The Australian Technology Park in Sydney, Australia, acted as the historic backdrop for a lively gathering of passionate digital professionals. Digital Disruption 2016 shared some of the delights, corporate fear and creative wisdom, on getting the benefits of digital disruption into their business.
In the creative industries there was plenty to engage with and learn from.
My Capgemini colleague Didier Bonnet kicked the conference off, with the good news that we are all living longer, and then the corresponding bad news that the company shelf life is getting shorter! The clear message for a business survivor strategy is to embrace the digital revolution, right now. IT can no longer stand alone, as it is not about driving business alignment anymore. Now it has to be fusion between IT and business that drives a fresh and focussed customer experience. A good experience will beat fantastic functionality every time.
Nigel Dalton, REA Group CIO, introduced the four word fear for any IT leader, uttered by all those around him ...“Have you heard about ...”. The near impossible task of all technology leaders: keeping across the daily changing market place of apps, ideas and new start ups. He gave a great Darwin reference on adaptability, “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives nor the most imaginative but the one the most responsive to change: a strong reminder of how adapting is a skill we all need with digital evolution.”
Vijay Solanki from Southern Cross Austereo loves the new radio world where the broadcast is no longer enough. Presenters and producers handle video, audio and social media both in the studio and anywhere outside, to create the ultimate audience connection. As he reminded us, content is still king, however distribution is most certainly the queen of radio. Creating and distributing go hand in hand to drive what works for the audience.
For David Hua it is the power of storytelling that is driving the digital agenda. As a digital leader for ABC International, he has a mandate to share our Australian stories with our neighbours in the APAC region. There is an absolute passion to deliver the best conversations and home grown stories created by the the ABC within their goals of inform, educate and entertain.
There were some simple tips on how we can create our own narrative with the way digital is driven and delivered within in an organisation. Often the digital influencer isn’t the one with the mandated corporate power, so if you see a digital opportunity that management is failing to see, you can be bold to take the initiative and drive an idea to success.
To succeed in the disruptive and agile environment takes a lot of corporate courage for the businesses that are used to the way things have been done for decades. It is no easy task, as Mark Cohen from the Domain Group explained. There are a lot of lessons he gained from driving the technology in a business within a business. Domain is the property arm of Fairfax, that is growing rapidly and increasingly creating its own corporate identity.
Mark’s view is that the company culture is not the same as values. We can have corporate values and put them on the wall of our offices, however bringing those to life is where culture kicks in, as it permutes through all you do as a team. As Peter Drucker said: “Culture eats your strategy for breakfast”. Domain has successfully created an agile world, which has accelerated the continual development of the Domain products through wholesale cultural change: “Enthusiasm gets people doing things - passion gets people doing it well.”
For a simple summary of the conference, I will use the phrase Didier Bonnet did – Digital disruption is the new punk rock.
For some of us (who are old enough to remember) punk rock changed the music scene forever, but now who plays punk? In the same way digital disruption is a revolution sweeping technology and business, but how that will emerge in the new world is still evolving rapidly. Just like punk rock itself was a moment in time, so too is this incarnation of digital disruption – so be prepared to enjoy the ride!