For Immediate Release

Seattle, WA Point B, Inc., an integrated management consulting, venture investment, and real estate development firm, offers an inside look at high-priority business drivers for 2018. With more than 650 associates serving clients in a diverse set of industry and functional areas across the nation, Point B has helped organizations recognize and interpret what will drive future business success for more than 23 years.  

At a high-level, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Pongon, advises leaders to do one of two things in 2018: either create new markets or grab market share. “I expect this long period of slow economic growth to continue for the foreseeable future.” said Pongon. “Gone are the days when significant growth in an industry or sector helps raise all boats. Now is the time for organizations to create their own growth. Be disruptive. Grab market share in ways that may not fall on a traditional growth path. Understand that customer experience leads the way as an avenue for growth. Contemporary innovations may include a new ‘what’ but, now more than ever, the ‘how’ is critical, and you must bring digital business models to the forefront. Take the time right now to invest in this kind of disruptive thinking for 2018, and don’t consider it just growth for growth sake. Simply put, it will be the way companies survive.”

Point B is in a unique position as an advisor and partner to organizations across the nation in almost every industry, working on every kind of challenge. This vantage point allows the firm to offer insight and learnings on the most critical business drivers for 2018 and beyond. 

2018 Business Drivers

In Data and Analytics

  • Companies have the data. Now what? Tracking and capturing data has become cheaper, easier and more granular with the proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things). But capturing the most impactful data, turning it into actionable insight to fuel business decisions, and having the ability to consistently and accurately report on results is where companies will truly obtain a competitive advantage moving forward.
  • Organizations will need to take intelligence out of the office. People are living exceedingly more mobile work lives, which will drive the need to bring analytics and business intelligence to them wherever they are. To that end, we see an increase in the need for mobile analytics and intelligence, along with real-time analytics capabilities in 2018.
  • More cloud migrations for enterprise and department-specific data and analytics workloads are coming. Cloud platform offerings in the business intelligence, data and analytics space have matured to the point where organizations are now seriously considering migrating some or all of their on-premise capabilities. This push is being accelerated by the significant volume of on-premise transactional applications moving to cloud, as well as by a desire for reduction in the administrative burden for on-premise platforms and the need for more flexible deployments. 

In Employee Engagement

  • Leadership effectiveness is central to business success. The capabilities required to be a successful leader will continue to expand in 2018.  Generational nuances need to be understood and embraced by leaders as employees now cross over four generations with Gen Z (born starting in 1996) entering the workforce. Leveraging technology to engage, enable and maximize value delivered by employees is no longer an option – it’s now a requirement to leading others.  Traditional performance management structures continue to be dismantled, with real-time, technology enabled, bi-directional feedback becoming the new norm.
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is front and center. Public awareness and discourse related to the current realities of equity, diversity and inclusion within industry and across our country will pick up steam in 2018.  Organizations will increase investments focused on gaining an objective and honest understanding of where they currently stand relative to equity, diversity and inclusion.  Outcomes from these investments will lead organizations to redefine the type of organization they want – and need – to become, and to develop and deploy strategies focused on ensuring that women and minorities feel empowered, engaged, and connected with the organization.
  • Successful organizations will take a holistic approach to drive real results from “digital transformation” investments. Organizations will continue to invest in and deploy cloud-based collaboration and engagement platforms like Office 365, Google G-Suite, and Workplace by Facebook. Unfortunately, many companies are struggling with adoption rates – and thus realizing lower than desired ROI – because they approach these deployments solely as IT projects. Successful organizations will approach these platform rollouts from a people and business process perspective, recognizing that unless their employees embrace the full capabilities of the platform the full value of the technology will never be realized. 

In Regulatory Compliance

  • Regulators will force organizations to clarify accountability for regulatory compliance. Regulators are putting more pressure on organizations to establish corporate governance structures that provide accountability on risk and regulatory issues for the executives and the Board. Regulators have gone as far as filing “deferred prosecution agreements” against executives of companies that have continuously ignored compliance issues, putting accountability squarely on the executives. Organizations that take a holistic approach to compliance, clarifying not only the processes and tools, but also the accompanying accountabilities and culture change needed to meet the letter and the intent of regulations, will be one step ahead.
  • They aren’t just numbers. ASC 842 and IFRS 16 will impact everyone. By January 1, 2019, Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) lease accounting standards will significantly change how public organizations are required to record and disclose lease related finances, and organizations are now faced with the task of implementing a solution to help meet these new standards.
  • Balkanization of data privacy and control needs will drive change far beyond the privacy office. Countries and regions are addressing privacy piece-meal, which makes it even harder for multinational corporations (and even small organizations with international customers) to keep up. From GDPR in Europe to China’s controversial cybersecurity law, organizations will need to establish new governance models, change organizational processes and adopt new cultural norms to address the issue in a way that can endure this level and pace of change.

In Customer Loyalty

  • Creating differentiated experiences is the winning strategy in 2018. Companies who compete solely based on price typically end up driving the entire market south. Companies should continue to strive to understand the customer experience, and apply those insights to create differentiated and nuanced products that maximize profitability and margin, and allow for a competitive advantage in their markets.
  • The Omni-Channel experience evolves. Omni channel has moved from being simply a buzzword to a real challenge. In trying to address the cross-channel needs of customers, companies are bumping up against organizational and operational hurdles they often didn’t know existed. And the proliferation of new sales channels like the Internet of Things, in home, and social media are further exaggerating the challenge of reaching customers with consistent experiences and service offerings. Companies will continue to struggle to prioritize, understand and overcome their existing challenges while innovating for new channels.
  • Customer experience enters the home. Companies are creating a more intimate experience by engaging directly with their customers in their own homes using voice-activated platforms and other connected devices.  As this technology continues to innovate, become smarter, and be adopted, it will evolve the way customers interact with products and learn about services, expanding opportunities for on-demand purchasing. 

In Cloud Technology

  • Uncovering and focusing on the “right” reasons for moving to Cloud remains key. The momentum for moving to the cloud can’t be ignored, but identifying the right reasons – and the right time – to make the move will determine the success of a transformation. Companies will need to take stock of core competencies, the current market, and business environment to decide what makes sense. Decisions to embark on a cloud transformation should involve business teams as well as technical/IT teams to understand where the business needs to go, and how best to support it with technology.
  • Realizing immediate cost-savings from a cloud transformation may be elusive. Cloud transformations require an up-front investment. Done right, this can pave the way to future cost-savings. Realizing these savings requires optimizing systems, processes, and tools so that cloud-based applications work in concert with existing infrastructure. This can include reconfiguring or tuning monitoring and alerting functions, restructuring data to allow cloud-based apps to use it, among other initiatives. Shifting to the cloud can deliver operational cost savings if companies are willing to take the time to plan carefully, and adopt a realistic time horizon to realize savings.
  • Successful organizations will take a holistic approach to cloud transformation. The genesis of a cloud transformation may come from a single place in the organization, such as the CIO, but successful transformations involve key stakeholders from business, finance, and operations teams, to name a few. Changing ‘the way things work around here’ on so many levels demands careful planning to minimize disruption while maximizing the benefits of the cloud. Successful organizations realize that cloud transformation is a journey, not a sprint. Some technologies, data, and processes can move rapidly to the cloud in the early phases, while others may need to wait to manage risk, technical hurdles, limit scope, or acknowledge budget limitations. Taking a pragmatic view while continuously adapting, learning and driving the transformation forward will deliver results that exceed expectations. 

In Real Estate Development

  • Employee engagement strategy is driving the workplace revolution. Employers across industries are being driven to rethink the workplace in order to gain and/or maintain a competitive edge in the war for talent while fostering a productive and rewarding workplace environment. The trend of replacing traditional private offices and cubicles with collaborative shared spaces is not a one-size-fits all solution, nor is it just about millennials. A wealth of data and information provides insight for companies seeking to design a workplace that nurtures company culture, reflects the brand, and promotes productivity and engagement.
  • For the Healthcare Industry, integrated facilities planning rules. The quest for value over volume in healthcare, together with the emphasis on quality, requires new ways to deliver services—and to develop facilities that support these initiatives. An integrated planning approach is fundamental to increasing efficiency, advancing quality of care, and improving satisfaction among patients and staff. And it can build greater value into every square foot, transforming departmentalized points of view into holistic solutions that deliver higher return on investment.
  • Tax policy changes will alter investment and supply. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), in final form, will impact real estate markets. Companies will need to watch for policy changes in 1031 exchanges, affordable housing, mortgage interest deductions, depreciation rules for construction, capital equipment depreciation, and the AMT. Several of these issues stand to benefit commercial development.

For more information on 2018 business drivers and trends, or to speak to a Point B expert, please contact

About Point B

Point B Inc. helps organizations form, execute, and thrive. With capabilities including Management Consulting, Venture Investment and Advisory, and Property Development, our integrated businesses provide real value to the organizations and communities we serve. Our 100% employee-owned firm was named a Best Workplace in the United States by Fortune magazine, and is regularly honored as an exceptional place to work.