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Has the Future Arrived?

March 12, 2018

TrendWatching is at the forefront when it comes to researching universal business trends, and they love to position positive change in the world with their data. Last year they released the top five trends for 2018, and as the year unfolds we can begin to question whether these trends are becoming reality.

It’s worthwhile checking out their website and even subscribing to get their data insights directly to your mailbox. Businesses that listen to what qualified trend aggregators have to say will find themselves fortifying their position far into the future.

1. A-Commerce

Automated commerce is something becoming increasingly popular in our busy world. As larger corporations create better customer experiences, a rise in expectation for all other businesses occurs. When customers have increasingly little time for the intricacies of commerce, expectation and innovation have paved the way for automation.

As this becomes relevant to the markets we connect in, the education sector will need to gear up to receive this wave of innovation. Expect changes in how transactions, automation, and enrolling occur, and prepare for the incoming implementation of automation to do away with time-heavy actions.

2. Assisted Development

People have grown up with digital products for a while now, whether it be their phones, watches, or even fridges. These products spur design towards intimacy; the product doesn’t see itself as separate from the customer’s life, but fully integrated with it.

The next step for these products is to help develop their customer’s life in some way that assists outside of normal parametres, and contributes to the development of their customer’s life goals.

Education is already assisting in developing a person's life, but consider what life stage your learners are at: what unexpected product could you create or tweak to support your learners? Once the learners realises the work you’ve put in for them, you have a chance of creating product evangelists.

3. Virtual Companions

AI is becoming super intelligent, and whether or not you’re on the bandwagon, it’s right around the corner. Humans need to converse with other humans, but we live in a market that can’t facilitate all these genuine conversations. AI is modelling human communication, and will soon be intelligent enough to to socialise with people deeply.

Virtual companions are the future, though TrendWatching has warned this may not be for everyone. Consider the size of your RTO and what parts of your business may need AI. Could it be useful for your learners talk to a chatbot to find out when the next workshop is, or maybe even supply them with online assessments?

4. Forgiving by Design

Saturated with choice, customers are jumping in and out of services and products to find the best match for them. Sometimes they’ll make the wrong decision, but forgiving them will give both you and the customer a second chance. The more forgiving a business is, the more likable they become.

If you order a shirt online in the wrong size, but the store lets you return it for the right size at no extra cost, it’s likely you’ll continue buying from them. Adopt this mentality for your RTO: what parts of your business could become forgiving? Where do learners often come up against obstacles that you could target?

5. Glass Box Wrecking Balls

Transparency is in and here to stay. Due to political and social events — and our digitally-connected world — the time of the glass box business is here.

Although the world may not be able to see all your business’s processes with perfect clarity, there is now an expectation that all companies have a level of transparency — or a wrecking ball will be coming along to do it for you.

It may feel a little unnerving for the world to know so much about your business, but dealing with these wrecking balls is easy. Make sure your business is a place that employees and learners feel respected, and are encouraged to speak up. Be completely transparent if a wrecking ball comes your way so the situation can be fixed in the fastest and most honourable way possible.

Even though we’re only part way through 2018, it seems that a lot of these trends are already making an appearance in our daily lives. For more information on trends, jump over to TrendWatching and start using their insights to drive innovative change within your RTO. If you’d like to see how Australia stacked up against Udemy’s 2017 trend prediction, check out our summary here.

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