Firms Go in Search of Growth: emerging technology trends in business 2019 Trends Report: Firms go in search of growth
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2019 Trends Report: Firms go in search of growth

Facing tighter employment, less low-hanging fruit, and a potential slowdown, firms go in search of growth with a renewed sense of urgency.

In response to the rise of The Unpredictable Persona, the Campbell Soup Company made seemingly prudent investments to purchase Bolthouse Farms and Garden Fresh Gourmet.

Those investments failed to pay off, leading the company to abandon its move into healthier foods — and this was not an isolated incident. Comparable sales for the largest food companies in the United States have been flat or have declined in three of the last four years.

As many “Plan As” fail to yield results, firms will find themselves searching in the coming year for Plan B and even C and D to maintain growth trajectories.

On the move

Having officially turned Seattle into the fastest-growing US city over the past decade, Amazon captivated the nation in its search for HQ2. Of its dozens of criteria, one was clear above all else: greater access to some of the most sought-after technology talent in the world.

From attracting the most elusive roles to keeping up with population shifts, many growth plans in 2019 will thrive or struggle in direct relation to hiring strategies.

LinkedIn’s annual emerging jobs report — a report of the jobs growing most quickly around the US — indicates that growth areas were concentrated on roles that drive success for tomorrow. In fact, 6 out of the top 15 spots were related to AI, and the fastest growing job in America is that of blockchain developer.

Low-hanging fruit dries up

Although the idea of “reimagining customer experiences” has been a cornerstone of most digital transformation efforts, many firms now face a tougher prospect in the years ahead — that of not merely digitizing known products and solutions but of fundamentally rebuilding goods and services for a digital world.

This reality brings with it greater risk but also greater reward. Just consider this: Although we spend almost half a trillion dollars on e-commerce every year, one market we have yet to truly transform, groceries, has a market value triple that.

Low-Hanging Fruit Dries up

Embracing global constraints

Growth hacking will be required in any industry for which the present day economics simply do not add up. For example, in agriculture, farmers will be expected to feed about 2.5 billion more people by 2050; however, it was reported in 2018 that farmland in the United States has decreased by 31 million acres over the past 25 years.  

For the likes of John Deere and other companies involved in this ecosystem, the answer has been to double down on the notion of precision agriculture. Deere recently noted that some of its precision agriculture technologies are being adopted at a rate of 50 percent, demonstrating that over half of farmers are gladly making the investments in order to work smarter, not harder.

Take action

Unique growth challenges will require creative solutions. Not only do firms need to anticipate where the market is headed and make the corresponding moves, but also ensure those moves align with present day strengths.

Think creatively about talent acquisition strategies for the hardest to reach or most elusive talent.

Assess the current digital maturation of both of your industry and those adjacent to you. Everyday, new technologies like conversational hardware and software provide new openings and opportunities.

Continue to question and challenge the “business that you’re truly in.” As competition in the consumer financial services space increases, some will choose to stay in the relationship business while others will choose to fade into the background providing necessary plumbing to power the system.

Do you know how emerging technologies can accelerate growth for your business?

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