Vodafone just launches its 2019 Global Trends Report, highlighting customer centricity, ethics and purpose, and the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as key business priorities for the next 12 months.
In line with the findings of the report, the refresh of Vodafone’s enterprise division brand – now called Vodafone Business – demonstrates the company’s renewed focus on putting customers and tangible business outcomes at its core, working with any organization of any size.
Brian Humphries, CEO at Vodafone Business, said: “Our research has identified the key concerns, challenges and opportunities that businesses will face over the next year. In an era of unprecedented change, the most important factor for businesses is customer centricity. Placing people at the heart of any business is the trend we truly identify with and is core to Vodafone Business, running through all of our products and services, from technologies such as IoT and SD-WAN through to our approach to relationships with customers.”
The Trends Report is designed to allow better understanding of customer needs and challenges and to offer expert insight into how businesses can embrace key trends to their advantage. Drawn from primary research with businesses, industry analysts, global consultancies and futurologists, key findings include:
Technology-led disruption is putting people at the heart of the business
Businesses need to take a people-centric approach to get ahead of changing customer needs in a market that is being reshaped by technology and do so at speed.
- 85% of business leaders agree that the needs of customers are changing rapidly
- 76% agree that they are becoming more powerful and 93% believe that customer expectations are increasing
Commercial success is tied to purpose, ethics and trust
With companies going toe-to-toe with price points and new offerings, they need to seek differentiation in new areas and manage perceptions of their organizations carefully.
- 93% of businesses agree that they are expected to act ethically by customers, and 92% have this expectation of their own suppliers
- 83% of respondents believing that acting ethically ultimately generates more revenue
- 55% of business leaders indicated that retaining the trust of customers is a concern for their business
A balance is being struck between human and machine
Leaders are recognizing the need to create an environment that allows people to thrive, supported by automation and machines, and employees’ expectations of the future of work is changing.
• 86% think AI will lead to different jobs; 83% think jobs will be more productive, and 85% agree that humans will be required to work alongside AI systems
• 54% think that the use of AI could lead to discrimination, highlighting the unsettled feelings that automation is creating in the workforce
Iris Meijer, Director of Marketing at Vodafone Business, highlights: “Customer centricity is a concept that has stood the test of time. When we began to explore the idea of our brand refresh, reaching out to our customers from the home office to the boardroom, each was worried about the same thing: digital transformation. We have known for some time that our customers want a partner to join them on their digital journey, a partner they can trust. We are already very proud to fulfil that role, and as Vodafone Business we now have a refreshed brand to represent that partnership.”