It is something of a cliché to hear that the pace of change in business continues to accelerate. But after an evaluation of a real business environment, it becomes obvious that there is some truth to the claim. Starting from one of the most widely and passionately discussed topics such as AI and ending up with gig economy and various “as-a-service” models all that is changing the workplace already today and none of them seem to slow down the pace.
For example, gig economy is expected to turn the freelancers into the workforce majority by 2027. Despite the fact that it is often confused with staff augmentation, gig economy has nothing to do with that. Instead of evaluating and choosing already hired staff for a specific project, gig economy offers an opportunity to hire freelancers whose skills are necessary for the project.
The productivity of the system is based on the fact that each project gets a specialized freelance expert which adds a tremendous value and at the same time would be very costly if hired on a permanent basis. Moreover, it helps to fulfill the growing expectations of pampered consumers and expand faster with seasoned talent focused on strategic growth opportunities. Still, the solution is rather disruptive as the companies are expected to reshape the structure of their activities in such a way that every task becomes a separate project with a clearly defined outcome.
Another thing is AI – one of the most promising technologies on the business horizon. While BI landscape has been already evolving during the past decades AI is expected to escalate those changes even further. For instance, instead of just augmenting the technical features of a product, today’s AI augments the user’s workflow impacting not only the technical part but giving people more insights and teaching the user. Apart from that, AI, as well as AR, are already changing the workplace making virtual meetings even better than face to face ones, saving time and making the process effortless. HR and customer experience are also the areas that might be shortly disrupted by Machine Learning. Basically, after the AI revolution is over, all the business functions will be affected to a bigger or smaller extent. That is just the question of time.
The only important topic that we haven’t discussed so far is subscription-based models. XaaS models have become very popular recently and are used not only by startups and scaleups but by well-known companies that want to improve the user experience and introduce a new revenue stream. “Anything-as-a-Service” market is a huge opportunity that is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 40% from 2016 to 2020. Therefore, even such giants as BMW and Cadillac are transitioning from strictly classical direct sales model to modern XaaS model that offers recurring revenue and is generally more attractive for digital natives.
For more than 250 years technological innovations are driving economic growth. At first, it was steam engine, electricity, and the internal combustion engine, now it is gig economy, subscription model and AI. And whatever happens in the next couple of years, we can be sure of exponential growth in disruptive technologies and that the business landscape will shift faster than any year previous.