What happens when you gather business leaders from around the world to examine the intersection of emerging technology, corporate sustainability, and the modern customer experience? A little magic and a lot of innovation.
Last month, HP held its 2019 World Partner Forum, HP Reinvent. The brand assembled more than a thousand of its leading partners from across the globe into one event center in Houston, TX for a few days of learning, sharing, and action-inspiring conversation.
Here are some of the event’s top themes, including four trends most likely to impact the year ahead.
1. Customer experience
With the digital space growing more crowded by the day, business leaders realize that standing out is essential to their organizations’ success. That’s why a significant chunk of HP Reinvent was dedicated to discussions about creating a positive, personalized, and memorable customer experience.
Speakers urged business leaders from diverse vertical markets to keep the customer experience at the center of their digital transformations. Throwing its full weight behind this philosophy, the host took the stage to announced a new product: HP’s Integrated Financial Solutions will offer instant credit approval, electronic signatures, mobile apps, automated document management, and other features that can streamline the way customers engage with brands throughout the purchasing process.
By leveraging products and services that simplify internal processes, organizations can increase their capacity to meet customers’ growing expectations.
2. Everything as a service
Since the dawn of cloud computing, we’ve witnessed a growing wave of companies exchanging their on-premises technology solutions for software as a service, infrastructure as a service, device as a service, and more. Thanks to emerging tech and hyper-connected environments, it has become easier than ever to leverage and offer products through a subscription-based model.
Everything as a service, sometimes written as “XaaS,” harnesses the power of the cloud and eliminates many of tech’s biggest barriers to entry (such as cost or physical location), and makes emerging solutions more accessible to the global community.
In addition to HP’s announcements about its printing as a service expansion, discussions also centered on how today’s IT decision-makers are more interested in buying outcomes than buying products—and how the service-based model can help meet their needs and expectations.
3. Connecting with millennials and Generation Z
Millennials already comprise the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, and by 2020 they’ll make up one-third of the global workforce, according to data from ManpowerGroup. Now, even the oldest members of Gen Z (those born after 1997) are joining the global workforce. Because millennials and their successors will be making more of the tech purchasing decisions, it’s crucial that businesses are building solutions that meet the needs and expectations of the younger generations.
Much of the discussion at HP Reinvent regarding millennials and Gen Z focused on keeping up with key trends—namely personalizing the customer experience and younger generations’ penchant for flexibility and subscriptions (e.g., coworking spaces and service-based models) rather than collecting overhead.
4. Sustainability and innovation
There’s no denying that climate change is on business leaders’ minds, and this theme reverberated through the event. From increasing efficiency to decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, many of the critical conversations at HP Reinvent focused on sustainable innovation.
HP has long been committed to environmentally friendly business practices and reaffirmed its pledge to corporate sustainability by announcing its “forest positive” printing initiative: Moving forward, the brand will only source paper from trees planted for that specific purpose.
HP also highlighted a few practices it’s implementing to help reduce carbon emissions, such as making products out of recycled goods and offering energy-saving managed print services. “What’s good for the environment is good for business,” said HP Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer, Nathan Hurst.
The topics discussed at HP Reinvent represent some of the most critical and influential global trends that are likely to shape technology into 2020 and beyond. As we move into the next decade, HP and its partners are more committed to sustainable innovation, corporate environmental practices, and creating better customer experiences than ever before. By adopting these values, business leaders can help prepare their organization for whatever the future holds.