This year’s D: All Things Digital conference, dubbed D11, has attracted some pretty impressive speakers. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Cisco Chairman John Chambers and Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, have each taken to the stage over the three-day conference to discuss the latest digital trends.
While it’s a somewhat different experience to that of the recent Alliance Summit in Key Largo, or the BCA Conference in London earlier this month, flexible workspace operators the world over should pay attention to what’s coming out of D11.
In particular, Dylan Tweney of VentureBeat highlighted Mary Meeker’s presentation as one that featured plenty of key insights. Meeker is the General Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, an investor in early and high-growth businesses, and her presentation focused on the annual Internet Trends report. Developed alongside Liang Wu, Mary’s report revealed that there are now a massive 2.4 billion internet users around the world – and this number continues to grow at an incredible pace.
Here are the top three findings that workspace operators should pay attention to. You can flick through the full presentation here.
1) The Power of Mobility
Here’s a mind-blowing statistic: according to Meeker, “the average person reaches for his or her smartphone 150 times a day”. It’s clear that mobile usage is expanding rapidly. Meeker says that mobile web access is surpassing PC access around the world, and in less than three years, tablet shipments have overtaken that of PCs and notebooks.
What does this have to do with workspace operators? Everything, if you want to stay competitive in an ever-evolving digital world. At the very least you need a clear and easy-to-use website, and with mobile growing at pace, you should consider having a mobile-friendly website too. Workspace operators should look to sell their vacant space online too. If you’ve got spare hot desks, coworking space, or meeting rooms sitting empty, you could ramp up your revenue by adding them to third party sites like SpaceDadi or NearDesk.
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2) Share and Share Alike
Web content is now easier to find than ever before thanks to social media and sharing technology. Interestingly, Meeker says that while 24% of the world shares “most or everything” they do online, only 14% of Americans do so. However, consider this: 9 times more web content is being created and shared across the world today compared to 5 years ago.
We already know that it’s important for workspace operators to have an online presence. But this shows that it’s even more important for your website to be filled with relevant, search engine and social friendly content. Just one article, shared by one person, could be exposed to hundreds more people – and if that leads to 1 new client, that’s another portion of your space filled. And how much does it cost to create? Next to nothing, compared to how much you could earn from it.
3) Going Global
At D11, Meeker highlighted world growth patterns and, in particular, focused on China as a rapidly growing economy that’s currently at 15% GDP (almost matching Europe, which has 16%). Here on OfficingToday we recently covered Instant’s report on key emerging markets around the world. For any business centre or workspace operator looking for a new opportunity overseas, it’s certainly a good read. Instant’s report revealed that China is the largest serviced market in Asia with 136 centres across 12 cities. What’s worth noting is that the Chinese serviced office sector grew by 25% over the past 12 months and Beijing in particular is the most expensive developed market, with prices averaging $1,010 per workstation.
Even if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, these trends are worth noting. The flexible workspace industry has much to gain, and many key opportunities are to be found with the help of technology – be it an efficient, user-friendly website, social-friendly content or a mobile-ready site. Just think how many times you browse, shop or search online. The world is now a highly digital place and if your workspace isn’t harnessing the power of technology, you can bet that your competitors will be.Share this article