Top mega trends and the legal considerations for organisations/ SMEs

Mega trends are the global shifts that change our society and the way in which we do business. They span a wide range of areas, from emerging technologies, to evolving demographics and the aging population. More and more businesses are taking a pro-active approach to mega trends, by considering their strategic, legal and social implications. This enables them to evolve their business models and plan for the long-term.

The rise of technology and the re-shaping of an organisations asset base

As the asset base of an organisation changes, so does how an organisation is valued. If you are buying or selling a business in the future, valuations are likely to take into consideration the use of smart technology, automation, innovation as well as traditional assets and revenues.

Customer empowerment is driving demand for innovative solutions. Organisations need to think more strategically about R&D. They need to ensure they are protecting pioneering processes, products and technological solutions maximising these company assets.

Emerging technologies are generating an increasing amount of data focusing on what our customers are doing and when and how they are doing it. With this information comes increased risk, reward and responsibility. Data assets need to be protected and used ethically to meet legislative requirements.

Real estate is an asset for many businesses. With the increase in online shopping, cloud computing, working remotely and the displacement of labour by technology, real estate requirements are changing. There is a greater need for flexibility and for scale-able collaborative working spaces; all of which need to be taken into account when considering leasing or purchasing a property.

Routes to market and global supply chain management

From micro businesses, to SME’s, to multi-nationals, the majority of businesses are involved in some sort of international trade or have an offshore element to their business model. Whether you are purchasing/producing overseas or supplying an international customer base, managing overseas business relationships can be complicated. It is vitally important to be clear about whose terms and conditions you will be trading on and if commercial disputes arise how/where will they be resolved?

Changing face of the modern workforce

In order to create competitive advantage, many organisations are selecting staff from the international talent pool. Organisations need a better understanding of UK immigration regulations to maximise the opportunities of hiring employees from overseas.

For the first time in history, there will soon be 5 generations in the workforce and each generation can vary slightly differently from the next. Businesses need to embrace the diversity that different generations can bring to the work place. Greater collaboration, reverse mentoring and positive communication can help to eliminate the barriers and prevent instances of age discrimination. Keely Rushmore explains the key considerations for successfully managing a multi-generational workforce in her article for City AM, read more.

There are increased requirements for strategic hires as organisations strive for digitally savvy leadership. HR practices need to adapt to this churn in the workforce with robust restrictions and relevant talent management programmes. You can read more about restrictive covenants here.

Human behaviour and wallet activism

Customers are demanding ethical behaviour at every level of the supply chain. This range from ethical overseas production and management of resources, ‘green’ eco-credential to data protection, taxes and a living wage. Organisations failure to meet social obligations can have a definite effect on its bottom-line. Agreements need to reflect an organisation’s expectations around social responsibility and ethical behaviours.

Competitive advantage and greater collaboration

More organisations are collaborating to meet the needs of an increasingly sophisticated customer. Now more than ever it is important to develop legal frameworks around collaborations, ensuring each party understands the role they are playing, who owns which assets and how rewards are allocated.

In many cases the battle for competitive advantage is being won by innovative use of technology. Robust due diligence is required when entering into technology contracts on which fundamental working practices are based.

Find out more about what mega trends are and how to spot them.                                                                                                                                                                                          

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© SA LAW 2018

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.