Today's episode we drive deeper into decoding disruption through automation and its two forms, ie. robotics and artificial intelligence. Robotics, as we know it, are machines are able to do things that humans once did. We have seen the impact of robotics on industry for several decades now for example in manufacturing and mining, but in recent times the complexity of tasks has been increasing at a rapid rate. For example think of Amazon and its capability to run an entirely robotised warehouse. Another great example of robotics and artificial intelligence is the Google Driverless Car, which uses radar and lidar combined with a very clever engine to replace a human driver. When the driverless car technology reaches the market, it will have large and deep implications at every level of society - from businesses to the social community.
The second archetypal model in disruption revolves around Data, and in that I mean the children of digitisation: ie. businesses that use a wide range of data to go from information to insight. There are four sources of that data and how it affects how business is done. There is existing data, for example sales data from point of sales and inventory, and there is new data collected from the Internet of Things, which have essentially allowed us to measure many and all things at an increasingly granular level. Then there is big data from the collation of data from a wide range of sources such as search engine history and GPS as well as customer data which have allowed businesses like TripAdvisor to seek and deliver value in a new and unique way.
In the next couple of episodes, we'll be talking about disruptions and I will be providing a framework to make sense of these disruptions in today's world of business. There are four archetypal business models that we'll discuss - Connections, Data, Automation and Customisation.
Connections in this case refers to connecting micro-elements of demand to micro-elements of supply and becomes even more interesting when businesses find untapped sources of demand or supply - as demonstrated by new growing businesses such as Uber and AirBnb. Stay tuned as we discuss how these connections businesses have infinitely scalable models, relying on the network effect and have effectively created a disruption to incumbents that aren't able to react as quickly, nimbly or at a similar low price.
We're joined again by Craig Tapper as we discuss the way the digital world is changing and disrupting businesses on a wide spectrum. While digital technologies have allowed industries to rethink cost implications in terms of efficiencies, the digital world has also allowed us to look further and longer into the past and future giving us greater depth of data and allowing us to make more informed decisions. We see how data-centric businesses are starting to position themselves to play in different 'industries', for example Telstra and how this big telecommunications player has created a role for itself in healthcare. There is a need to think beyond the traditional model of an 'industry' and think more about 'ecosystems' where businesses, needs and models intersect driven by digital technologies and accessibility to data.
In today's episode, I'm joined by my friend and colleague Chris Tapper, my colleague at the AGSM Business School, as we talk about digital strategy and why it matters. We discuss how digital technologies have effectively democratised markets, allowing start-ups to proliferate and newer more agile businesses to disrupt incumbents with traditional models.
To wrap up 2015, let's take a look at two of my picks of this year's books on strategy.
"We have come to the conclusion that the same forces that disrupted so many businesses, from steel to publishing, are starting to reshape the world of consulting." - Clayton M. Christensen
Virginia Kane, our expert in the future of work, speaks to us about how digital disruption is affecting the professional services industry, looking in particular at consulting firms. All over the world, businesses and clients are looking for different ways to engage and interact with each other, a trend that is brought on by the introduction of new digital platforms that allow for disintermediation, bringing the solution-provider closer to clients.
While we have previously spoken about how automation and digitisation will drastically change the workforce landscape by removing certain jobs, both Virginia and I do believe that professional advice will still be sought after, as clients and businesses will inevitably look to experts who can help guide them through the changes ahead.
There are countless Hollywood movies about robots taking over the world, and we are in an age where we can easily imagine robots in many and all types of industries, from manufacturing to aged care facilities and even in the investment and advice space. But a really interesting piece is how the introduction of robots and artificial intelligence has changed the make-up of the management team, their changing roles from being people managers to systems and process managers. Robotics, automation and artificial intelligence will also have a huge impact in professional services, where the service that someone like a lawyer or an accountant will be accessible automatically through digitisation.
What this all means is that, in the not-so-distant future, there will lots of jobs that we think are jobs for life that may no longer exist and there will be new unimaginable job opportunities. Listen for more on how to find opportunity in the inevitable change through the automation of the workforce.
A recent PwC report states that nearly half of Australian jobs are predicted to be automated in the next twenty years, which is estimated to equate to 5.1 million jobs in Australia. Join me and my special guest Virginia Kane, an expert in the future of work, and hear her thoughts on the ways disruption will affect how workplaces operate and why organisations will need to think strategically about their workforce in the face of these disruptions.
“The capitalist era is passing . . . not quickly, but inevitably.” - Jeremy Rifkin
As 'disruption' becomes the strategy phrase of the year, we see digital and tech innovations rapidly disrupting and transforming industries. But with change comes opportunity and so, today we look at Jeremy Rifkin's The Zero Marginal Cost Society and how we may be entering into a new phase of change in our economic state, one in which where the dominant capitalist model gives way to a more collaborative way of doing business, as we see evidenced in successful businesses like Uber and AirBnb.
About the Bookshelf
Sharing ideas about our changing world, how we do business today and the key role of strategy for in today's turbulent business environment.