Please see below selected recent intelligence about the ongoing digital revolution.
Q3 (July-August-September) 2016
- Deloitte is targeting fast-growing start-ups and SMEs with a new accounting and analytics service, the latest example of how cheaper access to technology is allowing the Big Four professional services firms to expand their reach. The new cloud-based service is called Propel and has received £2.5m in funding from Deloitte’s Innovation Investments scheme, which encourages its entrepreneurial employees to turn start-up ideas into businesses. As well as a core accounting service, clients have their own “dashboard”, which gives a real-time view of how their business is performing, in areas including its cash position, trends in web traffic and how sales are correlated to the weather.
- Deloitte Digital announced that NetSuite had named it the 2015 Global Systems Integrator of the Year. This award is one of many honours that Deloitte Digital has recently earned. NetSuite had recognised Deloitte Digital each of the previous three years with a top honor, including Global System Integrator Enterprise Solution Partner of the Year in 2014, Global System Integrator Quality Partner of the Year in 2013, and Global System Integrator Newcomer of the Year in 2012. Moreover, Forrester Research recently placed Deloitte as the leader position in their 2015 Forrester Wave for Business Transformation Consulting Report. According to Forrester Research, "Deloitte drives business transformations with its customer and industry knowledge and shows remarkably high quality for all related services."
- Deloitte announced the launch of Deloitte Pixel , a worldwide enterprise crowdsourcing offering. This capability enables Deloitte teams and clients to leverage external crowds to access specific, difficult-to-find expertise, collaborate to develop new products or ideas, and even design, build and test new digital assets. With a depth of experience and capabilities, Deloitte Pixel(TM) is a go-to source for crowdsourcing advisory and delivery services. Deloitte's methodology for crowdsourcing involves breaking large problems into smaller pieces--pixels--and inviting individuals to contribute in a way that is time-bound and skill-specific, resulting in faster, better, and often less-costly outcomes.
- EY and GE Digital announced a new strategic alliance to develop and provide Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) services to help industrial companies achieve increased productivity from capital assets and processes linked in the cloud EY and GE Digital will develop and deliver industry-specific services based on GE's Predix(R) cloud-based operating system. The services can help companies reduce operating expenses and increase revenue through improved machine uptime and streamlined industrial workflows. EY, which has been working with GE for more than 10 years, joins GE's ecosystem of global alliance partners, which gives members access to digital tools and domain expertise from across GE. EY will provide its extensive experience in business transformation; IoT, data analytics and IT cybersecurity capabilities; and access to global resources across multiple industries.
- Global businesses are set to invest over £600 billion a year to go digital, according to PwC's own 'Industry 4.0: Building the Digital Enterprise' report. Industry 4.0 - also called the fourth industrial revolution - focuses on the digitisation of all physical assets and processes. The study outlines the benefits companies expect, the necessary steps to adapt and the barriers to implementation. PwC interviewed people from over 2,000 global companies across nine industry sectors and found that most firms expect to drive high levels of digitisation and integration by 2021. But a lack of digital culture internally, talent gaps and failing to have a clear digital vision are creating big challenges.
- For over a decade companies have been urged to “digitalise” or risk getting left behind. While many accept this as a reality, INSEAD argues that the precept is at best confusing and at worst unclear for those eager to act. Too often information about the “digital revolution” and its impact on business comes from analysts, consultancies and the media, but little is heard from the workplace, from business managers grappling with the new realities brought about by digital on a day-to-day basis. It was to uncover their truths that we initiated a study to examine the reality of digital in today’s workplace. It was INSEAD's aim to understand the implication of digital technologies for companies, how it is being incorporated into organisations, what managers and their boards expect of digital, and how it is truly changing the way business is conducted. The findings were published in its report The Real Impact of Digital - As Seen From the “Virtual Coalface”.
- The European Commission unveiled a number of measures to digitise industry across Europe, mobilising €50bn of public and private funding to support initiatives around innovation, public services and standards, as well as pilot projects for 5G mobile networks, the internet of things (IoT), big data technologies, security and cloud. The measures will link up a number of national initiatives, including in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and establish a framework across the European Union (EU) to coordinate cross-border work.
- The vast majority (94%) of executives interviewed by the Economist Intelligence Unit for a new EIU survey cited a “moderate” or “severe” digital skills gap. Financial services and manufacturing had the largest enterprise-wide skills deficits, while healthcare and retail survey participants were concerned with department-specific shortages. - Cyber-security and web/mobile development are the most important digital competencies today. Big Data will top the list by 2018. Internal opposition to creating new digital jobs is cited as a hiring obstacle by 49% of respondents. Older workers are more resistant to digital transition than their younger colleagues, the survey shows: 80% of companies face internal resistance to digital transition of processes and work among older members of the workforce - Over one-third of companies (37%) believe that digital workers have no desire to work in their industries, a problem particularly acute in retail and manufacturing
- KPMG Singapore launched an initiative which will allow its corporate customers to tap the creative skills of startups in order to get access to innovative solutions. Called the KPMG Digital Village, it will be what a company spokesman calls a symbiotic ecosystem matching, "fostering and forging innovation ventures between companies and startups". KPMG Singapore's head of Digital + Innovation, said the company is using a "challenge-focused approach" in the Digital Village. It helps to bring innovative ideas to life from scouting and mentoring through to helping startups develop solutions for business integration. The Digital Village will provide solutions to corporate clients out of KPMG's innovation network, venture capitalists (VCs) and research institutions, and will include links with institutes of higher learning and available government resources to complete the ecosystem.
- The nature of disruption is changing. In the past, disruption occurred at the level of discrete product and service technologies that competed to offer better value for customers (e.g., 2.5-inch vs. 3.5-inch disk drives; LCD vs. CRT television; online vs. brick-and-mortar banks). Today, disruption is occurring at the level of ecosystems, warned The Harvard Business Review. The Internet of Things is a good example of this change. Every industry, no matter how traditional - agriculture, automotive, aviation, energy - is being upended by the addition of sensors, internet connectivity, and software. Success in this environment will depend on more than just creating better digital-enabled products; it will depend on building ecosystem-level strategies that encompass the many moving pieces that come together to create the new value proposition.
- Many CIOs ask for help in building a digital strategy, but according to Forrester's The Key Success Factors Of Digital Business Strategy 2016 report, what they need is a digitised business strategy. Using results from the latest digital business executive survey, this report highlights necessary changes to digitise a business strategy and compete in the age of the customer. It helps set priorities and focus on the right mix of skills to drive transformation to a digital business.
- McKinsey referred to the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) as the “transformer in chief", claiming that the CDO is charged with coordinating and managing comprehensive changes that address everything from updating how a company works to building entirely new businesses.
- Where do your clients rank against their competitors in digital capability? How will new advances in technology affect their industry? How could they use digital to disrupt themselves? These are some of the big questions our clients face in a digitally driven marketplace. PwC UK has grown its digital capability to help clients stay ahead of the digital curve. For example, our digital protothons are creating new ways for clients to overcome their business challenges and we have opened a new Google innovation lab in Northern Ireland. We are also piloting our cloud-based platform, engage. To help you have a digital conversation with your client, our award winning World in beta campaign is entering a new phase of exploration. Over the coming months, World in beta will be taking a close look at industries to help answer our clients questions on how digital is changing their market.
- In Will You Be Mine in the Digital World?, Strategy& argued that, as they look to enhance digital capabilities through mergers and acquisitions, traditional companies have to heed a new set of "dating rules":
- Non-tech companies made 48% more digital deals in 2015 than 2011. When opposites attract, dating rules change: http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P #MnA
- Acquisitions are like marriage proposals. Companies must ensure they’re a good match before they say “yes”: http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P #MnA
- Like dating, traditional-on-digital acquisitions need boundaries. Know your walkaway price: http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P #StrategyThatWorks #MnA
- Globally, digital deals accounted for about 32% of all transactions in 2015 http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P @stratandbiz #MnA
- Many non-digital companies have jumped into the market by becoming serial acquirers. The right strategy? http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P #MnA
- New data shows spike in acquirers in non-digital industries, including #auto, #retail, & hospitality http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P [attach exhibit from article, pasted below]
- Of ~20K digital deals announced between 2011 & 2015, ~1/3 involved a non-tech, non-telecom buyer. http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P #MnA
- Digital #MnA presents challenges at every turn; new @strategyand insights on what works: http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P
- “Very little of this framework applies to digital deals.” @strategyand on digital dealmaking: http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P #MnA
- “What’s it worth?” In digital deal making, there’s often no obvious answer. @stratandbiz http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P
- What do traditional companies need to know about successful digital dealmaking? http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P
- When digital/traditional companies combine, it can get messy. @strategyand’s rulebook: http://strat.bz/Qe9n94P #MnA
- The European Commission published the results of the 2016 edition of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). The findings show that Member States have made progress in areas such as connectivity and digital skills, as well as on-line public services, since the publication of the Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy last year but that the pace of progress is slowing down. More needs to be done, both at the EU and national levels, to remove the obstacles which prevent EU Member States from fully benefitting from digital opportunities.
- “The thing that’s really changed is the impact of the digital economy,” Sage's CEO told PwC. “The explosion of data, the explosion of devices.” With perhaps 90% of the world’s data created in only the last couple of years, and less than five percent of it analysed today, consumer-driven disruption and innovation is generating tectonic shifts in digital services and citizen services.The role of government is changing within this. Where government was once the prime innovator of technology, with business following, and the citizen slowing adapting to new deployments of technology, now government is deploying new business innovations as digital services, and improving the experience of citizens, for example applying for loans and licences.
- In 'The Double game of Digital Action', Boston Consulting Group warned that managers are increasingly nervous about the lack of progress in their digital initiatives. Too often, organisations merely add digital “pixie dust” to traditional processes or engage in a frenzy of digital experiments and ventures. Rather than drive competitive advantage, these efforts leave companies more vulnerable.
- The need to keep up with rising customer expectations in the digital age will continue to drive major organisational changes within companies. The increasing occurrence of titles like Chief Customer Officer, Chief Data Officer, and Chief Digital Officer is an admission that firms need a higher level of cross-business unit coordination to provide compelling customer experiences, argued Forrester.
- Accenture argued that there is one key word that is at the centre of the digital economy or companies' digital strategy: it is the word platform, which basically combines a number of elements. The platform as a tool. The platform as a place where partners in an ecosystem reconfigure, and the platform as a centre of solutions. The platform business model is, for Accenture, probably the greatest opportunity in the next 3-5 years to create growth in the digital economy. Which platforms, which ecosystems, are providing the most value? How can you tap into internal and external resources, expand your capacity? This is the key role of the platform, this is the so-called “network effect,” that a platform provides. Also from a competitive standpoint, an industry specific digital strategy needs, requires, to be clear on which platform, what roles, which data, are fundamental to compete successfully in that industry and, or, in a disruptive way across industries. The key is really to identify which part of your business is prime for a platform strategy, starting with the most information intensive part of your business.
- A report from Accenture argued that few businesses grasp how dramatic the changes arising from new platform-based ecosystems will be. The threat they pose? Unexpected new competitors seizing advantage. The opportunity? Previous technology disruptions were often unpredictable, but now, enterprises have a line of sight to track growing ecosystems and anticipate their impacts. Forward-thinking leaders can get ahead of the game, develop their ecosystem strategies, and ride the results into new markets.
- Accenture's Pierre Nanterme claimed that digital disruption is at the heart of all the conversations he has with CEOs today. And this is not surprising, as it presents the most significant threats and opportunities any of us have faced in business. When assessing the implications, consider the fact that that new digital business models are the principal reason why just over half of the names of companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000. And yet, we are only at the beginning of what the World Economic Forum calls the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” characterised not only by mass adoption of digital technologies but by innovations in everything from energy to biosciences. While the digital transformation of industries will be profound, we must keep in mind that it will have wider economic and social impact, too, as with previous revolutions driven by steam and coal, electricity and computers.
- Every business is becoming a digital business, argued Forrester. To win customers, organisations must transform the way they deliver the software to create high-value experiences for customers, employees, and partners, meaning that application development and delivery professionals should shape their application delivery strategy to deliver high-quality applications quickly and at low cost.
- In 'From ‘how?’ to ‘what?’ The digital side effect that will help define 2016', Accenture claimed digital is now "streamlined, slick, digs deep and gets personal". It has evolved from electronic brochure ware to multi-party, feature rich, interactive platforms that facilitate cross-sector collaboration to create personalised end-to-end products and services for customers. Agile businesses no longer think about ‘how’, only ‘what’. This is going to make for a fast-paced 2016 in digital, characterised by creativity and innovation. Accenture's advice: keep your eyes wide open, understand these new business models and value propositions, and act.
- The US and China are the most promising technology hubs for disruptive breakthroughs, according to a recent global survey by KPMG. Results show that China continued to secure two out of the five cities expected to become next leading tech hubs in addition to Silicon Valley. owever, Shanghai saw its No. 1 position overtaken by Tokyo and New York, while Beijing slid one place to rank 4th.
- Kennedy Research has named Deloitte member firm digital practices (Deloitte Digital) a global leader in Digital Customer Strategy & Experience Consulting. In the 2015 Digital Customer Strategy & Experience Consulting report, Deloitte Digital is positioned highest in "Breadth of Consulting Capabilities" on The Kennedy Vanguard(TM). Kennedy noted "Deloitte's prescience about the digital consulting market and its willingness to take risk, combined with its ability to align the firm's considerable resources behind the investment, allowed the firm to quickly build up what has become the largest and among the most accomplished digital consulting agencies."
- Deloitte hired Sheila Doyle as its new UK Chief Information Officer to "drive digital innovation" which the firm said demonstrated its "focus on the strategic role of technology". Doyle will join the firm in January, moving from Norton Rose Fulbright where she has been the law firm's Global CIO since May 2011. Deloitte's Global CIO Larry Quinlan is based at the company's headquarters in New York. She said: "I am looking forward to bringing my experience to Deloitte and delivering innovative IT services that support client and business needs. Deloitte has a relentless focus on providing excellent client services. My role will support that ambition by delivering customer facing solutions and ensuring our technology can drive digital innovation." With over 30 years' experience, former Gartner consultant Doyle has been CIO at BP and the Royal Mail's IT director. She will lead a Deloitte UK IT department of 300 when she starts in 2016.
- According to PwC's 2015 Chief Digital Officer Study, the digital revolution is moving fast and spurring massive disruptions and transformations in industry after industry. A key sign of its growing importance is the rise of a new kind of executive: the chief digital officer, or CDO. CDOs who can adapt to rapidly changing circumstances while staying tightly aligned with their company's' business goals will be in the best position to lead the way to a full digital transformation.
- Our Global CIPS Leader, Norbert Schwieter's new article, Ten Digital Trust Challenges . It examines a range of key digital trust issues that many institutions aren’t currently equipped to deal effectively with - which has strong relevance for pwc in light of our purpose. It follows on from A Magna Carta for the next industrial revolution which posed the question of whether we need a bold new charter between public and private institutions and their stakeholders, in order to navigate the challenges of the digital age.
- 200 guests from start-ups to corporate players took part in a lively debate on digital disruption, innovation and growth recently, sponsored by PwC France's Business Group whose primary objective is to promote closer business links between the UK and France. The Franco-British Digital Conference theme of 'Small Meets Big' looked at the challenges and opportunities our clients face and the roadmap to many of them becoming digital.
- The recent development of digital platforms has helped to bring buyers and sellers together in a diverse range of product markets, argued PwC. ‘Peer-to-peer’ operators such as Airbnb, Uber and Laundrapp have successfully introduced new business models into their markets, disrupting pre-existing competitive dynamics. This has often provoked substantial opposition from the industry incumbents whose businesses have been affected, with disruptors accused of both flouting industry regulations and even of anticompetitive behaviour. On the other hand, supporters have argued that the dynamism which they bring to markets creates huge benefits and advocate a laissez-faire approach to encourage such innovation.
- Digital is often compared to electricity, noted the Boston Consulting Group. Both are pervasive, and each has been a fuel for broad-based economic transformation. But the comparison is misleading. Today’s production, distribution, and uses of electricity, in spite of significant improvements in efficiency, would be familiar to Tesla and Westinghouse. By contrast, the possibilities and economics of digital- driven by sustained exponential trends like Moore’s law for processing power and its various derivatives for bandwidth, storage, and more - are constantly changing, enabling new moves and sparking the transformation of industries. As a result, digital strategies need to continually adapt to and seize new opportunities. Executives have to play a “double game”: making the most out of today’s contests while positioning themselves to win in tomorrow’s.
- In IBM’s Design-Centred Strategy to Set Free the Squares, The New York Times argued that IBM, like many established companies, is finally embracing digital advancements instead fighting against them. To build empathy with users, IBM is attempting to empower employees to observe behaviour and draw conclusions about what people want and need. Organisations that ‘get’ design use emotional language (words that concern desires, aspirations, engagement, and experience) to describe products and users. At IBM, they talk about ‘iteration cycles’, ‘lateral thinking’ and ‘user journeys’ within teams of professional designers and managers.
- A new IDC study examined the market for digital transformation professional services, which is forecast to grow rapidly - with an 18.7% CAGR, this market is expected to reach $197 billion by 2019. The digital transformation professional services market has continued to evolve and grow as organisations of all sizes look for innovation and growth," claimed IDC's research director for IT Consulting and System Integration Research. "In the past, projects have mostly treated each of the four major sub-segments of cloud, analytics, mobile, and social as discrete projects; however, leading companies are now integrating two or more of these enabling technologies into single projects.
- In The Imagination Gap, strategy+business warned that a future that hasn’t quite conformed to prior expectations is perhaps the most striking facet of Strategy&’s recent series on industry trends, an in-depth analysis of the prospects for 16 of the world’s bellwether sectors. A single conclusion is common to all of them: to profit - indeed, to survive - in 2015 and beyond, companies must not just adopt new, unanticipated, and more decentralised forms of digitisation and technological innovation, but must use them to reshape their business models. Companies in every industry are confronting an imagination gap between the established and safe - but rapidly aging - way of doing business and the opportunities and challenges of the technologies emerging today.
- More than one-third (36%) of global organisations still lack confidence in their ability to detect sophisticated cyber attacks, according to the annual EY’s Global Information Security Survey 2015, 'Creating trust in the digital world'. The survey of 1,755 organisations from 67 countries examined some of the most important cybersecurity issues facing businesses today and found that 88% do not believe their information security structure fully meets their needs. When it comes to IT security budgets, 69% say that their budgets should be increased by up to 50% to align their organisation’s need for protection with its management’s tolerance for risk. The most likely sources of cyber attacks: criminal syndicates (59%), hacktivists (54%) and state-sponsored groups (35%) retained their top rankings. However, compared with last year’s survey, respondents rated these sources as more likely: up from 53%, 46%, and 27%, respectively, in 2014.
- Tax compliance is rapidly changing as governments around the world embrace the digital revolution. Driven by the need for tax authorities to become more efficient, raise more revenue and make the tax system customer experience better, we are seeing a global shift towards real time filing and payment of taxes.
- This is not the first time that technology has transformed business, argued the Financial Times. When supply chains were computerised in the 1980s, chief executives had to oversee complex systems that had been mere curiosities a few years earlier. Few had the wherewithal to do it themselves. But the best understood the challenge, and how to build a team that was equal to it. Thirty years on, that kind of automation seems mundane compared with the dramatic change we are now seeing in consumer habits. If our customers want to interact with us via smartphones and tablets as well as in person, then we had better get over the idea that we preferred them as simpler souls.
- PwC’s Experience Centre and Digital Services continue to get lots of press, including recent features in the Wall Street Journal, Digiday and ClickZ. The market is clearly beginning to recognise PwC as a digital force that is transforming the way our clients do business. As external awareness continues to grow, it’s important we can all articulate what PwC’s Digital Services can bring to bear for our clients. The Reimagine Business video series does just that - showing what meaningful, practical change might look like for clients across a variety of industries.
- Deloitte Digital, the firm's global digital consulting agency, launched operations in Central Europe and started by acquiring Digital One, one of the most experienced digital agencies in Poland, based in Lodz. The combination of creative and marketing execution capabilities of Digital One with Deloitte’s strategy and technology consulting and industry knowledge is designed to define a brand new, disruptive model in this category, built on the biggest, complementary assets of both digital agency and a consultancy.
- KPMG’s recent piece, Bots in the Back Office: The Coming Wave of Digital Labour explored the ‘withering’ BPO industry. KPMG’s report said “The concept of labour arbitrage as the primary value lever of business process outsourcing (BPO) is dying. The geographic discussion is giving way to automation."
- What is Big Data worth, asked the Financial Times, following the news that IBM had acquired the digital assets of the Weather Company for $2bn (see IBM above). Like Monsanto’s purchase of a similar company, Climate Corporation, for nearly $1bn two years ago, the deal provides a graphic demonstration of the new data economy that is taking shape. Whole classes of information - in this case, detailed local data about, and forecasts of, weather conditions - may now be applied to everything from making more effective business decisions to providing better local services.
- Accountants are in danger becoming ‘marginalised' and ‘irrelevant' if the profession fails to adapt to disruptive technology trends, the Institute of Charted Accountants of England and Wales (ICEAW) warned. Capabilities such as cloud computing and data analytics are enabling accountants to do things even quicker, cheaper, better and with less human intervention, but trends like automation, self-service and information on demand poses risks to the future of the profession. The shift to online, cloud and mobile platforms has changed the nature of client relationships, the ICAEW said in its report, 'Providing Leadership in a Digital World'.
- Only 6% of the directors overseeing the world’s biggest banks have any technology experience even though issues ranging from cyber security to digital challengers have shot up their boardroom agenda. Almost half of the world’s 109 biggest banks have no board members with any technology experience and a further quarter of them have only one such director, according to new research from Accenture.
- Data is the lifeblood of the digital economy, it can give insight, inform decisions and deepen relationships. It can be bought, sold, shared and even stolen, all things that suggest that data has value. Yet when PwC surveyed 1,800 senior business leaders, very few organisations can attribute a value to their data and, more concerning, many don’t yet have the capabilities we’d expect to manage, protect and extract that value. The business leaders we questioned were divided equally between Europe and North America, and in mid-sized organisations (over 250 employees) and enterprises (over 2,500 employees). The results of the study, which was done on behalf of Iron Mountain by our Research to Insight (r2i) team, have been used to create a first-of-its-kind Information Value Index which benchmarks how well different businesses in different countries currently manage their information for competitive advantage.
- Europol said in a new report that it believes bitcoin could become the go-to currency for digital criminals in the region. The European Union's top law enforcement agency released its Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment for 2015, outlining its view of the top cybercrime threats facing the EU.
- Deloitte has "absorbed" Oracle-specialist cyber risk consulting firm Qubit and its 22 employees, with its founders becoming Deloitte partners as of October 1st. Qubit was founded in 2005 and last financial year had revenues of $5m. Deloitte's cyber risk services leader, Tommy Viljoen, indicated that Qubit won't be the last acquisition in this space, "Acquisitions will be focused on all areas of the digital portfolio, but we have a massive investment happening in the cyber space, including a new cyber intelligence centre, which we are putting millions into. We just don't see the other large accounting firms as being our rivals these days. We see the broader tech group being the rivals. Our focus has changed as we have moved away from the others."
- Data and analytics are revolutionising our clients’ businesses. This is reflected in PwC's 2015 CEO survey, where UK CEOs ranked data mining and analysis as the most ‘strategically important’ digital technology, alongside cybersecurity. To help our people talk to your clients about these opportunities and the potential solutions, PwC created a revised Data and Analytics Showcase. It’s an interactive tool that outlines core data and analytics concepts, provides client examples and defines our firm-wide propositions.
- BCG Digital Ventures launched an expanded Global Innovation and Investment Center in California. The expansion will serve to house co-located, incubated start-ups that can be more easily integrated within large global corporations. The firm is dedicated to inventing, building and launching category-changing businesses at start-up speed for the world’s most influential companies, and to expand a growing team of engineers, designers, product managers and operations specialists. BCG Digital Ventures has more than 300 employees globally, most of whom are located in the Manhattan Beach headquarters, with the balance located in Berlin, London and Sydney.
- In the new world of work: digital marketplace will reshape casual labour -, according to the Financial Times.