Trends to Keep an Eye On in the New Year

According to an article by Alan Murray on Fortune.com, there are five big business trends to watch out for in 2018.

Tax cuts are likely to help to boost growth for businesses and that points to a strong economy, but Murray thinks that this is not enough of a reason to stop worrying about recession hitting us again. The first item on his list is Recession Watch. He calls potential issues such as “a spike in interest rates powered by the Fed; a collapse in the stock market caused by a re-valuation of tech companies; a trade war sparked by the President; or a nuclear standoff with Kim Jong-un … an impressive flock of potential black swans circling an aging economic expansion.”

Second on his list is AI Advances, which we have already discussed in the article, AI Reaches the Real Estate Industry. Murray notes that CEOs are now very much aware of the uses of AI in a business sense, and therefore more companies will be utilizing and experimenting with AI in 2018. Just another reason to get innovative with the way businesses work!

Conversely, Murray’s third trend is really more of a concern. He notes that the tech backlash is building. Important areas to watch for this are data and cyber security, as well as antitrust enforcement with regards to the AT&T-Time-Warner merger.

Murray comments that more CEOs are taking on social issues than ever before. He says this is driven by a few things: “socially-conscious millennial workers, ineffective governments, and the need to build public trust in business.” Although corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a new concept, it seems that it is being adopted more than ever and backed by the C-suite. In order to step up your game and hire the best talent in 2018, it is important to make sure you’re standing up on the issues that matter, to show that your company is both doing well and doing good.

The #MeToo movement was a big one in 2017, which has caused a serious shift in the treatment of women in the workplace. The sexual harassment and misconduct that has run rampant in the workplace traditionally is no longer being tolerated, even in our federal government. Although many worry that there will be backlash to the new expectations and repercussions for inappropriate behavior towards women, Murray and many others say this is a positive turning point for working women in the US.

In short, you could say that businesses should remain wary of potential economic issues and technological threats, but look forward to innovation with AI and positive changes in CSR and equality in the workplace.

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