Over the past few years the business landscape has changed quite rapidly – mostly because of the emergence of new technologies and innovations. And key to this rapid transformation are technical advancements such as digitisation, automation, artificial intelligence (and machine learning) and analytics.
As businesses have adopted (and adapted) these cutting-edge technologies, their operations have become far more efficient and productive as a result. It has also paved the way for new kinds of businesses to emerge and created new types of competition. In addition it has also created, because it’s a continuously evolving environment, not only quite profound implications for businesses (specifically in terms of employment and future work) but for our global (and local) economy and by default, our greater society too.
Technology has become a necessity and there are four areas you should be looking at to prepare your business – according to McKinsey Global Institute’s recent briefing notes, What’s now and next in analytics, AI, and automation, published in May 2017.
1. The opportunity available now
There are some companies out there who have gained a competitive edge as they are already using data and analytics to inform their business decisions and models, but there is still ample opportunity to start implementing this now and be able to reap the benefits for the future.
2. The next wave of opportunity
In some industries, such as the manufacturing environment, a large number of companies have been using physical robots for a very long time. But with recent advances in robotics, machine learning, and AI, we are starting to see a new wave of far more capable, flexible, safer and affordable robots becoming available for all. These “new” robots are being built with cognitive and learning abilities and once they get trained by their human counterparts, or learn by themselves, the opportunity for further improvement is far greater. Businesses that can find a use for automation will see a substantial gain in performance and productivity on a daily basis.
Read our article: Which jobs will we lose to robots?
3. What about employment and work?
Already a bone of contention as we are coming to the realisation that almost half the amount of activities carried out today by an actual human, could be automated. It’s not time to panic though as we are more than likely to see partial automation in the medium term and the creation of brand new opportunities for us in the long term.
4. What should leaders do?
In order to transform your business, improve future performance and be able to compete with others, business leaders will need to find ways to harness and embrace these new technologies – and investment into this transformation is key. There are several ways of doing this, but being able to apply new and different mind-sets will be critical – such as:
- Test, experiment, learn and scale fast
- Reimagine the business models and processes
- View digital assets and capabilities as the “new balance sheet”
- Stay calibrated and invest accordingly
- Deploy a new focus on human capital that includes integrating employees and machines
For a more in-depth view on the how, the why and the what, download the report now.