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Survive and thrive in today’s increasingly competitive world with trendwatching

Trends come and go, but if you don’t have the skill to adapt to change, you’d better prepare yourself for downfall. It doesn’t matter if you run a small business or a large-scale company, the ability to adapt is what determines your company’s success. This, however, doesn’t mean you need to embrace everything that’s new. Instead, you need to be able to identify what’s relevant for your company and what’s necessary to scale up your business.

Some companies make the mistake of believing that once they’ve attracted customers, their customer loyalty will last forever. But consumers are savvier than ever before, and companies should get savvier, too. If something worked well for your business in the past, it may not work today. Modern-day organizations and entrepreneurs need to spot emerging trends and implement them correctly into their business operations. And you don’t need to be the world’s top CEO to make this possible. All you need to do is step up your trendwatching game.

What is trendwatching?

Trendwatching is essential for any enterprise and industry today. The term refers to the ability to identify relevant trends and analyze their impact on business and society in general. It can include analyzing tech trends, social trends, and market trends. For instance, a hardware firm with a customer base composed mostly of IT professionals, who are known for being increasingly interested in IoT projects, could drive revenue by developing new smart home devices. This would enable the company and its buyers to enter the smart home market that’ll be worth $53.45 billion by 2022, according to a Statista report, ” Global smart home market revenue 2016 to 2022.” But the growth potential is actually much bigger. The smart home is a niche market within the massive IoT industry that’ll grow to $1.6 trillion by 2025, becoming one of the major actors in the tech field, according to the ” Global IoT market size 2017 to 2025″ report on Statista. And if sustainability plays a huge role in customers’ decisions, a company can appeal to its target audience through the development of sustainable products, or by incorporating sustainability into its business. The key element of trendwatching is determining which trends will impact your business the most and acting accordingly.

How to become a trendwatcher

Since trendwatching is in high demand, the number of companies and individuals specialising in trend analysis and prediction is increasing. Companies, such as The Trendwatching Academy, offer professional trendwatching services to those who want to future-proof their business by learning how to spot, validate and apply consumer trends. With such insight, companies can shape new ideas and develop new business models.

Even higher education institutions — such as the Fontys University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands that offers a minor Trend Watching programme — have recognized the importance of trendwatching courses. Trendwatching programs aim to teach people to trace, analyze and interpret trends, as well as understand and visualize existing trends.

Trendwatching done right

Over the past few years, IT professionals who have spotted key trends were able to rise further and faster in their careers compared to others. Knowing how to recognize tech changes is becoming ever more important. Take, for instance, the impact of AI-driven software development. It’s becoming possible to infuse AI capabilities into applications without the involvement of data scientists thanks to new software tools. Even the development of AI-enhanced solutions is becoming automated with the rise of augmented analytics, automated testing, automated code generation and automated solution development. This will enable more people to develop applications. Developers will eventually be able to develop AI independently with predefined models delivered as a service, replacing the role of data scientists. Understanding trends like this one can help professionals and companies to adjust to the new business environment and keep growing.

Today’s business world is rapidly changing, with the emergence of new technology, and growing consumer demands make it even more dynamic. To remain competitive, companies need to be able to identify and analyze new trends. With a proper implementation of trendwatching, companies of all sizes can easily turn trends into opportunities.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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