With the world on the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution, esteemed futurologist Rocky Scopelliti says businesses must become data-driven and customer-focused to compete with the market juggernauts.
At a well-attended Class Innovation webinar, he shared his top tips for thriving in a world of fast change by 2030.
Customers will expect organisations to respond on demand.
These patterns are already starting to manifest, with 1-in-3 people putting trust in robots or automated technology to make decisions on their behalf, Mr Scopelliti noted.
The behavioural economics researcher, and author of Australia 2030! Where the bloody hell are we?, shared his key forecasts for the next eight years at an innovation briefing for Class customers.
“The fourth industrial revolution is coming, whether we are ready or not,” he said. “It will be terrestrial; it will be global; and we can’t just isolate ourselves from it.”
The market leaders for data
Mr Scopelliti said some of the companies he’s seen adapt successfully to the evolving landscape so far “began life absolutely understanding how to master and create value from data”.
He defined these businesses as “stage-five analytical competitors” and included Amazon, Google, US-based Capital One and Progressive Insurance as examples. However, he said most traditional businesses are in stage one or two of the analytical journey.
“We’ve really got to think about data very, very differently to how we have in the past because we’ve really got to think about how to compete against these organisations who are analytical competitors.”
Prepare for the ‘youthquake’
Successful organisations also need to prepare for what Mr Scopelliti refers to as the “youthquake”, which is a profound shift in cultural, technological, and social patterns that younger generations will propel.
He observed that there are a couple of reasons future-focused financial organisations need to start paying much more attention to Millennials.
“Firstly, they’ve become the largest producer of income in the world and that production capability is only going to increase through the course of time,” he said. “The second is their investment capacity: By 2030, they’ll have five times more wealth in the world than what they do today.”
The futurologist encouraged webinar participants to look for opportunities with Millennials, as they continue to build their wealth and expect more when they interact with companies.
How three businesses have embraced change
Mr Scopelliti was joined in a panel discussion by Class head of consumer engagement, analytics and customer experience, Tori Starkey, Class head of NextGen technology Glen MacLarty, Perks director Kerry Bosnich, and RSM Australia director Dace Harris. Each shared insights into how they have adapted their businesses to the rise of data.
Class’s Mr MacLarty said leveraging data and giving it back to customers as useful information had been a key part of the company’s strategy. He added that customers had led much of the change in mindset.
“The data and the information you’re receiving from the customer really help to drive that innovation,” he observed.
Mr MacLarty said it was also important to embrace staff insights about how data could best be used to serve the customer.
“There are so many great people across all organisations that have amazing insights [every day] on what works and what doesn’t. Being able to tap into those ideas is critical,” he explained.
RSM’s Mr Harris said he recognised inefficiencies in how his accounting business was collecting and using data, which became a key focus of change at the firm. He advised that it was important to have a clear strategy around the best way to use data to address “customer pain points”.
“We had to make sure we employed appropriate systems, processes in using that data,” he said. “Now what’s that data good for? It’s makes us able to benchmark and provide information to clients. We can understand what the client wants and be able to service that.”
Similarly, Perks’ Ms Bosnich said there was a recognition that analysing the right data could help organisations meet clients’ needs.
“We wanted that to be at the forefront of what we do [because] that’s what our clients have always expected from us,” she said.
If you missed out on the panel session, you can watch the full presentation here. You can also read a transcript for more tips on how to prepare for 2030.