We asked some Western Michigan University business professors and alumni to share top business trends for 2017.
“In today’s often disconnected world where people are geographically and organizationally dispersed and communicating via information technology, building personal relationships with clients, customers, coworkers and others is becoming more important than ever.”
Dr. Melissa Intindola, assistant professor of management and expert in the application of organizational behavior topics and the resulting implications for employees, volunteers and management
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“Technological, political, and social change results in high degrees of uncertainty and ambiguity. Effectively managing these changes and leading others through these promising but uncertain times will prove to be an important skill.”
Dr. David Flanagan, professor of management and expert in mergers and acquisitions and corporate reputation
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“We need to rethink how we motivate people. Although money is fundamentally important, it is increasingly inadequate to secure job satisfaction and engagement for an emerging workforce. Instead, younger employees seek work-life balance, development opportunities, and connections to a bigger purpose. Learning to manage employees seeking these diverse motivators requires a new skill set.”
Dr. Doug Lepisto, assistant professor of management and expert in how organizations adapt and change
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“Managers with a supply chain background will be challenged to execute their understanding of strategy, marketing, finance and operations, and their application within new product development and commercialization, portfolio management, and product life cycle management. In other words, supply chain professionals will be expected to take their skill sets to other parts of the organization as they are often the ones most adequately prepared for cross functional strategic initiatives.”
Dr. Sime Curkovic, professor of integrated supply management and expert in supply chain risk
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"When you look at the areas of big data and the internet of things, I think we are only at the beginning of the art of the possible."
Richard Hook, B.B.A.’96, senior vice president and chief information officer at Penske Corporation
Read more about Richard Hook's expertise.
“Healthy living, which includes local food and food safety issues, in combination with e-commerce, is changing the way consumers shop. This trend is developing into a mix of home delivery, click-and-pick, and experience-based shopping in brick and mortar stores. Interestingly, this is a global trend, leading to a greater consistency between global retail formats than before.”
Dr. Marcel Zondag, assistant professor of marketing and expert in marketing and supply chain aspects of shopper marketing, globalization of the consumer goods industry and in-store execution issues
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“Worldwide, consumers increasingly wish to know the story behind their food, to ensure that it is safe for themselves and their environment.”
Dr. Ann Veeck, professor of marketing and expert in food marketing systems of China
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Trend #1 "In 2017, expect that many of the social media sites, messaging apps and mobile tools you use today will increase the amount of advertising you will view in order to use them, as these companies shift from focusing on user base growth to monetization and delivering a return to their investors."
Trend #2 "In 2017, look for new creative ways in which social media sites and mobile apps will entice you to share even more personal information about yourself. Behind the scenes, companies are strategizing how to make it appealing for users to tell the world more about their likes, opinions, relationships and behaviors. You are the product that companies will sell to an ever-expanding market of digital advertisers."
Scott Cowley, assistant professor of marketing and expert in digital marketing and social media
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“The trend in analytics favors those who are able to align analytical techniques to the problem space in order to identify business opportunities and solutions. This trend has gradually spread from the traditional reliance of few key mathematics specialists to an all pervasive demand for analytical capabilities in functional areas. One key direction is that traditional approaches may not work well enough, as we see many of today’s opportunities rely on a business professional’s ability to distill insights from many sizes and forms of data with the right knowledge and tools for the job.”
Dr. Kuanchin (KC) Chen, professor of business information systems and expert in business analytics and data science
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“Automation will require more adaptation from salespeople. Technology has advanced to the point that many steps in the sales process can now be effectively automated (think prospecting). This will necessitate a crop of sales professionals who can adapt to a changing sales role and who can focus more on delivering high-tech, high-touch enabled solutions.”
Dr. Kelley O’Reilly, associate professor of marketing and expert in retail, entrepreneurship and franchising
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"Politics will drive the financial markets over 2017."
Dr. Matt Ross, assistant professor of finance and expert in sensitivity of equity to political uncertainty
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"As IT services are more and more connected to different cloud, IT has to get really smart about what to put in the cloud and where, and always think of the downstream effects on things such as storage and bandwidth. IT needs to orchestrate the ways the IT services are interconnected in a purposeful manner. Businesses want "IT services delivered from the right place, for the right price, from the right platform."
Dr. Pairin Katerattanakul, professor of business information systems and expert in cybersecurity and telecommunications
Read more about Dr. Katerattanakul's expertise.