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The Digital Revolution – an Imperative for Business

Digital revolution

Business must invest or fall behind

Samsung has just released a new report which shows that businesses need to make investments to ensure that they are ready for the next wave in the digital revolution.

The report reveals that by 2020 companies which have not opened their borders to competitors, innovators and a new generation of independent freelancers are unlikely to prosper in what Samsung calls the ‘Open Economy’.

Freelance workers are key

Freelance workers will be a key feature in this new economy, along with routine embedding of startup-driven innovation and a new kind of collaboration between traditional competitors.

Over the past decade, due mostly to the rapid adoption of mobile technology, businesses have become more open and collaborative. They now have a better understanding of the benefits of working this way compared to existing ‘closed’ business models.

However, the report suggests that within just three years, organisations will be operating in a world that is much less restricted by technical or human boundaries. People, data and ideas will be integrated into business models, but it will be crucial for businesses to get to grips with, and fully embrace, agile technologies and embrace the expectations of tomorrow’s work culture.

Embrace security

To survive and thrive in this world of new technologies and highly dispersed digital workforces, companies will need to embrace security platforms. These will allow them to share information openly but with safety. This will force them to fundamentally rethink how they create business models and the technologies that they depend on.

“Finding ways to safely empower new waves of future freelance workers is going to be the number one business challenge. Within three years, it’s expected that businesses will have to deal with over 7.3 billion connected devices[1], whilst a rapidly digitised and changing workforce will evolve to one that will transform businesses in how, where and when they operate,” says Nick Dawson, Global Director, Knox Strategy.

Powering the revolution

Looking at the wider, global view, European companies are leading the way in adopting infrastructure and human capital that will power the next stage of this digital revolution. This will put them in the best position to benefit from the open and very flexible workforces and businesses over the next three to ten years, according to research from The Future Laboratory which formed the basis of the report.

Innovation will cross industry barriers and will emerge from new sources, with reverse innovation tactics of embedding start-ups at the heart of organisations becoming commonplace. As this future develops these will become critical strategic elements and provide a powerful driving force for innovation that will reach every corner of businesses.

Fostering creativity

Marcos Eguillor, Founder of BinaryKnowledge and professor at IE Business School, a specialist in digital innovation and transformation, says, “Relying on past certainties will not foster the creativity that business will need to compete in tomorrow’s global market place. Companies will need to adopt the technologies that allow them to be fast and flexible enough to spot and understand their next competitive advantages, and recognise when it’s time to disengage from the previous one.”

Tomorrow’s organisations will use AI and machine learning technology to help them accurately predict their future. New machine intelligences are being widely deployed in the commercial world that are self-organising, self-adapting and capable of far more accurate predictions about the future state of their businesses. Advanced machine intelligence will give the companies that adopt them, an unprecedented ability to plan ahead and optimise business models.

An inherent conflict

However, there is a conflict inherent in this situation. This desire for a more open approach is at odds with the need to maintain high levels of security across a company’s network of devices and endpoints. Organisations will face many new challenges as they strive to protect their business data.

Nick Dawson continues, “Cyber-security platforms that allow businesses to be both technologically open and safe are the key to unlocking the future of the Open Economy.” Samsung Knox is such a platform. Today, it is the most powerful defence against mobile security threats in the workplace, thanks to an adaptive, modular design that embeds encryption and security keys in a secure chip-based hardware container. This allows the creation of secure, completely isolated work and personal identities on the same mobile device, ensuring that corporate data is always inaccessible to personal apps and processes and, critically, that personal privacy is always respected and maintained.

[1] Gartner Inc. Internet of Things (IoT) Study, 2015

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