue to come from traditional desktop and laptop PC's. In addition, more than 70% of the hours we spend on computing devices (PC's Smartphone and tablets) will be on a PC
- ‘Mobile’ and Mobile advertising will be split into two similar but distinct categories - tablets and smartphones
- 10% of households in developed countries and 3% in developing countries, will ‘dual’ screen their television consumption between a fixed and mobile device. In fact, “In 2013, many peoples’ living rooms will boast more computers than cushions” (Matthew Guest, Deloitte)
- Deloitte also predict an increase to the number of wearable devices such as Smart Watches, Google Glass and lifestyle logging devices. ‘Robots’ both in the office and on the road are also likely to feature this year
Social Trends for 2013
Thomas Power of Frontier Coaching delivered a thought-provoking presentation discussing how ‘business is social’ and explained how becoming a ‘social expert’ is a bit like becoming a top athlete, in that it is a journey that takes lots of practice. Thomas also said there is a big learning curve and for businesses to succeed, people need to be more ‘open’ in their thinking.
Other key social trends that were touched on by Annette Gardner (Grove Group) were:
- Social is going to affect your search results: Facebook’s Social Graph and Google+’s ‘+1 your world’ have shown that personalised and relevant search is what consumers want - and it’s affected by your social activity. Sharing, authorship and social ratification through content sharing and commentary are going to affect your businesses SEO rankings in 2013
- Physical events are going to be designed with social sharing in mind: Physical events are budget heavy, and businesses are looking for ways to get more bang for their buck by building in key elements that encourage social sharing - this garners additional eyeballs and gets campaigns to go further. The value of the event is within the virality of it - how far you can get each event to go before, during and afterwards.
- Our obsession with numbers is going to get worse: We know that social media works - but can we prove it? What is the ROI on social media activity and how do you measure its effectiveness? Last year we tried to give a universal value to 'engagement' but what is engagement really worth? The bottom line is we don't really know what the numbers mean. We’ll spend this year continuing to find an answer to the perplexing issue.
- The power of Social is being brought into businesses with Google+: Google+ is the ‘social spine that underpins everything Google does’ and the integration of the network between social sharing and business application Google Apps means that businesses will be leveraging the collaboration opportunities offered in 2013.
We hope you found the business, social and technology trend predictions for 2013 as interesting and insightful as we did!