Digital Leaders Blog

Digital Disruption (6)

At a recent Symposium, Gartner analysts revealed their top IT predictions for the next few years.

By 2020, five of the top seven digital giants will willfully “self-disrupt” to create their next leadership opportunity; the banking industry will derive $1 billion in business value from the use of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies; AI-driven creation of “counterfeit reality,” or fake content, will outpace AI’s ability to detect it, fomenting digital distrust; IoT technology will be in 95 percent of electronics for new product design.

By 2021, early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual- and voice-search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30 percent; more than 50 percent of enterprises will be spending more per annum on bots and chatbot creations than traditional mobile app developments; 40 percent of IT staff will be versatilists, holding multiple roles, most of which will be business, rather than technology-related.

By 2022, most people in mature economies will consume more false information than true information.

Read more here.

Take care.

Jim H

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An interesting Infographic and video from Gartner covering the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018.

Artificial intelligence, immersive experiences, digital twins, event-thinking and continuous adaptive security create a foundation for the next generation of digital business models and ecosystems.

The Intelligent Digital Mesh

"The entwining of people, devices, content and services. The Intelligent Digital Mesh is enabling digital models, business platforms and a rich, intelligent set of services to support digital business."

Intelligent: How AI is seeping into virtually every technology and with a defined, well-scoped focus can allow more dynamic, flexible and potentially autonomous systems.

Digital: Blending the virtual and real worlds to create an immersive digitally enhanced and connected environment.

Mesh: The connections between an expanding set of people, business, devices, content and services to deliver digital outcomes.

Read more here

Jim H

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UK companies are struggling to keep pace with technological advances but see technology disruption as an opportunity rather than a threat, according to KPMG’s CEO Outlook 2017.

As a part of the annual survey, 150 UK business leaders were asked how technology was affecting their business. Charting their views, one third (37 per cent) felt their organisations were struggling to keep pace with technological advances. They also see piloting emerging technologies, attracting strategic talent and building data collection capabilities as their top worries over the next three years.

However, even though 40 per cent of the CEO cohort expect technology innovation to cause major disruption in the coming three years, they remain optimistic about the opportunities it brings. Over two-thirds said that technology disruption is more of an opportunity than a threat.

You can read the full article here.

Take care.

Jim H

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Fit for Digital


A new report by Fujitsu, entitled Fit for Digital, has concluded that digital disruption is the new normal, and will fundamentally redefine the way organisations operate.

Across every industry, boundaries are being torn down as hyper-connected technology redefines the limits of what is possible.

‘From creating richer, more rewarding customer relationships to honing razor sharp processes and operations, digital technology is giving organisations the power to reimagine what they can do and what they can be’.

Based on the views of 1,180 C-Suite decision-makers around the world, the report arrived at four main conclusions:

Digital disruption is here to stay

Disruption is the new normal. Revenue streams, processes, customer relationships: all have been transformed by digital disruption. And while business leaders are enthusiastic about the opportunities that digital is creating, many have concerns for the future - a future in which they see continued upheaval.

Technology is at the heart of the battle

The boardroom agenda is now digital. Leveraging the full potential of new technology is the best way to thrive in a digitally disrupted world.

Evolution is key

Customers are demanding digital. Business leaders are fully aware of the consequences of failing to meet that demand. As the pace of change accelerates, so does the competition. The only way to thrive in this hyper-speed environment is to evolve.

Organisations need strategic support to succeed

Despite the challenges posed by digital disruption, business leaders are highly confident that their organisation can survive. Few, however, believe that they can do it alone. Digital disruption is fuelling a desire to work with expert technology partners, not just to provide guidance, but to collaboratively create digital strategies.

You can download a full copy of the report here – Fit for Digital

Take care.

Jim H

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While it is understandable that discussions about Brexit will dominate the political and economic agenda in the UK for the foreseeable future, we need to ensure that other equally important issues are not relegated to side show status.

The most important of these 'other issues' is digital disruption. 

The potential negative impact of Brexit on the UK and Scottish economies will pale into insignificance if we do not rise to the challenge presented by disruptive digital change.

Digital Disruption

As argued strongly in our end of 2015 FSB Report - Digital Disruption and Small Businesses - the changes brought about by the Internet over the last twenty years are nothing compared to what is coming over the next few years. No industry, no organisation is immune from the threat of being disrupted. With 40 per cent of jobs under threat from automation, no individual is immune.

Many businesses, across a broad spectrum of sectors, could be displaced by digital disruption over the next five years. Transforming digitally, not Brexit, is the number one survival challenge facing UK business today. Digitally transforming our economy to enhance international competitiveness is the number one economic challenge. Staying relevant in a digital world is the main personal challenge we all face.

Collectively, we need to transform or become a nation of digital dinosaurs.

Falling Behind

Given the very strong link that exists between the innovative use of digital technology and national competitiveness, it would be economic suicide to allow digital to become a side show. It should be the main event, not Brexit. Across a wide range of digital maturity measures, the UK is already falling behind many of our overseas competitors.

Evidence for this comes from no less a source than the World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index (NRI) which 'assesses the factors, policies and institutions that enable countries to fully leverage information and communication technologies (ICTs) for increased competitiveness and well-being; and the role of ICT in driving innovation'.

Key headline findings from the 2016 report in relation to the UK are as follows:

  • Worldwide there are seven countries leading the field in terms of ICT investment - Singapore, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United States. The seven are all 'enthusiastic adopters' currently deriving a wide ranging economic benefits from being digital.
  • Worryingly from a UK perspective, the report states clearly that the leading seven nations are in the strongest position to capitalise on the next wave of digital disruption. ‘The breakaway of these seven economies is significant for other nations given the role that networked readiness is likely to play as the world transitions to the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. Since publication of the report, it is interesting to note that the Netherlands has become the first country in the world to roll out a nationwide Internet of Things Network.
  • While the UK sits in 8th place, just behind the seven leaders, it is progressing at a slower rate than most leading countries, especially in terms of infrastructure and individual usage. With most other nations increasing their ‘capacity to innovate’, the UK may struggle to maintain a top ten position. There are seven countries with an NRI Score of 5.6/5.7 pushing the UK (5.7) for a top ten position - Canada, Korea, Germany, Hong Kong, Denmark, Luxembourg and Japan.
  • The report findings covering business use of the Internet and ICT are also very worrying from a UK perspective. Businesses in the UK occupy 1st and 2nd position worldwide in terms of their use of the Internet for B2C and B2B transactions (mainly ‘having a web site’). However, our overall ranking on the Business Usage Index is only 16; behind Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, United States, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Denmark, Austria, Norway, Chinese Taipei, Korea Republic, Singapore and Luxembourg.
  • In terms of ‘firm level ICT adoption’ (the readiness of businesses to adopt new technology), the UK ranks in 14th position; 18th position in terms of the number of patent applications made per million of population; and in 10th position for ‘capacity to innovate’. For investment in ‘staff training’, the UK ranks as 21st in the world - a shocking indictment of our willingness to invest in training and people development.
  • Reinforcing the above, we are ranked in 24th position for ‘overall skills development’; 21st position for the ‘quality of our education system’; and in 46th position for the ‘quality of our math and science education’.

A World Class Digital Nation by 2020? I think not!

While the NRI Scores presented above relate to the UK as a whole, there is no reason for thinking that results for Scotland would be much different, if these were available. There is, of course, the added danger that discussions around Indy 2, as well as Brexit, could push digital much further down the political agenda. Does economic suicide await?

As normal, all comments and feedback are very welcome.

Jim H

Note: Now in its 16th year, the annual ranking of 139 world economies on their networked readiness is the result of a partnership among the World Economic Forum, INSEAD and Cornell University. Economies are measured on 53 indicators organised in 10 “pillars” such as infrastructure, political and regulatory environment. An economy’s performance in each of the 53 indicators is used to compute its standing in the Networked Readiness Index (NRI). Full details can be found here.

Details of our next Digital Leaders Masterclass in association with the University of Edinburgh Business School can be found here. You can register an interest in attending here.

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On the 26th May this year, Glasgow City Council launched their new Environmental Task Force:

‘Rapid response teams…..deployed across the city……to tackle environmental problems such as dumping rubbish, dog fouling and dropping litter’.

The associated spin, sorry press release, was entitled ‘Glasgow Goes Digital to Deliver Rapid Response’

‘The Environmental Task Force (ETF) will revolutionise the way the city is maintained, with the public able to make its voice heard via Facebook and Twitter. This real time information from the public will be gathered at a state-of-the-art command centre in Bridgeton, with the 30 rapid response teams then dispatched to tackle the issues as quickly as possible’.

Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the ETF, Councillor Frank McAveety, said:

‘The Environmental Task Force is a service fit for delivery in the digital age. We want genuine engagement with the people of Glasgow to work with them to build a better city. Through Twitter and Facebook the public can directly communicate with us and identify what needs to be done across Glasgow. I am determined to make this work. The Environmental Task Force will deliver - the people of Glasgow deserve that.’

Frank, I think there is still some way to go before you can claim to be delivering on this (see below).

Take care.

Jim H

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