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Execs must prepare for these 7 trends – Gartner

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While many long term plans were put off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, executive leaders should act now in implementing a strategic planning process for future revenue growth, according to Gartner.

Organisations must actively prepare to respond to future disruptions and anticipate change. Executive leaders should evaluate the use of technological, political, economical, social/cultural, trust/ethics, regulatory/legal, and environmental (TPESTRE) — what Gartner refers to as a “Tapestry” — factors and analysis to identify relevant accelerators and inhibitors.

“To succeed in a disruptive future, enterprises must continuously scan and respond to disruptions that will impact and/or threaten to protect the company’s place in the markets where they’ve chosen to compete. These disruptions can undo the digital transformation companies have worked so hard to achieve,” says Marty Resnick, vice president and analyst at Gartner. “Executive leaders must evaluate a variety of trends, beyond just technology, and their impact on strategic planning.”

Gartner segments key trends and disruptions into seven major categories, so executives can begin to build planning assumptions most relevant for their strategic plans. The key trend areas to evaluate include:

  1. Technological: The evolution, impact and disruption of technology change.
  2. Political: Attitudes, institutions and legislation shifting the political environment.
  3. Economic: Factors in the local and global economic environment that influence businesses and governments.
  4. Social/Cultural: Attitudes, behaviors and lifestyles of individuals and societal groups.
  5. Trust/Ethics: Ethical expectations, behaviors, duties and biases of people and companies toward one another and society.
  6. Regulatory/Legal: Changes in laws and governmental policies and regulations to reward or punish particular behaviors.
  7. Environmental: Technical, political, economic, cultural, ethical and legal changes supporting environmental protection and sustainability.

Resnick said organisations need to be deliberate about scouting for trends by incorporating trendspotting, which is the acquisition and evaluation of trends that may impact the organisation. A survey of 154 business and IT leaders in February of this year found that only 38% of organisations performing trendspotting had a defined, or formal process. Most used an ad hoc approach.

“A deliberate approach ensures that executive leaders consider trends and disruptions that exist outside of their core responsibilities, where emerging trends might be more familiar,” Resnick says. “Executives who are not adequately trendspotting already likely will miss critical inputs to their strategic assumptions and planning. This leaves their organisation exposed to blind spots and risk, limiting their ability to capitalise on these opportunities.”

Build a Strategic Plan By Function

Executive leaders can leverage Gartner tools to build their own strategic plan. There are templates available to download for function-specific plans, including audit, finance, human resources, information technology, marketing, sales, and supply chain. Visit the Strategic Planning section on Gartner’s website for more information.

Resnick provided additional details in a complimentary Gartner webinar titled The 7 Key Trend Areas to Factor Into Your Strategic Planning. While the webinar has passed, it is available to view on-demand at any time.

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