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Reflections and Predictions: How Our World Is Changing in the Networked Economy

As we turn our back on 2014 it’s time to reflect and predict. I don’t know about you, but this year was a whirlwind in my perspective. This year alone, we saw innovations that are improving our experiences with everyday things and simplifying them to create the biggest impact on our daily lives:

Although the Networked Economy is in its infancy, this dawn of the “hyperconnected era” is proving to be a very transformative time in human history. Individuals, businesses, and societies are interconnected in ways previously thought impossible – in real time.

The Networked Economy changed us all in 2014

With the rapid ascension of The Internet of Things and Big Data, we’re now living in a world where everything – people, business, process, and data – is connected. We’re expanding the use of valuable networks by linking our favorite social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Weibo to machine-generated data and streaming that collective intelligence to companies with goods and services to offer – creating those personalized experiences with the brands we love. Companies own less infrastructure, inventory, and manufacturing equipment than ever before. And with the help of an increasingly contingent workforce, companies are becoming more agile and profitable as their workforce rapidly assembles to address the biggest challenges of the moment and disassemble just as quickly to move on to the next critical project.

Here’s a sampling of the changes we experienced in 2014:

… and I predict 2015 will continue to build on those lifestyle and business transformations

With the start of 2015, we leave behind quite an eventful year. But don’t worry, 2015 is already showing promise of further improving, empowering, and enriching us in ways that are only limited by our imagination.

Here are a few of my personal predictions for the Networked Economy in 2015:

  • Factory automation will enhance production efficiency with process monitoring and supervision, remote management and optimization, and maximized energy management. Cost savings could be as high as US$500 billion.
  • Real-time monitoring in healthcare will reduce the need for specialized human capital – shrinking costs by 1% – 2%.
  • Sensors and precision analytics used to improve inventory management will lower the cost of goods sold by 2% for retailers.
  • Biometrics-driven risk assessments will transform business models and profit pools in the health insurance industry.
  • Smart grids will drive material changes to the electric-power business model through the development of distributed power, requirements for more energy storage, and shifts in consumer behavior.

Are you ready for the Networked Economy revolution to be in full swing next year? Get involved in conversations about the Future of Business and read, watch, and learn about the Networked Economy.

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