Is your firm ready for a smart economy?
Trust in our systems is at an all-time low however this can be regained by adopting a mind-set across all business leaders that cultivate and drive digital thinking.
Digital is therefore a tool that give your business the resources you need to grow and protect the wealth you have already created. FILE PHOTO | NMG
I am certain you have come across some of the terms that are today used to describe everything about the world we live in. Block chain, Internet of Things, Social Media, Big Data and Analytics, Visualization, Cloud Computing, Cybercrime and cybersecurity, liquid applications, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality, Mobile, Drones etc. An explosion of powerful resources that any business leader needs but often do not know how to bring together and consume to make a difference in their business without exploding. A difference that can be huge if properly managed as evidenced by the growth registered by those who have dared to keep up.The list include Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Alibaba, Uber, Facebook and locally we see the likes of Safaricom and Equity Bank to name a few. It is striking that most of these businesses did not exist 20 years ago. It must therefore be normal for any business leader today, in public or private sector, to ask themselves if the boat has sailed.It must be scary when you hear success stories of leaders who have delivered big by committing more than 20 per cent of their capital to pursue this craze in the midst of unforgiving failures.
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The pressure is on to deliver growth and protect the wealth we have generated so far and one cannot ignore the change that is happening around the systems of production and consumption that are very different from what our businesses are used to.And the question that you might be asking as a business leader is where do you start? Perhaps you can begin by reflecting and understanding what is happening around you.There is a trend of becoming smart that is taking place around you. There is a new economy of smart things that is emerging across all industries and sectors.Today we talk of digital governments, digital banks, digital insurance, digital capital markets, digital health, digital education, digital power, digital agriculture, and digital everything.No fault if you might not have heard of digital tax, digital reporting, digital customers, digital revenues, and digital costs. It is more telling that all this today comprises of 5-10 per cent of the global economy.Which means that everything that is digital ranks amongst the top five largest economies in the world equivalent to at least twice the size of the entire economy of Africa or close to 40 times the size of the economy of Kenya.This demands that businesses rethink the way they trade and look for new ways that infuse digital directly into the performance of their financial statements in order to have a better chance to grow and edge closer to new horizons.Digital is therefore a tool that give your business the resources you need to grow and protect the wealth you have already created. How can it protect? Lately public expenditure and debt have become a subject of heated discussions locally.READ: How Kenya can tax an emerging digital economyOur public expenditure have probably gone out of control with systems such as IFMIS being blamed as the cause of failure generating an urgent need to reform how we protect public funds.One must be forgiven when they chose to extend this and to feel insecure about many aspects that knit our society together such as about the food we eat, water we drink, property we own, medical drugs we take, the education we get, the stock we invest in, the buildings we live and work in, the people we trade with etc.Trust in our systems is at an all-time low however this can be regained by adopting a mind-set across all business leaders that cultivate and drive digital thinking.You only know that this is happening when you can demonstrate the value of digital thinking in your balance sheet, income statements and investor returns.