7 Global Innovation Trends for 2017

Yev Galper

Director, Technology Solutions, EPAM
Blog

In this blog we will explore seven Global Innovation Trends that span across different sectors and will be important in defining business and technology strategy in 2017. We will discuss the logic behind these trends, how they redefine industries and how you could use them to create breakthroughs for your company.

In my position as Head of the Innovation Practice for a global company like EPAM as well as my experiences working with dozens of companies from various domains, not only do I clearly see where these trends are headed, but also where opportunities exist for clients to gain a competitive edge in their space.

Without further ado, here are seven Global Innovation Trends, some of which are emerging business models while others are technological. All of them contain opportunities to create tremendous value for end users, which inevitably leads to higher revenue and bigger market share.

Customer Centricity

The ability to understand each user and provide them with personalized experiences is what everybody is talking about.   Companies that successfully make the transition from legacy to digital and omnichannel, which are enablers of customer-centricity, are going to succeed by disrupting and will dominate their industries. Those who lag behind with customer centricity will eventually become extinct.

It is easier said than done, though, because customer centricity touches not only technology, but also organizational structure and most importantly the organization’s mindset.   Now the focus is not the company, not even its products and services, but rather the customer and users!  This philosophy requires a shift from product silos to omnichannel solutions.   The new technologies need to be put in place to create a 360-degree view of the customer across all touch points, both in physical and digital worlds.  This is a prerequisite to truly understanding users and building an intimate relationship with them to move from old school segmentation to hyper-personalization – providing customers what they want, when they want it through an effortless experience and before the customer is even aware of the need.  To do that, new capabilities such as Design Thinking, Service Design and User Experience Design need to be developed in order to create meaningful cross-channel User Journeys and Predictive Analytics to understand the intention of each specific user and predict what they might want or need in the immediate future.

Companies like Uber, Google and Amazon double-down on this investment and create frictionless experiences. They are considered to be leaders in the Digital Economy era, and are the reason why many of the trends discussed below are relevant.

 

Micro Economy

Micro Economy solutions come in two main flavors – “Micro-X,” like micro-payments or micro donations, and “Pay-by-X,” like pay-per-mile insurance or pay-per-hour rental.

A major driver of this trend is the affordability of technology and democratization of resources which in turn leads to a raised standard of living for those unable to afford these products and services.

Besides making the world a better place through bringing products and services to underprivileged, Micro Economy solutions can be very lucrative endeavors due to exponential technologies like Blockchain that drastically drop the cost per transaction.   So even with the small margins companies can generate considerable revenue due to the sheer number of transactions.

Sharing Economy

“The sharing economy is about owning the customer-supply interface. Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.” (Source: TechCrunch, The Battle Is For The Customer Interface)

The Sharing Economy business model encourages more openness, less privacy and heavy use of social interaction while shifting customer trust from large institutions to distributed social networks. This shift creates a more humanized experience for customers.

One of the major reasons for the rise of sharing economy apps, like AirBNB and Uber, is the ability to generate additional income for people. For many, making extra money is a strong incentive to take advantage of a sharing economy app.

Another finding from the sharing economy business model is that tapping into the wisdom of the crowd through crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and peer-to-peer fundraising applications results in the generation of ideas and solutions that bypass traditional methods.

 

Direct-to-Consumer

The Direct-to-Consumer trend, also referred to as “disintermediation”, redefines the distribution model by removing the middleman and going directly to end users.

Take two highly successful Direct-to-Consumer pioneers as an example: Tesla removes car dealers from the equation by selling directly to customers. Netflix bypasses cable companies by delivering content straight to their users.

By going direct, companies remove costly middlemen and most importantly have a chance to build a more intimate relationship with end users. Customers embrace this model because they benefit from higher-quality, more personalized products and experiences.

 

Self-Service

“The future today: Empowered customers, anticipatory experiences and effortless self-service.” (Source: whatsnext.nuance.com)

Self-Service empowers customers to do or find what they need using automated systems without the assistance of experts.

The benefits are obvious – companies can save a ton of money by replacing costly experts and customer support personnel with technology and users can resolve their issues in the comfort of their own home, in a matter of minutes, and for free.

This paradigm has been available for ages in some industries like shopping or travel. But now it is seeping into less likely verticals like banking, with the ability to deposit checks using mobile devices; and healthcare, by letting patients do some lab work at home. And of course, the recent rise of chatbots is taking this trend to a different level. Some even claim that “bots are new apps”.

Smart Machines

Smart Machines are just as smart as the algorithms that are used to dictate their behavior. We are entering the era of advanced algorithms that give birth to Internet of Things (IoT) solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), resulting in innovations such as autonomous cars.

“$50 trillion of value to be created by AI and Robotics through 2025”

Source: McKinsey report: “Disruptive technologies:  Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy”

The rise of Conversational User Experience solutions, like Amazon’s Alexa and Chatbots, is leading to more natural screen-less communication channels with the customers. This trend will only continue to grow in 2017 and beyond.

Through the use of technologies like Neural Networks, Machine Learning, and Predictive Analytics, machines are getting more intelligent the longer they operate.  

The greatest value will be generated by connecting smart devices into ecosystems like a Smart Home. We are still in the early days of building such robust systems, but the Smart Machine revolution is inevitable.

 

API Economy

Application Programming Interface (API) is a technical term that has migrated into the business domain. I am seeing new words like “API-fication” emerge from senior executives across many industries. This trend signifies the shift from stand-alone products and services to open ecosystems of integrated solutions.

APIs have become a cornerstone and a prerequisite to innovation and digital transformation, because it enables agile product development, quick introduction of new features, integration with third parties, and innovation through crowdsourced events like hackathons and virtual challenges.  

Companies like Citi open up their APIs with the intent to become the global hub of FinTech innovation. You can integrate Uber into any app due to the APIs that Uber made publicly available. Business models for companies such as Stripe, Twilio, PayPal and many others depend on the API economy and without this technology they would not even exist.

 

Conclusion

Whether it’s business model innovation through the Sharing Economy, Micro-Economy, and Direct-to-Consumer or technology enablers like API-fictation, Self-Service, Smart Machines, and Intelligent Algorithms, it all comes down to a key concept: Customer Centricity. This strategy requires a re-alignment of products and services and an internal organizational structure and technology overhaul. It might feel like an insurmountable task, but my experiences assisting companies through these digital transformations has revealed that global innovation trends are here to stay. Therefore, digital transformation is no longer a “nice to have” – it is a matter of survival.

Hello. How Can We Help You?


Our Offices

  • Canada

    • Ottawa

      343 Preston Street,
      ON K1S 1N4, Ottawa
      Canada

      Map
    • Toronto

      5 Park Home Avenue,
      Suite 400,
      ON M2N 6L4, North York,
      Toronto
      Canada

      Map
      P: +1-416-591-4004
      F: +1-416-595-1551
    Learn more
  • Mexico

    • Guadalajara

      Periférico Sur #8110,
      Col. El Mante
      45609 Tlaquepaque, Jalisco
      Mexico

      Map
      P: +52-33-462-400-98
    Learn more
  • United States

    • Newtown, PA

      41 University Drive,
      Suite 202,
      Newtown, PA 18940
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-267-759-9000
      F: +1-267-759-8989
    • Bellevue, WA

      110 110th Ave. NE,
      Suite 310
      Bellevue, WA 98004
      USA

      Map
    • Cambridge, MA

      One Mifflin Place,
      Cambridge, MA 02138
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-267-759-9000
      F: +1-267-759-8989
    • Conshohocken, PA

      101 East 8th Ave,
      Suite 201,
      Conshohocken, PA 19428
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-484-382-1300
    • Mountain View, CA

      465 Fairchild Dr,
      Building B,
      Suite 221,
      Mountain View, CA 94043
      USA

      Map
    • New York, NY

      24 West 25th Street,
      5th Floor,
      New York, NY 10010
      USA

      Map
      P: +1-267-759-9000
      F: +1-267-759-8989
    • San Francisco, CA

      222 Kearny Street,
      Suite 308,
      San Francisco, CA 94108
      USA

      Map
    • Santa Monica, CA

      2950 31st Street,
      Suite 130,
      Santa Monica, CA 90405
      USA

      Map
    • Washington D.C.

      7901 Jones Branch Drive,
      Suite 400,
      McLean, VA 22102
      USA

      Map
    Learn more
  • Austria

    • Vienna

      Nottendorfer Gasse 11,
      1030 Wien
      Austria 

      Map
    Learn more
  • Bulgaria

    • Sofia

      69 Bulgaria Blvd.,
      Infinity Tower,
      1404 Sofia
      Bulgaria

      Map
      P: +359-700-20-273
    Learn more
  • Czech Republic

    • Prague

      City Tower building,
      Hvezdova 2b,
      Prague 4
      Czech Republic

       

      Map
      P: +420 22 888 28 23
    Learn more
  • Germany

    • Frankfurt am Main

      Franklinstrasse 56, 
      60486 Frankfurt am Main,
      Germany

      Map
      P: +49-69-31019090
    Learn more
  • Hungary

    • Budapest

      Corvin Offices I.
      Futó street 47-53,
      Budapest, H-1082
      Hungary

      Map
      P: +36-1-327-7400
    • Debrecen

      Bethlen Street 3-9,
      Debrecen, 4026
      Hungary

      Map
      P: +36-52-999-485 / 45050
    • Szeged

      Felső Tisza-Part 25,
      Szeged, 6723
      Hungary

      Map
      P: +36-62-808-013
      F: +36-62-550-655
    Learn more
  • Ireland

    • Dublin

      Alexandra House,
      The Sweepstakes,
      Ballsbridge, Dublin 4,
      D04 C7H2
      Ireland

      Map
      P: +353-(0)-1-631-9280
    Learn more
  • Netherlands

    • Delft

      Delftechpark 37j
      2628 XJ Delft
      Netherlands

      Map
      P: +31 20 241 6134
    • Schiphol

      The Base B
      Evert van de Beekstraat 104
      1118CN Schiphol
      Netherlands

      Map
      P: +31 20 241 6134
    Learn more
  • Poland

    • Gdańsk

      Grunwaldzka 472D,
      Olivia Six,
      80-309 Gdańsk
      Poland

      Map
    • Katowice

      Chorzowska Str. 148
      40-101 Katowice
      Poland

      Map
      P: +48-12-222-02-02
    • Krakow

      Opolska Str. 114
      31-323 Kraków
      Poland

      Map
      P: +48-12-222-02-02
    • Warsaw

      Al. Jana Pawła II 23,
      Atrium International,
      00-854 Warszawa
      Poland

      Map
    • Wroclaw

      Ul. Piotra Skargi 1,
      Budynek A,
      50-082 Wrocław
      Poland

      Map
    Learn more
  • Sweden

    • Göteborg

      Lilla Nygatan 2,
      411-09 Göteborg
      Sweden

      Map
      P: +46-31-146-550
    • Stockholm

      Kungsgatan 50,
      111 35, Stockholm
      Sweden

      Map
    Learn more
  • Switzerland

    • Glattpark

      Boulevard Lilienthal 2,
      8152 Glattpark (Opfikon)
      Switzerland

      Map
      P: +41-43-500-21-49
    Learn more
  • United Kingdom

    • London

      114 Middlesex Street,
      London, E1 7HY
      United Kingdom

      Map
      P: +44-203-514-0027
    • Manchester

      Tower 12,
      18-22 Bridge Street,
      Manchester, M3 3BZ
      United Kingdom

      Map
      P: +44-203-514-0027
    Learn more
  • Australia

    • Sydney

      Suite 2.14
      Level 2
      Zhen Building
      33 Lexington Drive
      Bella Vista NSW 2153

      Map
      P: +61-2-8310-8272
    Learn more
  • China

    • Guangzhou

      Unit B01, 23/F,
      Yuexiuxinduhui Building,
      No. 236, 6th Zhongshan Road,
      Yuexiu District, Guangzhou,
      China 510180

      Map
    • 广州

      中国广州市越秀区
      中山六路236号
      越秀新都会大厦中座 23楼 B01室
      邮编510180

      地图
    • Shanghai

      Room A11, 6th Floor, Block C,
      666 East Beijing Road,
      Huangpu District, Shanghai,
      China 200001

      Map
      P: +86-21-53080606 +86-21-53085450
    • 上海

      中国上海市黄浦区
      北京东路 666号
      科技京城C区 6楼 A11室
      邮编200001

      地图
      P: +86-21-53080606 +86-21-53085450
    • Shenzhen

      3/F, Block 5, Vision Shenzhen Business Park,
      9th Gaoxin South Road, 
      Shenzhen Hi-tech Industrial Park,
      Nanshan District, Shenzhen,
      Guangdong, China 518057

      Map
      P: +86-755-36899008
    • 深圳

      中国广东省深圳市
      南山区高新南九道
      威新软件园5号楼3楼
      邮编518057

      地图
      P: +86-755-36899008
    • Suzhou

      Building 12, Creative Industrial Park,
      328 Xinghu Street,
      Suzhou Industrial Park,
      Suzhou, China 215123

      Map
    • 苏州

      中国江苏省苏州市
      苏州工业园区星湖街328号
      创意产业园内12号楼
      邮编215123

      地图
    Learn more
  • Hong Kong

    • Hong Kong

      198 Wellington Street,
      17F, Central
      Hong Kong

      Map
      P: +852-5808-6018
    Learn more
  • India

    • Hyderabad

      10, 11 & 12th Floors,
      Salarpuria Sattva Knowledge City,
      Plot No. 2, Phase - 1,
      Survey No. 83/1,
      Raidurgam Village,
      Serilingampally Mandal,
      Hyderabad, Telangana - 500081
      India

      Map
      P: +91-40-39-111-700
    • Pune

      SmartWork Business Center Pvt Ltd,
      Suite 8, Level 1,
      West Wing, Nyati Unitree,
      Samrat Ashok Road,
      Yerwada, Pune - 411006,
      Maharashtra
      India

      Map
      P: +91-20-4913-6025
    Learn more
  • Singapore

    • Singapore

      5 Shenton Way
      UIC Building, #10-01,
      Singapore (068808)

      Map
      P: +65-6911-6888
    Learn more
  • United Arab Emirates

    • Dubai

      EPAM Systems FZ-LLC
      Dubai Branch,
      Building 16, Office 241,
      Dubai Internet City,
      PO Box 501929, Dubai
      United Arab Emirates

      Map
      P: +971-4-568-3569
    Learn more
  • Armenia

    • Yerevan

      15 Khorenatsi Street,
      Elite Plaza Business Center,
      0010 Yerevan
      Armenia

      Map
      P: +374-10-60-00-65
    Learn more
  • Belarus

    • Brest

      6A Masherov Avenue,
      224030 Brest
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-162-52-5268
      F: +375-162-50-9888
    • Gomel

      80 Rechitsky Avenue,
      246012 Gomel
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 54079
      F: +375-232-70-50-31
    • Grodno

      87B Gorkogo Street,
      230005 Grodno
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 69011
    • Minsk

      1/1 Academician Kuprevich Street,
      Suite 110,
      220141 Minsk
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100
      F: +375-17-268-6699
    • Mogilev

      19 Cosmonaut Street,
      Suite 510,
      212009 Mogilev
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 1001
    • Vitebsk

      11-a Stroitelei Avenue,
      Suite 311,
      210032 Vitebsk
      Belarus

      Map
      P: +375-17-389-0100, ext. 54433
    Learn more
  • Kazakhstan

    • Astana

      8 Auezova Street,
      Office B,
      010000 Astana
      Kazakhstan

      Map
      P: +7-7172-475-970
      F: +7-7172-688-774
    • Karaganda

      58/3 Ermekova Street,
      100009 Karaganda
      Kazakhstan

      Map
      P: +7-7212-93-01-01 +7-7212-93-01-00
    Learn more
  • Russia

    • Moscow

      9th Radialnaya Street,
      Building 2,
      115404 Moscow
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-495-730-6362
      F: +7-495-730-6361
    • Izhevsk

      150 V. Sivkova Street,
      426057 Izhevsk
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-3412-271882 +7-3412-271337
    • Nizhny Novgorod

      30 Poltavskaya Street
      603089 Nizhny Novgorod
      Russia

      Map
    • Ryazan

      16 Gogolya Street,
      390035 Ryazan
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-4912-93-57-33
    • Saint Petersburg

      22/2 Zastavskaya Street,
      MegaPark,
      196084 Saint Petersburg
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-812-611-1094
      F: +7-812-611-1094
    • Samara

      21 Michurina Street,
      443110 Samara
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-846-200-0970
    • Saratov

      37 Tankistov Street,
      410019 Saratov
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-8452-692-981
    • Sergiev Posad

      7 Akademika Silina Street,
      141313 Sergiev Posad
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-496-547-11-39
      F: +7-496-547-11-39
    • Togliatti

      31E Yubileynaya Street,
      445037 Togliatti
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-495-730-6360, ext. 47650
    • Tver

      8 Kolodkina Street,
      170002 Tver
      Russia

      Map
      P: +7-4822-630-070 +7-4822-630-071 +7-4822-630-072
      F: +7-4822-630-073
    Learn more
  • Ukraine

    • Dnipro

      17A Volodymyra Monomaha Street,
      49000 Dnipro
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-56-790-5651
    • Kharkiv

      33G 23 Serpnya Street,
      61072 Kharkiv
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-57-728-06-22
    • Kyiv: Registered office

      28 Fizkultury Street,
      03150 Kyiv
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-44-390-5457
      F: +380-44-390-0861
    • Kyiv: Visitors office

      14B Kudryashova Street
      03035 Kyiv, Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-44-390-5457
      F: +380-44-390-0861
    • Lviv

      45 O.Stepanivny Street,
      79018 Lviv
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-32-242-4642
      F: +380-44-390-5458
    • Vinnytsia

      51 Ovodova Street,
      21000 Vinnytsia
      Ukraine

      Map
      P: +380-432-551-294 +380-432-551-275
      F: +380-432-551-293
    Learn more