The digital transformation opportunity

We're entering a new wave of digital transformation that's being driven by IOT, AI and blockchain. These technologies can be regarded as either a challenge or an opportunity. Businesses can learn how to turn them into the latter.

Johannesburg, 15 Apr 2019
Read time 3min 20sec
Yannick Tabanon, CEO, Atos SA.
Yannick Tabanon, CEO, Atos SA.

In its latest industry trends report, Atos highlights a move towards increasingly intelligent business platforms being driven by technologies such as the Internet of things (IOT), artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain.

These technologies are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the world around us and, as a result, are changing the behaviour and expectations of employees, suppliers and customers. In order to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving world, businesses need to evolve their business processes, people and services to keep pace.

Yannick Tabanon, CEO of Atos SA, says: "Businesses need to prepare for the inevitability of change as we head towards a data-driven economy. People see how smart and intuitive the applications on their phone are and expect the same level of intelligence in all of their interactions, albeit be with a service provider like a bank or the software they use at the office."

It all comes down to using data better to connect with people and to make it easier for them to connect with you, and AI, IOT and blockchain are all technologies that enable that.

He continues: "These technological and other challenges are all set to impact businesses in potentially unimagined ways. Technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence are already having a seismic impact on all industries as companies race to remain relevant."

Four main trends are expected to emerge from the current spate of change, and businesses that meet them will succeed in this brave new world.

* Going forward, everything has to be about the customer. A new generation has new expectations, and businesses must deliver on these if they want to remain relevant. This applies equally to customers and employees.
* The competition is no longer known, anyone can become a competitor as the boundaries between industries blur and previously diverse businesses partner to offer their customers more.
* The fourth industrial revolution is changing the way that businesses work and interact with one another, their suppliers and their customers.
* The nature of risk is changing, with cyber attacks on data becoming the new battleground.

Tabanon says: "It all comes down to having the right business model in place as well as intelligent platforms to turn these challenges into opportunities. More than this, these have to be able to adapt on the fly to keep pace with evolutions peripheral to your industry that may still impact your business. Flexibility and agility are key, with decisions being made on up-to-date data."

It all comes down to having the right partnerships in place, staying abreast of the latest technology developments, while keeping your business advantage.

Tabanon has identified four broad imperatives for any business looking to optimise how technology can add to, and not detract from, value from their organisation:

* Understand how to use the information available to provide strategic insight in real-time;
* Maximise the use of technology to think forward;
* Implement effective and efficient processes that satisfy the overall business requirements; and
* Capture, measure, report and predict future performance in a much more agile manner to support better and faster decision-making.

He says: "This is where preparation and readiness will pay off. The sooner businesses see the digital transformation challenge as one of processes and people instead of as purely technological in nature, the sooner they'll make progress on their journey. We have to be ready for what lies ahead, and the one rule that holds true across all businesses and industries is that collaboration is going to be key going forward."

Download the LookOut 2020 + Industry Trends report here:

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