Four Innovative Trends for 2021

January 07, 2021

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windmills in an open fieldWhat kinds of new innovation are coming in 2021? What trends does your firm need to prepare for? How can your firm be ahead of the curve and really take advantage of what the new year has to offer in your market? This blog post will feature four trends that are currently developing and going big in 2021.

Sustainability
The EPA defines sustainability as "creating and maintaining the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations." As consumers become more aware of the impact that 150 years of industrialization has had on our planet, it is essential that firms begin to create a plan to support sustainable business practices. A sustainable business model will look different for every firm whether its renovating facilities, updating supply chain, or using products/packaging that have a lower impact on the environment. Regardless of the solution your firm chooses, be intentional about re-thinking your firm's relationship with the environment.

Effectively communicating your firm's new sustainability plan is just as important as creating the plan in the first place. Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the effects corporate firms are having on the environment. Focusing on sustainability will strengthen brand recognition and draw in new, environmentally conscious buyers.

The second tend in Peak Innovation's forecast of 2021 business trends, is customer experience. A buyer's experience with a brand's customer service team can make or break their brand loyalty and trust.

Customer Interactions
Earlier this year, Salesforce published their State of the Connected Customer report which revealed that "84% of customers and 89% of business buyers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services." Customers care, now more than ever, how they are treated by the firms they do business with. How your firm treats your customers begins and ends with your sales team. 2021 may be a good year to invest in new technologies and training that will improve the customer experience.

We suggest finding a training program that has clear learning objectives that align with your firm's sales goals. Go skills has many highly rated training courses that focus on topics such as customer service, sales, and project management. Each course has a syllabus that clearly outlines what you and your team will learn during the training.

world map with business professionals collaborating in the backEvery year new technologies are developed while existing technologies adapt, and we anticipate 2021 to be no different. We could never fit all the technological innovation coming this year into one post. This third tend in Peak Innovation's forecast of 2021 business trends will touch on 2 up-and-coming technologies.

Leverage Digital Technology
COVID-19 has created a complex feedback loop within the technology space as it has inspired new applications of existing technology and development of original tech to fill in the gaps. Some notable technology—along with the basics AI, IoT, etc.—that is going big in 2021 according to Gartner includes the Internet of Behaviors (IoB) and privacy-enhanced computation.

The Internet of Behaviors (IoB) is the practice of using consumer data to change and drive behavior. Examples include wearable health trackers that reward the wearer for reaching goals and tracking devices provided by car insurance companies that monitor driving patterns and offer discounts for safe driving. IoB does raise questions about privacy and the overall ethics of collecting consumer data. How much collection is too much? What are the appropriate ways to use consumer data?

Privacy-enhancing computation uses three combined technologies to create a secure environment ideal for sensitive information and research. Privacy-enhanced computation processes data in decentralized facilities, and it encrypts data as it is transferred from facility to facility. Privacy-enhanced computation is creating an environment that will allow secure exchanges of information on a global scale.

In this final tend in Peak Innovation's forecast of 2021 business trends, we focus on the work from home model. COVID-19 created a unique opportunity for companies to get creative and keep their employees connected while working apart.

Work from Home Model Continues
Although elementary in concept, the work from home model poses a number of challenges for firms and employees. How does working from home affect your employee's productivity, work-life balance, and mental health? The answer is, it depends. According to a survey of over 1,000 business professionals conducted by Airtasker, employees who worked remote spent an average of 21.9 days working each month while employees who worked in an office spent an average of 20.5 days working. The office workers, on average, had ten more minutes of unproductive time than their work-from-home counterparts.

computer, water bottle, and plant sitting on desk The Airtasker data suggests it may be advantageous to equip employees with the tools to work from home. Encourage employees to get dressed up for work every day, so they start their day off with an 'I'm going to work today' mindset. Help your employees create a schedule that includes regular breaks and urge employees to go outside a few times a day to get some fresh air. Finally, allow your team to explore new technologies—like Asana, Basecamp, or Lean Kit, to maximize collaborating capabilities and create an environment as if your team were together in the office.

Out of these new technologies, Asana stood out to our team the most. Asana is a project management software that allows for collaborating across multiple teams and departments. Asana allows you to assign tasks, manage workflows, and improve overall business efficiency. It also integrates with may of the software programs your company is already using such as Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Slack, Zoom, and Jira.

We are so excited for the new year and the opportunities ahead. For more information about Peak Innovation, the services we offer, and the value we will bring to your firm, call us at (470) 273-7250 or fill out the form on this website.

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