What is Horizon Scanning?

In the HSKT Horizon Scanning service we concentrate on:

  • Harvesting business knowledge including information about technology, economy, economic forecasting, policy and markets.
  • Interpreting these for SMEs and develop tools for SMEs to innovate, grow and increase productivity: How can an SME position itself to take advantage of such changes? How will such changes impact on markets, supply chains, business processes, investment?

Although the titles may seem to be about things that are distant from you and your company, that’s the whole point of producing them. It is like saying to someone in 1992, have you heard about the internet (which became available for everyone from about 1994)? Or, in 1994, telling people about something called an e-mail was on its way and might make a few differences. Or In 1995, saying that social networking would change the way we do things.

What we are doing is taking a look at changes we can foresee and asking how these can affect companies like yours. And it doesn’t just stop there with Futures by Design. What we then offer is expertise via the FbD team to help you work on the changes you may need to make to help you face the future better.

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For many, AI is bound to change the world as we know it and most people marvel at how governments and large corporations are using the technology. For SMEs, AI seems to be far removed from their daily activities. Moreover, AI seems to be portrayed mainly as a threat to their existence. But AI-models provide ample opportunities for SMEs to add value to their business.

AI is developing fast and becoming more and more something that creates tools for all to use…you don’t any longer have to be Amazon to make AI work for you. And your competitors may already be getting involved.

Drones are also referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), where the first part of its name already indicates why drones have such a vast number of possible use cases. Apart from the awesome shopping experience, it could save companies a lot of money as the delivery using an average diesel truck costs about 1 dollar a mile while a drone only costs 3 cents a mile. This makes the concept highly interesting for SMEs when the technology becomes public knowledge, which is likely to happen in the future as Google and DHL are also already researching it.

Web scraping is the systematic and automated extraction of data from websites. By means of web scraping, companies can tap into one of the most significant data sources in existence: the internet.

On the internet, customers and competitors leave data on their behaviour, insights and interactions which can be useful for particular decisions a company is facing. It is a perfect data source for SMEs as it allows for efficient and cost-effective data acquisition.

Clustering methods create groups out of the data points in your data, based on their similarity. This process finds structure in data that doesn’t have much structure by itself. That means that we could use it on almost any data that a small or big company has already lying around. 

You can use the clustering results to ask valuable, pointed questions about the patterns and groups it has uncovered. This can have tremendous value for growing your business with actual data driven insights.

‘Bitcoin’ is a word becoming more familiar. It is a toe of digital currency. Digital currencies are expanding very fast – they are ready to displace the currency systems we have been sued to for centuries.

It may be the bigger companies that move first – but in their wake will have to come their customers and supply chains. So if there is a massive change ahead, it is better to know what it is all about as soon as you can. To begin to think of the way the changes will affect you.