Are you ready for 2025?

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This post is part of The Future Project 2025 series. Follow along as IBM thought leaders and futurists envision the impact of big data and analytics on commerce.

When we think about where we will be in 10 years, it’s hard to say. Some of the things we will be using haven’t even been invented yet.  Think about where we were 10 years ago today – iPhones didn’t exist and Google Maps had just launched.  Those were huge advancements at the time but now they are normal parts of our everyday routine.  So what is going to happen in the next 10 years, especially around the convergence of big data, commerce, mobile, social business, and HR?  We have a group of 30 forward thinking professionals, known as “Futurists” that have thought about the impact of this convergence and have some insights to share.  With this convergence comes new roles and themes for businesses to focus on.

Human Resources

A core theme in HR is the idea of marketing as recruiting.  Companies have to compete for top talent, who will most likely have multiple job offers. It is essential for companies to stand out and one way to do this is to enhance the job seeking experience. Lots of companies fail to communicate with potential applicants, which reflects poorly on the brand. Applying for jobs is stressful enough so sending a simple email thanking an applicant for their application or notifying them of where they stand in the process can go a long way. Even if the candidate does not end up receiving an offer or turns it down, the positive recruiting experience will affect how they view the company for the rest of their career.

Social Business

In 10 years there will be a shift in the workplace roles based on data.  People will be applying to the role of “Data Storyteller.” Stories are already used today to connect to audiences, but with the inclusion of data, more stories will be created that are relevant and tailored to specific groups. The Data Storyteller role will analyze data to create insights that help brands tell the right story.


Customers will embrace the idea of “comm-cierge,” where products will be suggested to them before they know they need it.  Today we are already seeing retargeted and “recommended for you” ads. Demand for this personalization is only going to increase.  Brands must know what customers want, when they want it, where they want it and will provide a seamless and frictionless way to transact.


Mobile will fuel the “Human Data Cycle” equipped with wearables, sensors and beacons.  These devices will capture billions of human data points that can then be analyzed to deliver personalized and predictive choices.  This real-time personalization will enable us to make smarter decisions about our day-to-day activities regarding our lifestyle, purchasing decisions and much more.

This is 2025.  Are you ready?



The future of commerce isn’t B2B or B2C, it’s C2B: customer-to-business. Your customers are talking to you, telling you who they are, how they feel and what they need. With the right approach, you can make it a conversation, but it takes an integrated business to build lasting relationships and inspire advocacy. Your front office and back office must become the office: marketing, customer analytics, eCommerce and merchandising, procurement, B2B integration and payments all working seamlessly to put customers at the center. Learn how to become a C2B business today at

Also, join the conversation on Twitter using #NewWayToEngage.

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