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A world-first report entitled "A Snapshot of Australia's Digital Future to 2050" has just been released, providing a compelling view of the digital future across Australia's 19 industry divisions and 509 individual industry classes. The report was written by Phil Ruthven the Founder and Chairman of IBISWorld and was commissioned by IBM.
Ruthven's report highlights the emergence of a new utility, namely more powerful ICT enhanced with ubiquitous and high speed broadband, and coupled with smart analytics, learning systems and cognitive computing. This new utility could be as transformative as telephony or electricity in earlier times.
But what should organisations do now? So lets explore key imperatives.
1. Craft a new business model - the digital future challenges the old way of doing business
The first imperative is to re-assess and re-shape business models. The status quo is simply not good enough. The digital future provides the opportunity to re-shape business models in many ways - different ways of accessing and engaging with customers, new approaches to how employees are engaged and how they work, and innovative channels to collaborate more broadly with partners and broader stakeholders.
Successful organisations will take a hard look at their business model now, and re-shape accordingly to drive digital advantage.
2. Integrate or perish - the digital future is about being connected and integrated
The second imperative is to drive integration and drive it early. Integration will be the crucial support for the business model change above. The digital future requires more than systems integration. It will encompass integration and connection across the entire value chain like never before - across customers, systems, processes, products and people.
Successful organisations will drive integration and connection as a key strategic pillar across their business.
3. Deliver new organisational capabilities - the digital future demands different sets of capabilities
The third imperative is to build the right organisational capabilities for the digital future. These capabilities include the ability to anticipate needs of customers rather than just reacting, the pervasive use of analytics to effectively manage the value chain dynamically, and organisation agility to take advantage of rapid change and opportunity in the digital economy.
Successful organisations will place a clear focus on their capabilities needed in the digital future, and will drive an agenda for their development and delivery.
Organisations need to take up the challenge now and ask the tough questions about what the digital future will mean to their organisations and industries. The digital future will provide significant opportunity, but the future is now regarding action and shaping the agenda for change.
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