I have just returned from the Gartner Application Strategies and Solutions Summit 2018. This was one of those conferences where it turns out to be something different than what you expected. The agenda was a solid blend of educational sessions, networking opportunities and meaningful keynotes. Like many conferences, the real value comes from hearing from other people and their experiences in the real world.
However, at this years conference there was one standout keynote address. The session was boldly titled “Business Advice We Shouldn’t Believe Anymore” presented by Andrew McAfee. If his title did not capture your attention then what he had to say in the keynote did. There was a lot of very solid research presented to back up his conclusions. His presentation skills kept the audience focused on the key points. The summary key points from my perspective are:
AI-based technologies are “Changing the Game” in business today.
A compelling digital strategy finds a balance between maintaining what you already offer while providing new, disruptive ideas that will get you to next level, hold off competition, and entice new customers. We present five digital essentials to help you rise to the challenge.
In a published test of using AI technology to play the strategy game of “GO” the AI engine changed the standard pattern of playing the game to win. These games were played against the TOP human players in the world. They all had the same reaction when the engine made a totally unexpected play “What is going on ?” . Of course, the AI engine won. This is why he provided key point two above. You must continue to innovate around your core strengths and look outside your industry for ways to “change the game”.
Being the best in a specific industry is no longer a guarantee for future success.
New players who offer “platforms” for use on a large scale have disrupted long standing business models. This model has disrupted normal business patterns within industries and across multiple industries with the same platform. You don’t have to look much beyond platforms like Uber, Airbnb, and Facebook for “thin layer” business’s that have disrupted multiple industries
This bit of business advice is no longer enough to be successful in the future. – “Focus on your core strengths and outsource the rest”
Crowd sourcing is being used today to make astronomical advances in many different industries. The best solutions from these crowd sourcing events is often coming from people who have NO industry back ground specific to the sourcing event. This speaks to why point one above is no longer holding true. It might be time to start looking outside your industry to see the next big success in your industry.
These kind of changes in business have been facilitated and accelerated by Cloud Based Technology in general. These “lessons learned” are more evidence of why all business’s must think of themselves as being “Digital” or “Technology” business’s. Here is one new piece of business advice that does hold true at the moment “Harness the forces of disruption instead of being overwhelmed by them”.
All companies that have not started a formal process to transform the way they operate are guaranteeing their failure. A good way to begin this transformative process is to consider a Digital Transformation engagement from Perficient. This engagement will help any leadership team in any industry begin to see new ways to be successful in the future. Check out this link Digital Transformation.