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Business Innovation: 10 Trends That Should Be on Your Radar In 2018


In this article, we’ll attempt to outline some of the most important business innovation trends of 2018 so far, and those areas where we expect a great deal of activityover the remainder of the year.

Of course, that requires a working definition of ‘business innovation’, as like so many buzzwords, it means different things to different people.

For these purposes, business innovation is making some kind of truly novel change – a real innovation – which generates real value for the business & its stakeholders.This could be a new product or service, a new business process, or a change in the way people, resources or supply lines are managed.

Now, that is a very broad definition, so we’ve identified ten areas of exceptional potential, and we’ll be addressing them each individually.

1. Voice Search

Voice search is no longer a clever gimmick or party trick.

For it to count as a ‘business innovation’ it has to make money. Despite the hype, devices like Google’s Home and a raft of similar or derivative devices have not really disrupted any markets.

It seems that people find the idea of a radio that waits attentively until you ask for music or a light bulb that eagerly anticipates the command ‘Light’ remind most consumers more of bad sci-fi than of the future they actually want.

Gimmicks simply won’t do.

As just one example, many of Hyundai’s 2019 models will attempt to deliver added value with their Intelligent Personal Agent. The ‘next big thing’ could end up being integrated into nearly anything.Instead, we expect that new, much more capable voice search functionality will not be a disruptive product or service in its own right, but could be game-changing as a value-added feature for the things we already ‘must have’.

“Refrigerator, what should I make for supper?”

2. Internet of Things

Experts tell us that the big changes in the IOT will follow the implementation of 5th generation (‘5G’) data networks.

Some very interesting things are about to happen in terms of fleet management, brick and mortar retail and on-the-fly device integration. Many technologists liken gleaning useful data from the IOT as ‘drinking from a fire hose’ already.

As the sheer volume of information available seems to be mimicking the classic Moor’s Law, the really profitable business innovators will be those who develop and market the automated systems who can mine not data archives, but un-stored, virtually unmonitored data rivers.

On a commercial level, another set of market disrupting events will be in the ability to bundle these IOT-related analytics as a variety of stand-alone services.

Some of these will be oriented around ‘turning products into services’, but more will be about integrating and harnessing the flood of data your organisation is already producing – and probably giving away for free.

What might the ability to ‘claw back’ some of the value of your business’ IOT data stream change for your organisation? For those businesses already making a profit off that data?

That could change everything.

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