2016 Predictions, Part 2: Experiential Retail; Fintech Revolution for Social Inclusion; Outcome-Based Healthcare

Will 2016 be “The Year of the Laggard” when companies that haven’t kept up with new technologies begin to notice a competitive gap? Will the fintech revolution extend to include digital banking services for refugees? Will the Homelanders shun brick-and-mortar stores in favor of a digital retail experience? Will precision medicine bring us closer to curing cancer one patient at a time?

We’re on our way to finding out, according to the experts who appeared this week on Internet talk radio program Coffee Break with Game-Changers, presented by SAP, for part two of the three-part series SAP Game-Changers 2016 Predictions. Host Bonnie D. Graham asked 16 leading experts, academics, and business influencers what they see in their crystal ball for 2016. Each person was given just two minutes to share their predictions for what the next year holds for their industry, business, and technology.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. We’ll see a revitalization of the store. It will include many things: mobile apps; selling assistants, either in the employee’s hands or your own private concierge in the customer’s hands; and geo-location tracking, but that will also trigger privacy and security concerns. There’s a lot more talk about the store becoming more of a showroom, as it integrates with the digital world.

– Brian Kilcourse, Managing Partner, Retail Systems Research LLC

2. Sales enablement will be a major focus for B2B companies in 2016. Today for some B2B companies selling is harder and more complex than ever. Buyers are increasingly well-informed. Sales reps need to deliver real value in every conversation. I expect to see an increase in companies dedicating resources specifically to sales enablement, both in terms of people and technology.

– Robin Saitz, Chief Marketing Officer, Brainshark

3. HR and IT have formed a great partnership working together. The next big one is HR and Finance. Pulling these groups together will be workforce management and better data that shows the relationship between the people who work for you and the financial numbers they create.

– Dr. Steven Hunt, Senior Vice President of Value Realization, SAP SuccessFactors

4. Women are going to be starting more and more businesses than ever in 2016. The tipping point is that their businesses are going to become more profitable than ever. As we have more women as mentors and role models, we’re going to begin to see that women running their own businesses will begin to take their place in terms of feeling positive about money and negotiating for what their products and services are worth.

– Jane Wesman, President, Jane Wesman Public Relations

5. We’ll hear a lot about digital transformation. We have cloud, big data, mobile, analytics, and AI. A lot of IT leadership has gotten comfortable with these technologies and now they want to look at how to put these things together in effective ways.

– Benjamin Robbins, Principal and Co-Founder, Palador

6. One of the things we’re going to see is outcome-based healthcare. Healthcare expenses have been moving at a rate that is unsustainable. Organizations and governments are looking at revamping the current approach, so that they’re providing payments and reimbursements based on a health outcome.

– Joseph Miles, Global Vice President, Life Sciences Industry, SAP

7. 2016 will become the year of social inclusion. We’ll applaud the fintech revolution not just for corporations and organizations, but also to help the unfortunate. For example, we’ll see a huge swing towards providing services to the unbanked. We’ll see more focus on digital refugee banks, and the ability to provide displaced people with banking services in a way that minimizes fraud or crime.

– Hugh McCullen, Vice President, Axxiome Europe

8. We need to think about the new generation of shoppers, especially those born after 9-11 – called “The Homelanders” because they were born after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was created. These kids are digital to the -nth degree. They’ve never not grown up with technology or social media. They are absolutely going to shop differently. The store is becoming less important.

– Andrea France, Fashion Principal, Consumer Products and Retail Practice, Capgemini

9. Gartner says smart cities will use about 1.6 billion connected devices, a big increase compared to this year. Not only will there be an increase in investment in technology for smart cities, there are also challenges associated with this because a lot of these devices still come with proprietary solutions. There are hundreds of startups developing amazing open-source solutions; integrating them will still be a challenge. I believe in 2016, we will focus on developing mobile standards, device interoperability, and developing working synergies between IT and the services providers, municipals, social organizations, and citizens.

– Prashant Kulkani, Head of SAP Business Analytics practice for North America, TechMahindra

10. We’re going to see a lot more discussion around the gig economy, or the uber-workforce. This is the contingent workforce that’s growing significantly in the U.S. Both legally and from an HR and recruiting perspective, we’re going to have lots of conversation, discussion, and disagreement over the future of this kind of worker.

– Kevin Wheeler, Consultant, Author and Futurist on Talent Management

11. We will see more effort this year to design innovative combinations that create learning spaces which are virtual and real; global and local; individual and networked.

– Dr. Julia Goga-Cooke, Chief Creative Director, Gconsultancy Innovation

12. Central banks will remain in laser focus as global markets pay close attention to how aggressively the Euro-zone will stimulate economies. The Fed will raise rates s-l-o-w-l-y.

– John Evarts, COO/CFO, Mediafly

13. In 2016, big companies will finally start to use the Big Data that exists internally to predict or plan how their business operates. In 2017 and beyond, companies will begin to bring together their internal big data with external big data to predict the future of their businesses.

– Jeff Hattendorf, Co-Founder, Macrospect

14. Value-based healthcare will be enabled by the Internet of Things. We’ll find companies getting closer to patients, monitoring behaviors around adherence and outcomes to improve healthcare overall. We’ve seen companies investing in things like smart inhalers and smart pill bottles that are going to change the game for deeper engagement with patients, a deeper focus on outcomes, and overall lower cost of healthcare.

– Jack Schmidt, Life Science Industry Director, SAP

15. 2016 will be “The Year of the Laggard.” We’ve seen a lot coming into the market around mobility, social, IoT, and Big Data. I think that the companies that have not taken advantage of any of those technologies yet will start to see an obvious gap compared to the companies that are doing something. And they will start to lose revenue and employees.

– Owen Pettiford, Founder and Co-CEO, CompriseIT

16. 2016 will show the continued exploration of “flexible” and the contingent workforce. Those laggards that are not using cloud, not being flexible, and not giving their employees the work culture that they’re looking for are going to find themselves gradually being eased out of the market. That sense of meaning at work, flexibility, and technology advances are going to be some of the hallmarks of work in 2016.

– Nina Kaufman, Esq., www.AskTheBusinessLawyer.com

You can hear a recording of this show at SAP Game-Changers 2016 Predictions – Part 2. And in case you missed Part 1, you can hear the full show at SAP Game-Changers 2016 Predictions – Part I

Stay tuned for more predictions with SAP Game-Changers Radio 2016 Predictions. Part 3 will air live next Wednesday on December 16 at 11am EST/ 8am PST. You can listen live here.

Top image via Shutterstock