October 10, 2011
In the last decade, the way “business as usual” has significantly changed. Towards the end of the 20th Century, trends began to shape up and move faster than they ever did before. The digital boom has turned the business world’s penchant for change into supersonic, dynamic trends.
As the global business world, despite bursts of positivity, continues to find its footing on shaky economic ground, new trends continue to emerge. Here are four major trends, across industries, that every CEO must know:
HUMAN RESOURCES: Localized employee unions will be passé
Multinational corporations (MNC’s), businesses that manage operations or deliver products and/or services in more than one country, face various barriers when doing business overseas. The Dutch East India Company, established in the 1600s, was the first multinational corporation to issue stock. As the sun was setting on the British Empire, at around the 50s, American business dynamism, driven by capitalism, was really beginning to shine with many of its local businesses going global.
While, multinational organizations have been around for more than 3 centuries, never has the gap between employees in branch offices around the world been so small. Technology, including video conferencing can literally, make it seem like you’re talking to a colleague in your own country.
Unions have always been a double-edged sword for business leaders, but multinational superunions can threaten shutdowns, not just in your Headquarters in London, but also your branch office in Dubai. Experts predict that in the coming years, employee unions representing multiple countries is only set to grow.
As you roll up your sleeves to begin work on stalled, global expansion plans, it may also be the right time to start an internal, senior-level debate about this international superunion trend and how you can prepare for it.
MARKETING: Social Media Budgets Swell
Are you still on the fence when it comes to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Experts say that 80% of the companies, with even just over a hundred employees, have invested in social media marketing last year. Businesses will start to treat social media as more than just an area that needs low-investment, but promises spectacular results with innovative ideas. They will start looking at the long-term, brand and revenue building potential of social media.
If you’re a business leader who believes in the power of social media, you should continue to invest time and resources in this area of marketing. Whether you integrate your social media plans with other marketing campaigns, or create standalone social media innovations is up to you. There are no signs of social media slowing down.
When you’re ready to ramp up social media investments, choose wisely given the number of specialists in this area are increasing year over year. Specialized social media companies have sprung up, like Mint Social — one of the top Social Media organizations helping Fortune 500 companies develop their strategy.
With traditional media shifting online, as internet TV comes into its own and newspapers kick-off paywall programs, businesses will reach more and more consumers online. These observations alone, should make you take social media more seriously.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Cloud Computing moves mainstream
The economy of scale is changing the way IT works for your business. Cloud computing is slowly inching from the fringes of venture capitalists and experimental, risk-taking businesses to the real world of profit and bottom line necessity.
When IT execs, like Oracle’s CEO, Ellison Nails, were brushing off cloud computing as a fad, individual users were saving space and IT resources by storing their photos, audio recordings and videos on cloud networks.
In recent years, business leaders realized that cloud computing saved them money, streamlined their business technology and had the potential to transform the way the traditional IT enterprise systems functioned, for the better. This realization hit big IT firms too, when they came to grips with the idea that their IT enterprise services could be supplemented and eventually, replaced with cloud computing technology. Many cloud start-ups have raked in millions, with companies like Dell and Microsoft on an acquisition mode. In fact, CA Technologies spent about a billion dollars to acquire 6 cloud computing companies, in one year alone.
As business continues to give a vote of confidence to this emerging technology, government organizations will finally put their security and safety fears at rest. For instance, the General Services Administration that supports federal agencies through products and communications, switched its employees to Gmail. The US Department of agriculture also opted for Microsoft’s Cloud Computing services. Let’s face it – cloud computing is here to stay.
FINANCE: CEO Salaries set to rise
Despite public outcry, senior business leaders continue to get bonuses and salary rises.
As employees continued to bear the brunt of cost-cutting measures, and forego raises and bonuses, the average CEO’s pay jumped, on an average, to a median of 27%, a USA Today analysis revealed. The study also revealed that CEO’s received a median of $2.2 million from bonuses, a substantial increase from $1.5 million in 2009.
In comparison, many small business CEO’s will continue to receive high compensation as well. Fair or not fair, the debate continues and so will the CEO pay grades, in years to come.
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Photo Credit: © M Business