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Getting ahead of the competition: factors for success in the 21st century

May 29, 20:09 UTC+3
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Boundaries between the virtual and the real are becoming increasingly blurred. Our daily life is hard to imagine without advanced technologies. In the new digital environment, the intensifying interaction between humans, companies and things leads to fundamental changes in business models. The focus on global digitisation has become a key to boosting businesses' competitive positions in the market.

The new technologies, such as Big Data, blockchain, machine learning and analytics, cloud-based and mobile devices, and the Internet of Things, have created a brand new digital ecosystem.

  • According to the Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation, in five years from now, the digital revolution will topple 40% of the incumbent industry leaders unless they find a way to implement digital transformation.
  • Experts also believe that, by the end of 2017, two thirds of the Forbes Global 2000 companies will adopt digital transformation as a core value for their development strategies.

Many companies have already put in place various accounting, analytical and management systems, as their progress towards a real competitive advantage hinges on the quality of data collected to come up with breakthrough solutions.

  • Digitisation of corporate processes generates a big pool of customer data known as a “digital footprint”, which has come to be viewed as the most valuable business asset in the global economy.
  • The digital footprint assets are currently of utmost importance in such segments as retail, transportation, manufacturing and healthcare.

The Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation has identified key must-have competences and skills for managers determined to achieve success in the emerging digital economy.

  • Humble: openness and willingness to seek diverse inputs both from within and outside their organisations.
  • Adaptable: accepting that change is constant and that changing their minds based on new information is a strength rather than a weakness.
  • Visionary: having a clear sense of long-term direction, even in the face of short-term uncertainty, which is of particular importance in the times of quick changes in technologies and business models.
  • Engaged: willingness to listen, interact, and communicate with internal and external stakeholders combined with a strong sense of interest and curiosity in emerging trends.

Cutting-edge digital technologies also help optimise internal business processes.

  • Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst at Futurum Research and CEO at Broadsuite Media Group, notes that embracing remote workforce available in several time zones is one of the key digital transformation trends of 2017.
  • The McKinsey Global Institute research proves that high-quality internal communications leveraging state-of-the-art mobile and online solutions boost workforce performance by 20–25%.

Global digitisation brings investments in the human capital to the forefront as a contributing factor to competitive success.

  • In its comprehensive analysis of economic conditions in Russia titled Pathways to Inclusive Growth, the World Bank names human capital investments one of the key drivers behind sustainable economic growth.
  • Learning today is impossible without digital technologies. Thomas Osburg of Fresenius Business School (Germany) says that “Industry 4.0 needs Education 4.0.”

Digital transformation also embraces the breakthrough neurotechnologies that have already given a boost to robotics and will set the stage for a new technological revolution going forward.

  • Just like any other developed nation, Russia pays a lot of attention to this new field of scientific research. Late last year, the National Technology Initiative was granted government funding for its NeuroNet project.
  • VEB, Russia's development bank, is also going to invest in this promising technology. Its new 2021 strategy puts an emphasis on high-tech projects, including the neurotechnologies.
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