Staying Competitive: The Biggest Challenges for Businesses in 2020

The year 2019 has flown by. You’ve gone through many highs and lows and now it’s time to prepare for new professional challenges in 2020. Even though 2020 is the beginning of a new decade and an opportunity to grow your business, it still comes with numerous potential challenges that may affect how well your business will perform.

Biggest Challenges for Businesses

The Biggest Challenges for Businesses in 2020

Here are a few challenges businesses will face in 2020.

1. Hiring Global Talent

The recent research study by Upwork says that companies are already switching to remote hiring. Namely, 63% of companies hire full-time employees who work remotely and this number will only grow in 2020 and beyond.

Global workforces can benefit organizations in multiple ways:

Larger candidate pool: Businesses won’t be limited to hiring local talent. Instead, they can find top employees with the right set of skills, irrespective of their location and time zones.

Increased employee productivity: Despite the popular belief that remote workers take their jobs for granted, they feel more productive. According to the Global Workplace Analytics study, more than half of remote employees said they were more likely to work overtime. On the other hand, only 28% of the employees working in-house claimed the same.

Reducing costs: When hiring in-house teams, businesses need to invest in real estate. According to the above mentioned Global Workplace Analytics survey, businesses can save about $10,000 per employee annually just in real estate costs. So, if you’re hiring 10-50 employees, now you see that we’re talking about serious cost reductions. There are many additional costs you would minimize this way, including janitorial services, electricity, office supplies, and furniture, commuting, etc.

Therefore, the advantages of hiring a remote workforce are multiple. However, hiring remote workers in 2020 and beyond also comes with a number of potential challenges. For example, businesses need to have a solid strategy that will help them build a solid company culture among their global staff, encourage teamwork, manage employees efficiently and, above all, track the results of their remote teams. Fortunately, technology is making these processes easier. There are many collaboration and project management platforms and HR tools that let managers stay on top of their teams.

2. Economic Volatilities

The world economy has been extremely fragile in 2019. If you look at the statistics, you will see that the world’s largest economies (the U.S., China, Japan, Germany, the U.K., France, and India) that makeup 60% of global production grew a lot slower than in 2018. Weaker growth of both global leaders and developing countries might result in a global recession in 2020.

Unctad, the UN’s trade and development body, published an annual trade and development report, where they emphasize that the global economy remained fragile even though the financial crisis ended 10 years ago. They state that the instability of currencies, no-deal Brexit, trade wars are all obvious signs preparing us for the major financial problems in 2020.

The Regional Risks For Doing Business report highlights that the “fiscal crisis” is a top concern of doing business. Namely, when governments face low revenues and indebtedness, they usually increase taxes to maintain macroeconomic stability. These measures affect the business ecosystem on every level, impacting consumers, households, and employees whose jobs will be affected by poor labor markets.

The Week In China portal claims the same. Namely, they recently published an article, where they explain the trade tensions between the U.S. and China may soon affect China’s corporate sector, resulting in job losses and lower power spending from customers.

3. The Automation of Jobs

In 2020, automation will keep revolutionizing businesses. According to Statista, spending on BPA worldwide is expected to reach $12.7 billion globally. The idea behind automation is simple – to streamline your operations, facilitate your employees’ jobs, and help you reduce costs. There are certain roles that might become fully automated in the future, such as recruiting, customer support, data analytics, or accounting.

When investing in automated business operations, businesses need to do it strategically. Their goal shouldn’t be to replace employees with robots. On the other hand, they should strive to facilitate employees’ everyday roles and minimize repetitive tasks. Certain roles, such as planning marketing campaigns, writing user-centric content, or managing employees will always need a human touch, helping companies stand out in the sea of competitors.

4. Cybersecurity Threats

Cyberattacks will continue to run rampant in 2020. If we look at the 2019 statistics, we will see that there were 1.7 billion records being leaked in different breach incidents. Hackers now target small businesses. Research says that 60% of SMBs that fall victim to online breaches go out of business within the next six months.

As technology keeps evolving, cyberattacks are becoming more attractive for online criminals and more harmful to victims. Today, online criminals do not use only one type of hacks. Instead, they use different methods simultaneously, to make a hack more difficult to detect and prevent.

IT developments are not helping us, either. For example, voice technologies are expected to skyrocket in 2020. Even though voice assistants can boost your business’ performance, they’re also a target of many online hackers who use these technologies to control your office devices. By infecting an employee’s device, a hacker can crack your passwords and control your network. Worse yet, as the commands are coming directly from a reliable device, your anti-malware systems won’t recognize a hack as a threat.

Precisely because of that, in 2020, businesses will need to strengthen their cybersecurity systems. Here are some ideas that may serve as a solid starting point:

● Educate your employees. Did you know that 80% of online breaches happen due to employees’ negligence?

● Build a strict security policy. Everyone should understand their role in your organization’s cybersecurity plan and know what steps to take when they notice something odd.

● Invest in a VPN that will establish safer online connections.

● Back up your data regularly. There are different types of backups you could use, depending on your business’ needs. Another amazing option is continuous data protection (CDP) that runs in the background of your network and saves any changes employees make almost instantly.

● Have a solid firewall that offers real-time analytics and that can immediately identify the problem and prevent any harmful operations.

Conclusions

Running and growing a growing business in 2020 is not an easy task. There are many obstacles you will need to overcome and these are just some of them. To stay competitive, work on your business strategy, allocate your resources strategically, secure finances on time and, above all, keep tracking your performance consistently.

Any thoughts on the challenges for businesses in 2020? We’re listening!

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Staying Competitive: The Biggest Challenges for Businesses in 2020
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