In March 2015, Deloitte launched Tomorrow is Today, a campaign aimed to raise awareness of how data analytics, cyber security, digital enterprise and innovation create disruption across all industries, at an exponential pace. The content-rich approach utilised multiple channels such as print (across 3 newspapers), radio and online. Internally, Deloitte employees were keen to adopt the “Tomorrow is Today” frame of mind and, through several internal initiatives, became campaign champions. Read on to discover more about exponential technologies and how they are affecting businesses everywhere.
Are you ready?
There is no way to escape the speed at which innovations happen. Exponential progress disrupts prices, products and business models. But it also offers opportunity – if you are prepared to ride the wave of disruption.
Disruptive growth
In 2007, the cost of a drone was €360,000. Today, you can get one for €90. In less than ten years, this technology has evolved from expensive and complicated to an innovative, easy to buy gadget that can wreak havoc on business models of postal and e-commerce companies. Or take 3D-printers. In just seven years, they have become 400 times cheaper. It wasn’t long ago that robots were considered science fiction, now they are emerging in all industries. Barely two decades after the general introduction of the internet, smart clock radios, thermostats and watches are widely available.
We live in a new world, a world where technology evolves at exponential speed. The impact of exponential innovations is astounding. Take the smartphone in your pocket. It has a camera, satellite navigation and maybe even a couple of e-books. It offers virtual alternatives for products which we used to buy individually. When a simple virtual alternative is suddenly available, the original product quickly drops in value and is accessible everywhere and to everyone. This evolution characterises what we call ‘disruptive growth’: progress by disruption.
Disruptive growth goes beyond the smartphone in your pocket. MIT’s Technology Review publication predicts that 45 percent of all current jobs will disappear over the next two decades as a result of the developments in artificial intelligence and robotics. According to a recent report from ING, which calculated the chances of automation based on the employment split in Belgium, no less than 49 percent of all the jobs in Belgium could be automated. “These developments bring challenges, but they also offer opportunities”, says Guido Vandervorst, managing partner of Innovation at Deloitte.
“The future belongs to those who are not afraid to look at the world from a different perspective and are already looking for tomorrow’s innovative solutions today.”
Rik Vanpeteghem, CEO, Deloitte Belgium
Best of both worlds
Disruptive growth is propelled by four themes: digital, data analytics, cyber security and innovation.
It has become clear that companies in all sectors need to digitise, but it concerns more than just the implementation of technology. How do you create a richer experience for your customers? What is the right balance between analogue and digital? To what extent does your business model have to be revised due to digital possibilities? “Digital and analogue cannot be seen separately from each other anymore”, says Vandervorst. “A good example is what the bank sector in Belgium is doing: offering customers the ‘best of both worlds’: online accounts, but backed with professional advice for those who want it.”
Analytics is about the interest of Big Data, combined with the exponentially growing power of computing. Companies are sitting on mountains of data and are looking for ways to draw insights from it. Bigger companies want to process the data to understand their customers better. Small-sized companies use data to find new business thanks to the forecasting strength of the available data. “The benefits of these new digital possibilities also come with dangers unfortunately”, says Rik Vanpeteghem, CEO Deloitte Belgium. “Companies need to be aware of and prepare for cyber risks." Awareness is an important factor in this. Expensive firewalls are not much use if an employee gives away data by replying to a phishing e-mail.
What is the best way for a business to survive and even benefit from the opportunities in this new world? Versatility and collaboration with startups is essential to create a culture of innovation in your business. This is a great way for innovations to be quickly captured, evaluated and, if necessary, implemented. “A lot more can be achieved through innovation if we work together”, concludes Vandervorst. The need for a transformation on all levels of the company is a reality. In the era of digitisation, launching a one-off initiative and leaving the rest as “business as usual” is not enough. By transforming the whole company, a business becomes intuitive, creating smart systems to bring customers, employees and suppliers in touch to stimulate growth and information flow and get a feel for markets.
“If entrepreneurs in Belgium grasp these opportunities, job creation will thrive.”
Guido Vandervorst, Managing Partner Innovation, Deloitte
Tomorrow is Today