Digital Leaders Blog

digital disruption (48)

One for discussion at our next 'Leading Digital' Masterclass, Digital Landscape Analysis session. 

Gartner has recently presented their top 10 strategic technology trends for 2019.

The emerging technologies likely to have the most disruptive impact over the next five years include:

1. Autonomous things

By the year 2021,10% of new vehicles will have autonomous driving capabilities, up from 1% in 2017. Major automobile manufacturers will reach level four autonomous driving by 2021, which bascially means the car will drive itself.

2. Augmented analytics

The number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than the number of expert…

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Since May of this year, we have delivered eight of our highly regarded ‘Leading Digital’ Executive Masterclasses, including two five-day programmes, four three-day programmes and twice through online delivery over a five-week period.

Senior managers representing 200 organisations, from 20+ countries, have participated. A live Interactive Polling Tool was used to provide high level insight into the State of Digital Transformation 2018 covering the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Key highlight findings are summarised below:

1.  To what extent is your industry, your organisation, under threat of being disrupted?

Eighty-six per cent of executives agreed that their industry/their organisation was under threat of being disrupted. Twenty-five per cent stated that ‘big bang’ disruption…

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Next week I will be in Iceland delivering two half-day workshops.

The first session will examine the changing role of HR in an era of digital disruption.

The key motion being discussed during workshop two is whether marketing, as we know it, is becoming obsolete. Is the convergence of disruptive technologies (mobile connectivity, social media, the cloud, big data, predictive analytics, algorithms, IoT, AI, automation, cognitive computing, augmented reality and the blockchain), combined with the rapid emergence of a new generation of constantly connected customers (Gen C), leading to the end of marketing as usual?

Key discussion points will include:

  • Has the marketing profession adapted quickly enough to the digital era? Does the profession need to #adaptordie?
  • Are we viewing the…
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Digital native companies have captured value from established businesses because of their innovative use and development of technologies, business models and customer experiences.

According to a recent study by McKinsey, however, an overlooked element in the success of these companies has been their use of next-generation operating models defined as:

"The continual effort to improve end-to-end customer journeys and business processes by applying advanced technologies and sophisticated operational methods in an integrated manner. The combination typically results in, or is built around, a business model that is new to the industry and allows the company to move, adapt, and scale quickly."

By applying next-generation operating models, traditional companies can…

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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…

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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, they argue, digitization “starts with the CEO.”

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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…

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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 organisations in the bottom digital quartile. A similar disparity is…

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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 the book:

  • CEOs and their teams are now much more aware of the impact of digital technology on their businesses. Many are…
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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 rating the impact of digital disruption on their companies as "very…

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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 developments in Scotland and internationally for over two decades, I will…

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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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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 to own their cars since they can hire them at will. This could…

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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: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, which appeared on the…

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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 Class Digital nation by 2020 was already out of reach.…

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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 main predictions being made:

  1. Driven by shared mobility, connectivity…
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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 that digital priorities are fully aligned within their…
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