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Top business trends to embrace in 2015

Eager to cut costs, boost profits and enhance the working culture of your organisation? Read on for our guide to some of the top business trends you should be looking to embrace in 2015.

Cloud computing gets serious

Cloud computing has grown in popularity and is the mainstay for many businesses, yet its potential is only being realised. 2015 is a big year for the technology, with the convergence of cloud and mobile computing cited as one of the key developments.

A woman helping a man at work

"Cloud is the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing and both internal applications and external applications will be built on this new style," David Cearley, vice president and fellow at Gartner Research, said late last year.

"While network and bandwidth costs may continue to favour apps that use the intelligence and storage of the client device effectively, coordination and management will be based in the cloud."

Refocusing on leadership

There is a lot of discussion about the virtues of employee engagement, which while important, sometimes overshadows the equally important matter of effective leadership. In short, executives need to be more inspirational and better.

Writing in Forbes last year, John Bersin, founder and principal at Birson by Deloitte, said that the conclusion that he and his colleagues have come to is the lack of awareness management has with what their employees want.

"They want something different," he elaborated. "They are demanding, they want meaningful work, and they expect their employer to make work more rewarding in many ways."

Marketing efficiently and effectively

Backed by data, marketers today are able to deliver highly personalised and targeted campaigns, communication efforts – the right person gets the right message at the right time.

The next step is to "mine" your target demographic so that while your segmented audience is accurate and relevant, you are able to focus your efforts more on the "best customers".

According to Ian Altman, chief executive officer of Grow My Revenue, "elite companies" will "define who is not a fit for them, not just who is a fit."

Making digital key to what you do

The ascendancy of digital has been long in the works, quietly influencing and reshaping much of what we know, both in a personal and professional context. However, the take-up of digital tools and digital approaches has been slow.

2013 was a breakout year though, with Accenture noting that these 12-months saw the "beginnings of business transformation based on a digital model". One day, it claims, every business will be digital. It pays to lay the foundations today.

"Enterprises are embracing technology in the way they do business and also as a catalyst to create something new — new markets, new products, and new areas of growth and revenues," the consulting company oultined in an assessment of the continued growth of digital last year.

"The change is revolutionary. Industrial companies are becoming customer service companies. Consumer products companies are becoming Internet companies. Energy companies are becoming information companies. And media and entertainment companies are becoming logistics companies."

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