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Social and Technological Forces will Reshape the United States by 2025

How Americans will commute, work, run their homes, invest their money, and plan for the future will all be influenced by their increasing dependence upon connected devices, finds Frost & Sullivan.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Sept. 30, 2015 – The complex relationship between technology proliferation and rapidly evolving social norms is going to redefine American society and business over the next 10 years. Against a backdrop of the 2016 political election, America finds itself engaging in a seminal cultural dialogue regarding immigration, education, family, jobs, and the rise of the Millennial generation.

“Let’s assume the next President of the United States governs the country for the next 8 years; That means that the next President, and his or her policies, will have a direct and lasting impact on some of the core issues facing the country today, “observes Richard Sear, Partner and Senior Vice President for Visionary Innovation at Frost & Sullivan.  “For business in particular, administration change-ups always bring a certain amount of uncertainty: How will we work with, and thrive under, the new leadership?”

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, The Future of the United States (http://bit.ly/1jyvD1S), seeks to shed some light on this question by evaluating a number of what the company refers to as “Mega Trends”: seismic, long-lasting forces that have a powerful impact on how people work and live.  By forecasting how Mega Trends such as commuting patterns, urban centers, and connectivity will unfold, and then identifying how those Mega Trends may intersect with each other (for example, what happens when urban centers become more connected, and how do densely populated urban areas affect commuting patterns?), Frost & Sullivan identified four key “hyper-convergences” that, combined, paint a picture of what the United States will look like in 2025:

• The United States will be a land of quantification.  By 2020, the world will see 50 billion connected devices.  83 percent of those devices will be linked to the Internet of Things (IoT).  The economic impact of IoT is expected to be anywhere from $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion USD.  This rapidly expanding data frontier will force companies to find ever-more-creative ways of keeping pace with continually evolving technologies.

• A network culture will shape American lives. 86.7 percent of the United States will be urbanized by 2025, a boom largely brought on by Millennials and immigrants migrating to cities for work and low-cost travel options. The resulting dispersion of family members will push Americans even more toward relationships formed and nurtured through social media.

• Work in the United States will be smarter and more human-centric.  The United States spends 86 percent of its healthcare dollars on the treatment of chronic diseases, and more than half of its population could be obese by 2030. Prevention will increasingly become a focus for employers as they seek to control healthcare costs, and employees will increasingly seek out employers that offer incentives for healthy living, remote working arrangements, and subsidized wellness programs.

• Collaboration will define both professional and personal lives. A collaborative economy is going to emerge in the United States, which will be characterized by greater asset sharing, increased inter-business partnerships to deliver end-to-end solutions to customers, and strengthened employer-employee relationships fostered through ongoing training and development.
To view the infographic based on this research, please visit: http://bit.ly/1jyvD1S

“In summation, technology will allow us to work from anywhere, anytime, tracking anything we want, often competing intensely for customers, other times avoiding conflict in favor of new, unexpected opportunities to work together towards a common goal,” states Sear.  “Technology is also going to redefine ‘real life.’  Real life won’t just be what you can observe, touch, and hear in your immediate surroundings.  Virtual reality will be as ‘real’ as anything else, with families and other social groups seamlessly functioning across distance whenever they want. We are currently living the process of re-learning acceptable patterns of human interaction.”

Out of this complexity, companies must find their own clarity and chart their own long-term path to growth.  Whether it lies in identifying new customers, re-learning how customers think and buy, anticipating new technologies, or forecasting where the U.S. government or private enterprise is soon to invest, the challenge for business today is to exist within the crucial turning point of 2015 and prepare their businesses to thrive in 2025 and beyond.

The Future of the United States is part of the Visionary Innovation Research (Mega Trends) (http://ww2.frost.com/consulting/consulting-toolbox/mega-trends-ideation) Growth Partnership Service program.  Topics covered include changing demographics, GDP and consumer spending, and the shifting mix of the Supreme Court. Other topics include automation and the potential obsolescence of jobs, the rise of Smart Cities, and the increasing costs of higher education. Other trends cover urbanization, infrastructure, mobility, energy, connectivity, smart technologies, and security and defense.

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