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Techtonic shifts

Techtonic shifts

The speed and scale of technological change threaten incumbents, large and small. Companies without a process for engaging with the future place themselves at even greater risk. In this paper, we explore the impacts of – and responses to – specific technologies and sectors, looking at 3D printing and logistics, and the Internet of Things (IoT)/robotics and agribusiness.

We believe that any company, of any size, in any sector, can reduce the complexity of disruption by looking at interdependencies in financial, business and operating models.

This means having practical discussions and brainstorming the implications of technology with your financial, commercial and operational teams. With the right strategic framework, you can paint a useful picture of the near future and capture innovative ways forward.

We interviewed senior corporate leaders, academic industry specialists, startup founders and KPMG strategists. Some of the key issues discussed are:

  • Blurring of lines within sectors
  • Integration up and down the value chain
  • Supply chain transparency
  • The risk of commoditization
  • The need for new skillsets
  • Collaboration within and outside your sector

Practical next steps:

  1. Engage leaders: build in formal Board and senior management time to discuss the technologies and disruptive forces in your ecosystem.
  2. Understand the environment: Map the disruptive landscape and provide an initial threat assessment – incentivizing staff to raise new ideas.
  3. Get timing right: Allow for a ‘hype curve’ with all new technologies – staying in touch with new technologies via pilots and relationships with startups.
  4. Create a roadmap: Task relevant teams to collaborate, to determine how pilots or immediate strategic responses may look in practice.

Don’t fall into the technology trap – investing in a technology without understanding how it sits within your overall strategy leads to expensive mistakes. Executed well, our process should provide any business with a specific call to action unique to its circumstances.

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