Global considerations for 2019
Many people think of disruption as something to avoid. Synonyms for the word—disturbance, interruption, distraction, interference—all carry a negative connotation. But in today’s competitive business environment, disruption can be a real positive—if you are embracing it and capitalizing on the opportunities it creates.
Across the world, that’s the reality for many private companies. They are acknowledging that the marketplace is more complex and fast-paced than it was just a decade or two ago. It’s not just technology, talent, or changing consumer behaviors and expectations driving this disruption—it’s the interplay of all three. Truly innovative companies are proactively combining those inputs to transform their business model, pivot quickly in pursuit of new opportunities, and manage resources more effectively.
We undertook this report to provide a perspective for private companies, drawing on the experience of nearly two dozen Deloitte subject matter specialists around the world. We sought to uncover opportunities for private companies to succeed in the current environment and drive disruption rather than be disrupted. What we found is that the opportunities available to private companies fall into three main categories.
The first is using technology to get smarter. Of course, that means something different for each company. Some are well positioned to use advanced analytics to better understand clients, markets, and trends. Others can employ connected devices through the Internet of Things to drive new insights. Still others stand to transform customer interactions with artificial intelligence.
The second category of opportunity is rigorous self-improvement when it comes to supporting infrastructure. Technology has a hand here, too, with innovations such as robotic process automation, which can not only take on clerical-type tasks, but also reshape major parts of business functions such as finance. Companies can also be more vigilant about cyber risk and security and building cultures around stronger compliance. The opportunity for constant improvement extends to managing workforces as well, as new talent models provide more flexibility and access to in-demand skills.
Finally, many of the opportunities captured herein come from keeping the big picture in mind. Whether companies are expanding their sights to new global markets, taking on new partners through acquisition or joint venture, or adopting best practices in governance to realize the benefit of independent and diverse perspectives, success depends on stepping back from the day to day and thinking strategically about what the competitive landscape is going to look like not just next year, but five to ten years in the future.
In the articles that follow, we track how these three themes are helping private companies positively disrupt the status quo across many business dimensions. We also point out where companies might be able to do better. Never stop learning. That’s what we tell ourselves every day, and it’s clear from the private companies we support the world over that it’s a refrain as universal as their desire to succeed.