“How can we move into adjacent industries, converge into other industries using big data?”
Andrew Milroy, senior vice president for ICT Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan, says how businesses answer this question is key to their growth and even survival through technology enabled disruption.
He points out how ‘shapeshifting’ companies like Uber, Airbnb and Google use this approach as they ‘ambush unsuspecting industries’.
One of the reasons Google and Facebook are able to ‘shapeshift’ into other industries is because they have so much information on their users, he says.
Facebook is moving into virtual reality, communications and entertainment. Uber is moving beyond taxi services to delivery.
He puts forth more questions to organisations: “When shapeshifters like Google and Amazon are moving into adjacent industries, how is it impacting your business? What are the opportunities it can create for your business? Are there ways you can improve customer experience as a result of this shift?”
Speaking at the 2015 Frost & Sullivan GIL (Growth, Innovation and Leadership) Congress in Auckland, Milroy says, “Convergence of technology and industries will affect the way we interact with each other, with our employers and with the organisations that serve us. It will change the way we serve our stakeholders and we manage our businesses.”
He points out convergence and connectivity is disrupting, transforming and collapsing industries, redefining the future of business and how executives will manage companies in the future.
“As connectivity continues to drive convergence, companies need to identify adjacent, periphery products and services that can be added as a part of their portfolio in the future. This will define new solutions, new customers, new partnerships and new competition,” states Milroy.
“We are looking at adjacent industries, and payment is closest for us,” says John Moss, chief strategy officer, MYOB, one of the speakers at the conference. He talked about how the accounting software provider is leading through this change.
“People are paying using credit cards and debit all the time so a lot of money is made in that space.”
The focus for MYOB is to make sure “the numbers flow appropriately” on both sides of the transaction.
He says the company is looking at mobility and cloud computing and how these will impact its business model.
“As we think forward, we think about online apps and mobility,” says Moss, “having automation to the point all the data gets sucked in automatically.”
A trader, for instance, can take payments through their mobile app. All transactions go into the cloud, there will be no data entry and the trader is paid straight away.
“We push information out to the business owners,” he says. “We can tell you your GST statement is due next month. There are all sorts of things we can do in terms of analytics. But the general trend is towards pushing information to our clients so they do not duplicate it.”
Milroy meanwhile, points out that cybersecurity is “the elephant in the room”, when it comes to IT and industry convergence.
Cybersecurity is the elephant in the room
“Security is a huge, enormous scary issue with this move,” says Milroy.
“When we do anything with technology it goes beyond bugs in your systems, there are serious implications.
“We tell people before you embark on any of these projects, security has to be built into the project rather than a piece of insurance or an add on at the end.”
Think of the implications of what could happen, he says. “It is not about corporate data sitting in the cloud but physical things like nuclear power stations, airplanes and cars,” says Milroy.
“Think of the chaos potentially it can cost as a result of hacking into these physical things.
“Infrastructure is a big issue, how do you protect it as it becomes more and more digitised?”
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