Digital Transformation: More than meets the eye

Inside boardrooms around the world, there’s a constant digital hum disrupting business and life as we know it. Beneath the buzz, the cool and the wow, lies the sheer ability of digital transformation to alter industries at the speed of a swipe, a click, a voice command or a slight movement.

The recently released World Economic Forum White Paper, Digital Transformation of Industries: Professional Services, explores some of the key technologies driving disruption today – artificial intelligence (AI), data and analytics (D&A), machine learning, and the innovative platforms interrupting traditional business models. When these technologies are connected and linked together they can unleash exponential power that blends digital experiences with cross functional processing power never seen before.

Often times, organisations make the mistake of getting hung-up on a specific technology instead of concentrating on the business opportunity and the interplay between multiple disruptors in people, process, technology and digital. To fully thrive in the digital world, CEOs and leaders need to focus on the business realities in today’s world.

Leveraging innovation, industry acumen and agility, organisations should consider a business-first, humanistic approach that strategically identifies the desired outcome – increased speed-to-market, agility, data insights, better consumer understanding and experience, improved efficiency/reduced costs, risk mitigation, as well as strengthening the connection between employees and enterprise.

According to KPMG’s 2016 Global CEO Outlook, four in ten CEOs anticipate their company will be significantly transformed over the next three years. Furthermore, two-thirds of the surveyed CEOs say this period will be more critical for their industry than the last 50 years. While digital will underpin much of this change, people must remain at the heart of transformation.

Digital labour is a perfect example. Virtually every client we talk with today wants to know more about the advantages of digital labour, but many have underlying concerns for their workforce that significant jobs may disappear alongside automation. History has shown us that big disruptions have always produced new opportunities and this is no different. What’s critical in this era is continuous, lifelong learning offered by companies, instilling proper governance and staying transparent with all stakeholders.

CEOs in all sectors should consider placing an emphasis on hiring people who bring a mind-set of the possible and a passion for accelerating the future to the present. That’s both a responsive and responsible approach to digital transformation.

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