With the uncertainty that accompanies any changing of the guard in Washington, businesses and the stock market can get nervous. This year, however, the uncertainty is intensified by deep partisan discord among politicians, who have the power to alter the business landscape through policy, as well as citizens, who may turn to activism in an effort to have their voices heard.
It's hard to overestimate the impact smartphones have had. They've fundamentally transformed the way we interact with friends and colleagues, consume media, and live day-to-day. But despite their ubiquity - roughly 2 billion people around the world use a smartphone and it's thought that more than 70 percent of the global population will own one by 2020 - there is plenty we don't know about how they have changed our behavior.
Automation - in the form of machine learning, robotics, autonomous vehicles, white-collar bots, exoskeletons, and so on - is changing the nature of work in a wide range of industries. Author Vinnie Mirchandani in conducting research for his new book, Silicon Collar: An Optimistic Perspective on Humans, Machines, and Jobs (Deal Architect, 2016), he examined people at work in more than 50 settings: accounting firms and banks, the battlefront and digital agencies, the oil patch and restaurants, R&D labs and shop floors, warehouses and wineries. And it is clear that the old divisions among professions and trades have dissolved. We're no longer white- or blue-collar workers. We're all silicon-collar workers, because technology is reshaping all our workplaces.
Throughout its nearly 180-year history, John Deere has been an innovation leader. Its first product was a polished-steel plow that outperformed existing tools. And over the decades, the company's research and development (R&D) efforts were aimed squarely at improving the mechanical and functional performance of its products.
As managers face increasing pressure from stakeholders to make supply chains eco-friendly, companies are on the hunt for new and inexpensive tools, partners, or processes that can improve the sustainability of their operations. But according to a new study, one solution may already exist: Cloud computing could improve supply chains' environmental performance while also cutting costs.