Customer centricity, ethics and purpose, and the impact of AI will rank among the key business priorities for the next 12 months, according to Vodafone’s 2019 Global Trends Report.
In line with the findings of the report, the company has announced a refresh of Vodafone’s enterprise division brand – now called Vodafone Business – with a focus on on putting customers and tangible business outcomes at its core.
“Our research has identified the key concerns, challenges and opportunities that businesses will face over the next year. In an era of unprecedented change, the most important factor for businesses – customer centricity,” Vodafone Business CEO Brian Humphries said.
“Placing people at the heart of business is the trend we truly identify with and is core to Vodafone Business, running through all of our products and services, from technologies such as IoT and SD-WAN through to our approach to relationships with customers.”
The Trends Report is designed to allow better understanding of customer needs and challenges and to offer expert insight into how businesses can embrace key trends to their advantage. Drawn from primary research with businesses, industry analysts, global consultancies and futurologists, key findings include:
Technology-led disruption is putting people at the heart of the business
Businesses need to take a people-centric approach to get ahead of changing customer needs in a market that is being reshaped by technology, and do so at speed. Eighty-five percent of business leaders agree that the needs of customers are changing rapidly, while 76% agree that they are becoming more powerful and 93% believe that customer expectations are increasing.
Commercial success is tied to purpose, ethics and trust
With companies going toe-to-toe with price points and new offerings, they need to seek differentiation in new areas and manage perceptions of their organizations carefully. Ninety-three percent of businesses agree that they are expected to act ethically by customers, and 92% have this expectation of their own suppliers, while 83% of respondents believing that acting ethically ultimately generates more revenue. Meanwhile, 55% of business leaders indicated that retaining the trust of customers is a concern for their business.
A balance is being struck between human and machine
Leaders are recognizing the need to create an environment that allows people to thrive, supported by automation and machines, and employees’ expectations of the future of work is changing. Eighty-six percent think AI will lead to different jobs; 83% think jobs will be more productive, and 85% agree that humans will be required to work alongside AI systems. Meanwhile, 54% think that the use of AI could lead to discrimination, highlighting the unsettled feelings that automation is creating in the workforce.
First published in Networks Asia