What’s the 'next big thing' for business? Have your say at #CEOSurveyFollow @PwC_LLP
Author: Suzanne Snowden, Global Thought Leadership
Business leaders and consumers alike have come through the hardest and longest recession since the last world war. As growth and stability start to return to global markets, business leaders can take stock and look further ahead (and perhaps around the corner) to consider the ‘next big thing’ for their businesses, their industries, their customers and their own lives.
Predicting the future is tricky business.
“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change in the next ten,” according to Bill Gates. And he goes on to warn us not to allow ourselves to be ‘lulled into inaction’ as a result.
You could say there’s no excuse for inaction when we consider just how much has changed in our lives over the last 10 to 15 years: from how we phone home, share photographs, read books and grab our morning coffees. The ‘next big thing’ is probably in our midst, but hasn’t quite yet emerged. Perhaps it’s waiting in the wings, ready to impact areas of our lives in desperate need of transformation - such as our daily commute which, if you live in one of the world’s metropolises, has gone through a reverse evolution over the past 10 years.
Curious about what global business leaders might put forward as the ‘next big thing’ in our 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, (to be launched later this month on the eve of the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos), we asked global CEOs: “What’s the next big thing which you think will impact your business - or, what development will revolutionise society, business or your industry in the next 10 years?”
We’re reviewing the varied and fascinating responses from hundreds of CEOs who mentioned social, mobility and cloud technologies -- to the smaller number of extraordinary predictions including the impact of robotics, 5G, capital recycling, personal digital identification and precision farming. As Bill Gates suggests, business leaders may get excited about genomics and self-drive vehicles in the short-term and at the same time underestimate the longer term impact of new wearable technology or predictive analytics.
We’ve also been surprised at a range of gloomier responses, including those CEOs who used this question to share their increasing concern around access to a shrinking talent pool or the demise of the Euro.
We’ll be sharing further analysis of these responses in the launch of the full survey on 21 January (sign-up here to join the live webcast from Davos). In the meantime, here’s a peek at what one of the CEOs we interviewed - Mark Wilson, group CEO of Aviva - said he thought was the next big thing for the global insurance market.
As we enter 2014, for those of us dreading Monday mornings, here’s to hoping the next big thing will help us all cope with this year’s daily commute!
And, of course, we’d love to hear your views. What’s your prediction of the next big thing? Add your thoughts in the comment section below – or join the discussion on Twitter using #CEOSurvey. You can follow the conversation on PwC's pages on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Suzanne is Programme Director for PwC's Annual Global CEO Survey and Global Director of Thought Leadership at PwC. She has a passion for scanning the horizon for the latest trends and issues which impact global business and pilots PwC's network of thought leaders engaging in the creation, development and presentation of PwC's research and insights.