While in the past it seems almost impossible for business to operate successfully in the absence of raw materials or resources, the advent of technology made it possible for businesses to grow exponentially even if they don’t own resources. This is a lesson that renowned Futurist and Chief Technology Advisor to the FutureWorld Global Think Tank, Doug Vining shared with the local industry leaders at the Deloitte stakeholder session last week.
Vining pointed out that game changers in the market place introduced agility and speed in their daily operations. Internet is now the driving force behind the new way of doing business. This concept draws attention to the reality that the world is increasingly becoming perched on connectivity.
According to Cisco, a multinational technology company, connected devices outnumber the world’s population by 1.5 to 1, attributing this explosion to the increase of applications which link supply chains and customers and also the increasing interconnectivity of machines and personal smart devices. Vining cited the example of Uber, an American based transportation network company that revolutionized the convenience of a transport system by simply creating an application through which a customer can request and pay for a taxi ride using a mobile phone. Uber has disrupted the transport systems in 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide. The moral of the story, as Vining put it, is that Uber has grown exponentially to become a major player in the transport business even though but it doesn’t own a single cab.
Other examples include Facebook which does not own content, Alibaba which does not own stock and Whatsapp which does not own servers. Vining eloquently proved how the connectedness of devices, machines and things, which give rise to speed and agility, is the new norm of doing business.
“Can we think differently?” he rhetorically asked the industry titans. Vining highlighted notions which people perceive as true which claim that the internet is expensive and that our society does not use internet which he regarded as ‘toxic assumptions.’ “Learn to unlearn when it doesn’t work anymore,” he advised, emphasizing that knowledge does not equal understanding.
Kevin Black, Deloitte’s Clients and Industries Leader, proposed to the local industry leaders that to operationalize and institutionalize the information gleaned from Vining, their businesses should put in place an innovation strategy, a transparent funding process, the right governance and collaboration mechanisms and a matrix around success which has appropriate tools that recognize and reward that success.