The ACTE Column: The Only Constant Is Change

It is essential to keep pace with today's evolving business landscape to stay on top

RECENT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY RESEARCH made the sensational claim that Facebook's demise may be faster than its rapid rise, with predictions indicating it could lose 80 per cent of its followers by 2017. Just a couple of years ago pundits claimed instant messaging would soon replace email. And newspaper headlines have suggested that smartphone sales are now close to saturation point.

It's true that the majority of people who wanted a smartphone now have one, so demand is slowing. Mobile functionality improvements have started to plateau, so developments are less likely to be as groundbreaking as in the recent past - but people like new gizmos and will continue to buy new phones.

The smartphone market reached a milestone in 2013 with over 1 billion devices sold globally, and contributed to 55 per cent of total mobile phones sold overall. Newer buyers are being courted in developing regions, driven by the huge growth of low-priced-handset makers in mainland China. Having been dominated by giants Apple and Samsung, cheap rival handsets from China are now changing the smartphone market.

It is reported that 90 per cent of all the data that the human race has ever produced has been generated in the past two years. Far from dead, email activity increases every year with close to 14-5 billion emails sent every day, with 50 per cent of mails reported to be opened through a mobile device. According to research company The Radicati Group, in 2013 there were 929 million business email accounts worldwide, and the number is expected to grow to over 1.1 billion accounts by 2017.

Over 2 trillion web searches are estimated to be made every day; and every minute 278,000 tweets and 1.8 million Facebook Tikes' are posted.

Technology is irrefutably part of our modern personal and business life and, whether you are a business travel buyer or a supplier, you may want to re-evaluate your thinking if you cannot see where mobility and technology can support the business travel programme.

Innovation is all around us. It is likely that in the next 24 months entirely new game-changing companies will start to dominate the business travel arena and existing players will metamorphosise to create a new business landscape.

You need to understand what is happening around you and where the opportunities lie to be able to upskill for the future to protect your career, and ACTE exists to help businesses seize the opportunities that will help them to grow and flourish. Upcoming ACTE education programmes, including those in London (March 41, Moscow (March 13), Dubai (May 20) and the Global Conference in Copenhagen (October 19-21), will showcase the innovation and creativity that is vital to make progress in this sector today.

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