Prognosticators often get it wrong. But consultants who work across many industries know what women and men in the C-suite are focused on and worried about, and that’s the basis for our new Wednesday Wisdom series for the first quarter of 2019.
What topics will dominate the intersection of business and technology this year?
We asked the member firms of Consultants Collective to weigh in with their top predictions. Today you’ll hear from four, with more to follow in coming weeks.
Have predictions of your own? We’d love to hear them.
David Schlesinger advises companies on running complex, dispersed global organizations. The former chairman of Thomson Reuters China and former global editor-in-chief of Reuters News predicts:
- After the crash comes the resurrection. Blockchain will find its footing after the volatility in cryptocurrencies as companies will seek and find real applications for the underlying technology, as opposed to the hyped currency.
- AI and robotics will become a part of every company’s future. Finding the right talent to implement and keep current will be the biggest challenge.
- The political opposition to the globalization wave will find many companies struggling to cope with the new supply chain and pricing realities.
Ben Levitan has a background as both a CEO and a VC. He helps leaders and investors grow their businesses from strategy to execution. He predicts:
- The end of cash money–the revolution in payments accelerates. (Ben co-founded a Payments Co-Operative, to help merchants deal with this.)
- UK does not BREXIT. [Editor’s note: We’ll keep close track of this one as March 29 approaches.]
- The cost of water goes way up – all over the world.
Molly Scofield is a digital marketing specialist and veteran of Ogilvy who has worked with dozens of major CPG brands in business and tech, including Procter & Gamble and Microsoft. Her picks for the topics to study up on this year:
- Data ethics and privacy: Developing internal standards and hiring the right person to oversee implementation and governance is key. Include either a Data Ethicist or someone with that remit on a core digital team, which must work closely across disciplines – collaborating with legal, IT, etc.
- Voice-driven AI in the car, in the home. Many companies are not leveraging this technology to their fullest advantage and behemoths like Apple and Amazon are virtually dictating outcomes. Time to get creative with how companies can leverage this technology more directly or, at least, not be so passive.
- Digital healthcare: Sensors, personal tracking, centralizing your data and health records are all happening. Amazon Health is on my hot to-watch list in this sphere.
Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing and a senior strategist for Converseon and SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. A noted author, Mike also founded Biznology.
“I spend most of my time on AI-driven marketing,” says Mike. Here is what he is seeing with his large clients:
- Big companies are starting to realize that when they corral their data, they suddenly have an advantage over the born-on-the-web startups that have been driving them crazy, because their AI models are better the more data they are fed.
- Companies are recognizing that they can gain competitive advantage without building their own AI technology, because their proprietary data is all that is required for differentiation.
- Large firms that have been built on expertise can leverage that expertise to greater ends by using human-in-the-loop AI–the AI doesn’t replace a person; it helps the person make better decisions.
Stay tuned for next week’s installment of Wednesday Wisdom.