As it appeared in the Daily Nation on January 15th 2019
by Dr. Lucy Kiruthu
The world of business continues to evolve. Businesses across the globe are on the lookout for ways to stay lean yet agile and efficient. In addition, customers have become smarter, expecting more and more from businesses. To meet shareholders and customers’ expectations and remain relevant businesses must become smarter. This decade has seen some of the greatest technological advancements of our times. These and other evolutions will get a notch higher this year. I have studied many businesses both small and large and observed some trends that we need to watch in 2019. Here are the four top of the mind trends that every smart business in Kenya and beyond needs to lookout for.
Increased outsourcing: It is likely that the outsourcing of noncore functions will continue to grow. Outsourcing simply means that instead of employees handling a certain job, an outside company or an individual handles the job or function. We have seen functions such as security, office maintenance, website maintenance, marketing, cleaning, bookkeeping, payroll and many others outsourced. This trend has seen some companies improve their efficiency drastically. What do you need to outsource this year?
More On-demand services: Consumers want to get what they need when they need it. As a result, smart companies continue to invent products and services accessible immediately from home, office or while on the go. The need for convenience will continue to see the growth in on-demand services. In addition to home delivery of ready food, groceries, credit, movies, and transportation, we are likely to see a rise in on-demand home services such as cleaning, repair and maintenance. Access to services such as temporary staff, home care, logistics etc. is likely to shift to be on-demand as smart companies set platforms for their provision. What on-demand service can your company start to provide?
Artificial Intelligence: If you were a job seeker 10 years ago, a recruiter may have perused your resume in person. Today, it is likely that a computer software will look for key words in your resume and make a hiring decision. Besides recruitment, the use of computer systems to perform human-like tasks will continue to advance this year. Many other tasks will shift to computers and robots. How can use artificial intelligence to increase your efficiency? What tasks can you automate?
New Mobile Applications: We have not yet seen the end to the introduction of new mobile apps. There is still so much that can be done from the comfort of our smart phones. Hundreds or even thousands of softwares that can run on a mobile phone will be designed. In 2019, we expect that new mobile apps will be introduced. We need many training apps, smart home apps, a landlord app, a house finder app, a parking app etc. What mobile apps have you lined up for introduction in 2019? What potential mobile app can advance into a start-up business?
I believe that these are some of the trends that will remain at the centre of business transformation this year. Is your business ready to take advantage of these trends? The survival of your business might be pegged on taking advantage of these trends. Take action today before it is too late!
Dr. Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy