As I write the first sentence of this blog post, I suspect one of main the problems with naming the next big thing is that writing it down means it’s already not.  It’s here, happening now, unavoidably linked to a specific point in time, and will likely cease to be forward looking in another point of time, just as an investment recommendation to look into something new called cryptocurrency is outdated today.

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Future events are uncertain, and guaranteed and precise information about the future is impossible to achieve.  However, the likelihood of an event occurring, or “probability” as a mathematical concept, can be assessed and calculated.  We do it ourselves all the time.  Our brains have the ability to predict an outcome to a degree of certainty, based on our knowledge and our read of the situation at hand.  For example, most of us would have a go at predicting whether it will rain or not through knowledge of current conditions, time of year, cloud coverage and so forth.  In the same vein, most of us wouldn’t walk out into a stream of flowing traffic assuming we would probably come to harm if we did.

Quickly, our brains are receiving signals, recalling historical information, and deciphering necessary patterns in both to help us make decisions on the fly.  And it’s through understanding of that process that we’re able to predict, with varying degrees of certainty, what the future holds.  Futurists follow these steps and develop theories on the back of them.  Good business strategists do the same, they consider scenarios, and take action based on the impact any suspected changes might have.

In The Economist back in 2003, speculative fiction author William Gibson wrote “the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed” meaning that the things that will become ‘everyday’ for us all in the future are already the norm for a select few today.  We couldn’t agree with him more, and that’s why we think we know what the next big thing is.

We already know that “cloud” computing has been on the rise for some time, and Software as a Service – SaaS – represents the largest segment in its adoption (Gartner, 2020).  We already know that when all else is equal, client service is the final and remaining competitive battleground and differentiator between firms. We also know those who can personalise service whilst benefitting from the economies of scale are most likely to succeed in the long term.  With these factors alone, you can see how more SaaS adoption, especially where it leads to improved customer service, or increased time to provide that service is a good bet.

Reporting as a Service is doing just that for a group of satisfied, paying clients today and if we’re reading the signals correctly, we’re about to see a significant increase in demand for the service.  That’s good news for us and our clients, as we’ll all benefit as we begin to scale.  But, at the same time, it presents a quandary to those firms who do not increase efficiency through our recommended model.

I’m sure you will have heard of FOMO – or “Fear of Missing Out”, a term and phrase normally associated with the effect social media can have on its users – “I want what they’ve got (or appear to have)” to maintain social status.  FOBO is similar – the fear of a better option.  “What if I choose the wrong party invite?”  You can draw parallels between those feelings – which aren’t reserved for the millennial generation as some observers might have you believe – and the “what if” scenarios that are considered when contemplating business strategy.

What if our competitors have better technology than we do?  What if our competitors are able to deliver better service levels for less cost than we can?  What happens if increasing client expectations begin to exceed our delivery capabilities?  How much time do we have to get ahead of the curve?  How can we gain more efficiency in our processes to increase margin?  What if our processes and platform are no longer fit for purpose?

If they’re concerns of yours, then you need to take a look at Reporting as a Service.  We have been able to automate 100% of required reporting, giving up to 500% in efficiency gain.  It will cost less (around 50%) than your current reporting model and we can get you live in a couple of months.  We’re adamant it’s the right model and, increasingly, many others agree.

To take advantage of something new, to be ahead of a curve, or indeed, position yourself for the inevitable, you need to take action quickly, before the next big thing has passed you by.  Unlike cryptocurrency, it’s barely a gamble.