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2020 Vision: What Investments Are Needed for An Effective Business Strategy?

Making predictions about the future can sometimes be as fleeting an exercise as drawing in the beach sand. However, there is value in considering some of the bold predictions business experts have made about what is likely by the year 2020.

Business strategy in changing times
By considering the impact and applicability of these predictions to your business, you can be better prepared to thrive in the next few years. Here’s a closer look at some of the most likely impacts on business by 2020.

1. Longevity leads to cost shifts predicts that by 2020, average worldwide life expectancy will increase by 0.5 percent, largely due to improved technologies that allow for wireless health monitoring. For many businesses, this shift will force an examination of employee health care costs.

2. Rise of 3-D printers
In a few short years, the plans for products, supplies, and parts will likely be downloadable in the same way music and books are today. The value will be as much in the intellectual property for those who design the products as in the products themselves. The creators of such designs may benefit from commissions on intellectual property in the same way authors and musicians do today.

3. Brick-and-mortar stores on the decline
Will storefronts, whether in downtowns or suburban malls, survive in an era of increasingly efficient online shopping, drone and same-day delivery services, and affordable (or free) shipping services? In a video at, experts predict that the next phase of e-commerce is likely to spell the end of many traditional in-person stores.

4. Reputation matters more
Consumers, especially Millennials, are far more apt today to rely as much on recommendations and online comments as they are on physically trying out a product. For businesses, this means that online reputations are more crucial than ever, explaining the surge in businesses investing in online reputation managements services like Internetzone I to flush out any negativity. Customer reviews and endorsements need to be credible, sharable and searchable on social media, and easily found.

5. Changing energy models
A World Economic Forum survey of leading technologists predicted that by 2020 the world will be closer to global electrification. Worldwide, especially in parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, there are 1.5 billion people with no consistent access to electric light.

In some places where there is an electricity grid, power is inconsistent at best, with frequent blackouts and outages. New technologies are likely to make reliable electricity the norm, forcing changes in many business models and perhaps making businesses finally enjoy comparing for energy plans on somewhere like Utility Bidder due to the heavily decreased costs. Much of this power is likely to come from solar generation as solar technologies become more affordable and adoption becomes more acceptable.

6. New cyber terrorism threats emerge
As embedded sensors become more the norm in a range of everyday products, there is likely to be an increase in black-market activity. Deception may take the form of fake sensor or video data, which could lead to catastrophic issues in medical diagnostics, finances, and consumer confidence. There will be a concurrent increase in products and technologies designed to circumvent these threats.