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Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds My name’s David Terrar. I’m one of three founders of a company called Agile Elephant. We are helping companies understand this digital landscape and actually make the big shift from legacy ways of working to new ways of working. Essentially, we think that I don’t care what business you’re in, your business model’s under threat. Some smarter, nimbler competitor is going to come around the corner with a better use of technology and steal your market. The digital landscape that we’re in, we actually use the concept of the digital enterprise wave. And so we’ve been using the digital word for 20 years. But there’s something happening now that’s kind of different. And that’s actually a combination of things.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 seconds The first thing is there’s a whole bunch of economic and connectivity and people factors that are a kind of the basis, the bottom level of the wave. And that’s things like globalisation, outsourcing, lower costs, wages in China and India, where I can outsource my manufacturing to. And that’s made possible by the global connectivity we’ve got. We’ve got the internet everywhere. We’ve got 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi being more prevalent. And all of that is also pushing a different kind of approach in people. We’ve got more entrepreneurship. The barrier to entry to starting a business is lower now than it’s ever been. All those factors form the basis of the wave.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 seconds And then we’ve got kind of like a next layer, which is really important, which is about technology shifts. Moore’s law has been driving the technology forward for 50 years. And every 5 or 10 years, there’s kind of a big disruption that happens, mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers, et cetera. But at the moment, we’ve actually got three shifts happening simultaneously, and that’s never happened before. We’ve got the shifts to cloud web apps, where we’re all accessing technology through a web browser, rather than owning computers and data centres. Happening at the same time is a shift to social. Everyone’s connected on social media. Everyone’s writing reviews on things. Suddenly, the brand is owned by the people, rather than the marketers.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 seconds And that’s happening at the same time as the fact that we’re all walking around with these things. And we’ve actually got all the technology and the access to the internet in the palm of our hand. We can do it from anywhere. So your cloud, social, and mobile fall in the middle of the wave. And then on top of that, we’ve got other emerging technologies that are just as important. We’ve got big data analytics that’s coming into all sorts of business. You’ve got 3D printing. When that happens, suddenly the world supply chain changes dramatically. Instead of going to China to make that thing cheaply with low cost wages, suddenly I can print it down the corridor.

Skip to 2 minutes and 45 seconds How does the world supply chain change when that happens? Fantastic. You’ve got the internet of things. 20 billion connected devices in the next five years. Artificial intelligence is another big one, just coming into play now. But in the next five years, who knows? So you put all that together, it’s a massive wave of technology that’s happening all at once. So we call it the digital enterprise wave, with the metaphor that, basically, you either ride the wave or you get swamped by the wave. Other people call it different things. You have, Gartner calls it something different. IDC calls it something different. But we think the wave is the best metaphor for it.

The digital enterprise wave

Watch our interview with David Terrar, Founder and CXO of Agile Elephant, who explains why it’s vital for companies to stay up to date with new technologies.

David discusses the impact of new and rapidly changing technologies on business. He predicts that over the next five years; new technologies will continue to emerge that will significantly change the digital landscape within, which companies operate. He introduces the concept of the ‘digital enterprise wave’ and explains why companies should plan ahead to ensure they have strategies in place to enable them to ‘ride’ the wave, rather than ‘sink beneath’ it.

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This video is from the free online course:

Digital Leadership: Creating Value Through Technology

University of Reading