Will 2016 be the year that companies take to space with asteroid mining and nano-satellites? Here on earth, will new European data protection laws raise the stakes for global enterprises? Will a new wave of HR mobile apps empower employees to take ownership of the talent journey?

We’ll soon find out, according to the experts who appeared this week on Internet talk radio program Coffee Break with Game-Changers, presented by SAP, for the final installment of the three-part series SAP Game-Changers 2016 Predictions. Host Bonnie D. Graham asked 15 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. With the Internet of Things (IoT), we’re going to see a delicate balancing act of monetization and benefit with privacy and security. That conversation is going to get more serious.

– Russ LeFevre, U.S. Enterprise Industry Field Marketing, Cisco

2. 2016 will be the “Great UX Awakening” in information technology. Many companies are starting their UX journey. People will gain productivity through better design and UX. It’s not about the technology; it’s about the relationship between you and your customers.

– Martin Wezowski, Chief Designer, Global Design SAP Berlin

3. We’ll see a flip from information technology to something much more focused on “innovation technology.” There are things that will be more noticeable next year. The first thing is how people interact with technology overall. Touch, sound, and motion will be a lot more prominent in 2016.

– Chris Mark, Executive Director, Design & User Experience, SAP

4. I see 2016 as the year of the D’s: data, digital, and disruption. This year we saw data transformation and cloud analytics as hot trends. Companies started to dip their toes into “data lakes” with pilots. We’re going to see more of the same next year, but they’re going to start to get serious about a digital strategy.

– Pat Saporito, Senior Director, Global Center of Excellence for Analytics, SAP

5. Online privacy will reach a tipping point in 2016 and it’s going to be a key driver of business success. Companies around the world should be looking to Europe to understand the changes ahead. Privacy and data protection will figure highly on the corporate risk register in the year ahead.

– Eleanor Treharne-Jones, Director, EMEA & Global Communications, TRUSTe

6. The messaging of simplified in-memory platforms will really start to resonate with organizatons, in particular the finance functions. A key focus for next year will be working out how they get there.

– Alex Bennell, SAP Financials applications consultant, Capgemini

7. In 2016 marketplace lending, or P2P platforms, will become more mainstream as banks increase their role in this growing ecosystem. We may see the beginnings of consolidation in the industry.

– Val Srinivas, Research Leader for Banking & Securities, Deloitte

8. We’re going to see progress towards increased satisfaction around leadership and culture. I’m calling it “leadership rewired” – actually bringing science into the identification of potential.

– Anthony Abbatiello, Prinicipal in Human Capital practice, Deloitte

9. Business model innovation and growth will be an intense focus in 2016. I’m going to call 2016 “the year of experimentation and the prototype.” The focus on growth is going to drive an intense focus on operating model innovation. The tensions within organizations will finally get addressed and new emerging models will be embraced and adopted across the enterprises.

– Frank Diana, Lead for Enterprise of 2020, TCS Global Consulting

10. We’re going to see marketers employ a more strategic approach using account-based marketing. It goes beyond the initial engagement tactics and really supports the lifecycle. Moreover, it will help marketers make sure that they’re zeroing in on the audiences that are going generate those high-value leads.

– Barbara Giamanco, Social Centered Selling

11. Companies are really going to have to focus on redefining the role of the manager. There was lots of talk this year around changing the performance review process and expecting managers to provide ongoing feedback and coaching to their employees, but sadly that’s not necessarily a natural tendency for leaders. Focusing a lot of resources on training and upskilling managers to be able to have these conversations is key, but also allowing managers the time to do this.

– Jackie Ato, Customer Value & Adoption Consultant, SuccessFactors, an SAP company

12. We’ll observe several large M&A deals where brands will acquire content properties. We’ve seen the competitive landscape for audience attention become much more difficult. A brand can choose whether to build a content property or buy a content property. I think we’re going to see the pendulum shift for a lot of bigger brands towards the “buy” category.

– Nick Robinson, Digital Strategy Lead, SAP North America

13. USD$1.8 billion was invested in space in the last year, and it’s only looking to accelerate. We’re looking at space travel, nano-satellites, rocket propulsion, and asteroid mining. Asteroid mining and space mining is predicted to be a USD$100 trillion future market. There are 2,000 nano-satellites that are already in orbit; over half of them are going to be available for commercial use in 2016.

– Susan Lucas-Conwell, Chief Innovation Catalyst, Growth Resources Inc.

14. The mobile app space for the new HR platform is coming in 2016. This mobile app space is going to be the new platform for HR. It’s going to improve the way that people work. It’s also going to change the experience for the employee, in that it’s designed for them.

– Bianca McCann, Global HR Leader of the HR Expert Network, SAP

15. The percentage of enterprises creating advanced digital transformation initiatives will more double by 2020. What this means is that we will see a great amount of activity along data analytics, IoT, and artificial intelligence. Next year will be a big year because digital transformation is becoming a very, very important priority for CEOs and this will be the year when vision and function will start to come together. We can expect to also see big benefits for education and healthcare.

– Puneet Suppal, Customer Innovation & Strategic Projects, SAP

You can hear recordings of all three installments of SAP Game-Changers 2016 Predictions at:
SAP Game-Changers 2016 Predictions – Part I
SAP Game-Changers 2016 Predictions – Part 2
SAP Game-Changers 2016 Predictions – Part 3

For more insights on business and IT news, tune in to Coffee Break with Game-Changers, broadcast live each Wednesday at 11am EST/ 8am PST on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel.

Top image via Shutterstock