The digital economy is on the rise. The corporate sector is on the brink of a seismic change; digitisation touches every area of our working lives. Only companies quick to adapt, adopt and embrace new technologies will be able to predict and shape the new digital world.

Information technology is at the centre of this paradigm shift. Digital tools simplify, enhance and accelerate our working lives by driving improvements in communication, connectivity and diversification of work locations. Businesses operating beyond traditional boundaries attract the best talent.

The Huawei 2016 Global Connectivity Index (GCI) indicates there are winners and losers to digitisation. Countries with insufficiently developed digital infrastructure have a lesser ability to positively influence GDP growth. Those with more mature cloud, big data and IoT technologies can more directly impact GDP. Similarly, the corporate sector can be divided into those moving up the technology curve, directly influencing revenue growth and cost reduction. Those who are not, remain in technology stasis.

To move forward, innovate and progress, it is imperative that companies set up an integrated framework. An effective partnership is required between internal stakeholders, clients and external service providers. Knowledge sharing is key.

The trilogy of procurement, data analytics and innovation centres need to collaborate to ensure an organisation moves up the technology curve and stays there. The objective is for the workforce to focus on more value-add activities directly impacting commercial growth. Real working lives will be transformed.

Companies need to go beyond traditional boundaries to discover, learn and accelerate growth. Be open to connect, listen and operate cross sector to avoid re-inventing the wheel. Information is king in the land of innovation.

To break the vicious circle of paralysis, companies need to:

  • Empower individuals to make connections
  • Motivate employees to build relationships
  • Encourage attendance at industry convening events

The knowledge economy will be industrialised and monetised as a result. Be sector agnostic to identify and replicate best practice. A well represented industry forum is an ecosystem encapsulating the blueprint for digitisation. Test, learn and evaluate to reduce risk.

Industrialisation transformed a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one. The time is right to transition to a digital era.

The corporate sector needs to align around the narrative for innovation. Break the vicious circle of fear. Engage your workforce, partner and lead the industry by example.

Kick start a positive feedback loop and reap the rewards of the digital economy.

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