Digital Leaders Blog

digital disruption (44)

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…

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A Guidebook for the Manufacturing Revolution

If you were hoping that Digital@Scale would somehow sanction easing into the digitization of your company, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Authors Anand Swaminathan and Jürgen Meffert, both senior partners with McKinsey, set the tone in the first paragraph of their book with this statement: “In the digital age, companies need to rethink their entire business models. Those who don’t risk failure and extinction.”

They also quickly disavow business leaders of two false notions. One is that digitization is an information technology issue. While digital technologies are important, the authors emphasize that the goal of digitization is not spiffy new software and other tech, but “completely new business models.” The second falsehood is that digitization can be delegated off the CEO’s desk. Instead,…

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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…

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Digital Leaders Outperform Digital Laggards

Evidence is emerging of a growing digital divide between organisations who ‘get IT’ and those who don’t; between those using digital technology to successfully transform their business and those still stuck on the starting blocks.

A new report from Harvard Business School provides evidence that this digital divide is already having a major impact on subsequent financial performance.

Based on detailed research covering 344 large US based enterprises, the Harvard study concludes that ‘digital leaders’ (enterprises who are transforming digitally) outperform ‘digital laggards’ across a range of financial measures.

Organisations that sit in the top quartile of Harvard’s Digital Transformation Index achieve significantly better gross margins, earnings and net income than…

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According to Didier Bonnet, one of the main authors of the highly acclaimed 'Leading Digital' book published two years ago, most large companies are struggling to successfully implement digital transformation with the majority of boards having a long way to go before they are mastering the digital challenge .

In a recent interview, Bonnet made the following observations covering the two year period since publication of…

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A new report from the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an initiative of IMD Business School and Cisco, has identified four competencies and three behaviours that business leaders need in order to excel in an era of digital disruption.

The report entiled Redefining Leadership for a Digital Age, presents findings from a global survey of more than 1,000 executives across 20 different sectors.

The vast majority of leaders agree that they are caught in a technology-change vortex that is drawing in whole industries and creating disruption on an unprecedented scale. 92% of those surveyed stated that they are feeling the effects of digital disruption, with one-third…

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Will 3D printing disrupt the construction industry?

Apis Cor, a company that 'prints buildings', claims to have constructed the first 3D printed house in a town outside Moscow.

The house took less than a day to construct and cost under $11,000 to complete. A mobile 3D printer created the building's concrete walls and partitions as a fully connected structure, rather than printing the building in panels at an off-site facility as is usually done. The portable machine was then removed from the building, with a group of contractors completing the home - adding the roof and windows, and finishing the interior.

By shifting the construction of the building's shell to 3D printing, Apis Cor…

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The Scottish Government is looking for your thoughts and contributions as it prepares an update of the National Digital Strategy for 2017 and beyond. An innovative example of crowdsourcing/co-creation at its best or a deer caught in the headlights of a digital disruption express train, unsure how to respond? Is there a crisis of digital leadership in an area critical to the future competitiveness of the Scottish economy?

Ideas and contributions are being sought in six main areas: Connectivity, Economy, Skills, Public Services, Participation and Cyber Security. As someone who has worked at the coalface of digital…

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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 - …

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Time to Call Time on Non-Digital 'Leaders'

Five key propositions emerge from the growing volume of publications on digital disruption and digital transformation.

1. In an era of pervasive digital change, no industry, no organisation, no individual is immune from the threat of being disrupted. Our FSB Digital Disruption Report from December 2015 listed a broad range of sectors under threat. The question is no longer whether your industry will be affected.  The only pertinent questions to ask now are how severe will the impact be (‘bang’) and over what time scale will this take place (‘fuse’) - see our previous post …

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Digital Disruption in the Auto Industry

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, the global auto industry is facing a trio of disruptive technologies: electric batteries, autonomous vehicles, and the mobile phone.

While the first two of these have been seen as long-standing threats (Telsa), the mobile phone as the third disruptor?

According to the author, Joshua Gans, mobile phones present a disruptive threat to carmakers’ underlying business model of selling people cars. The mobile phone has enabled ride-sharing apps, such as Uber and Lyft, to match drivers to riders. If these apps continue to grow, then people could have less of a need…

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The Robots Are Coming … to Take Your Job

With some academic estimates suggesting that 47% of jobs could be at risk as a consequence of computerisation, the impact of digital disruption on global labour markets is rapidly becoming a major source of concern for many governments around the world, or more accurately, should be a source of concern.

It was with great interest, therefore, that I listened to a recent interview with Martin Ford, author of Rise of the Robots:…

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Last week we delivered the Closing Address at the Digital Transformation 2016 Conference held in Edinburgh and attended by over 200 participants. 

The theme of our presentation was digital disruption and whether Scottish business and the Scottish economy in general were ready for the coming digital tsunami.

Our main conclusion was that with fewer than 3 per cent of Scottish companies being 'digital champions', according to the Scottish Government's own research (see our FSB Digital Disruption Report), the  stated policy objective of becoming a World…

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A new report from McKinsey & Co examines disruptive trends transforming the global automobile industry. It concludes that disruptive technologies, together with emerging markets and changing consumer preferences around ownership, will revolutionize how industry players respond to changing consumer behavior, develop partnerships and drive digital business transformation. Digitization, increasing automation and new business models have already revolutionized many other industries; automotive will be no exception.

The four main disruptive technology-driven trends affecting the sector are:

  • Diverse mobility
  • Autonomous driving
  • Electrification
  • Connectivity

A combination of these trends leads to eight…

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According to a recent survey by Fujitsu, European business leaders view digital transformation as being critical to their future success. However, most companies lack a clear strategy for 'getting there'. The majority still see the digitalization process as a gamble.

The research concludes that most executives agree that failing to digitalize fast enough will result in a loss of productivity, reduced business responsiveness to rapidly changing markets and problems with customer retention and loyalty.

While there is agreement that digital transformation will have a major top line impact in terms of how organizations create value for their customers, a huge disconnect exists in terms of strategic priorities for digital projects.

  • Only one in three respondents agreed…
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According to new research from the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), a joint initiative of the Institute for Management Development (IMD) and Cisco, 47 percent of retail executives believe that disruption could put them out of business. In spite of this, only 24 percent have a plan for digital transformation.

The report entitled, A Roadmap to Digital Value in the Retail Industry concludes that retail is now close to the centre of the Digital Vortex - being one of the three industries most vulnerable to digital disruption.…

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Digital Disruption: Are We Ready?

Scottish business remains woefully unprepared for the oncoming digital onslaught. To leverage the full potential of new technology and reduce the threat of becoming a nation of digital dinosaurs, a new breed of senior executive is urgently required - Digital Business Leaders.

These are two of the main conclusions emerging from our recent ‘Digital Disruption Report’ prepared on behalf of the Federation of Small Business in Scotland. The report raises important implications for Scottish companies, policy makers and the business support network.

Digital Disruption and Scottish Business

The core premise of the report is that we have entered a new and even more revolutionary phase in the development of digital technology; a period…

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Digital Leaders: Even More Urgently Required

In various blog posts and presentations over the last year or so, we have argued that Digital Leaders Are Urgently Required.

While 74% of executives surveyed in Forrester’s State of Digital Business in 2014 Report claimed to have a strategy for dealing with digital disruption, only 15% believed their company had the capability to execute the strategy. Successful digital business transformation, according to Forrester, requires the full support of CEOs to drive investment…

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FSB Digital Disruption Report

Our 'Digital Disruption' report for the Federation of Small Business in Scotland was launched last Thursday at an event hosted by the University of Edinburgh Business School.

The Foreword to the report is reprinted below.

Foreword

Few would dispute that we live and work in an era of rapid technological change. The digital and social media revolutions are already disrupting a wide range of industries, threatening to transform existing ways of doing things and existing business models. The changes witnessed since the advent of the Internet twenty years ago are nothing compared to what is coming over the next few years.

Our small businesses need to ‘adapt or die’. They need to embed digital capabilities into the core of their business. The days of treating…

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