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Business in 2018 and beyond


“We’re in a remarkable moment in history – where all the rules for success and failure are about to change.” – Dr Graeme Codrington


As an author, presenter and board advisor Dr Graeme Codrington is an expert on the future world of work and the disruptive forces that are shaping it. He joined O2’s Blue Door event at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London on October 9, to facilitate a roundtable of business leaders and influencers and lead discussions about how 2017 predictions have panned out, and what’s to come in the calendar year ahead.

So far, the 2017 bets have proved safe. Autonomous transportation continues to improve, with Dubai starting tests of 2 passenger drones that will act as ‘flying taxis’. Mixed reality platforms (as opposed to augmented or virtual) such as Magic Leap is likely to capture the minds of the general public very shortly. And AI applications have become very popular, with particular effectiveness being seen in the fintech space – Cleo and Plum being two such examples.


What will tomorrow bring?

Dr Codrington says the technology that impresses him most right now is the confluence of AI, data processing and natural language processing, present in home automation systems like Siri or Alexa. Both of these technologies are accessible to all generations, young and old, demonstrating that adoption comes through ease of use.

With that in mind, there are three key areas to focus on equally related to bring simplicity into organisations of all sizes.

  • We are still going mobile. Embracing the cloud and a mobile-first focus has indeed been a 2015-2017 trend, but within the next two years, if you haven’t made this a priority for business, you will be very far behind. “Ditch the legacy system, and move to having everything done with just 3 clicks,” says Graham.
  • Move to an API mindset. You can give third parties access to the intelligence from data, without giving it away e.g. Apple allows bank applications to cross-check your fingerprint, only providing a yes or no for verification, rather than the fingerprint itself. There’s a lot of value to be had in data, even if sometimes it doesn’t provide the answer you were looking for… like fitness trackers pinpointing earthquakes.
  • Look to China. “We’re looking in the wrong places for innovative ideas – China is moving 100 times faster than America.” Last year the US made approximately USD$112 billion worth of mobile payments, while China made USD$5.5tn – more than 50 times the size. Rather than looking to Facebook, Twitter and Google for inspiration, consider what Tencent (owners of WeChat that combines payment platforms and IM) and Alibaba (the Chinese equivalent to Amazon) are innovating in.

These predictions all seem quite obvious, and in reality, there’s very little unexpected about to happen. But is your business actually ready for it? That’s the real litmus test.

For more information visit Dr Codrington’s website, or revisit his predictions for 2017 in the Futurist Forecast.


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