We were delighted to have Terence Singh from Ruhi Consulting present to us on the 27 October 2016 at our info sharing breakfast. What a great presentation; very thought provoking and pretty frightening for any person in business. Thank you Terence for your time and insights.
When we consider what it will take to succeed in business and stay in business, we look at the world and market place around us, we benchmark ourselves against our known competitors, we monitor what our competition is up to, we measure our market share, we work hard on our competitive advantage / unique service offering. When we identify the risks in our business be they external or internal and we perform our SWOT analysis, we tend to focus on what we know, life as we know it, the competitors we know. This is pretty normal behaviour one would have thought?
The essence of Terence’s message was that this traditional approach to risk identification is not good enough and that we don’t spend enough time considering the speed of technological advancement and how many unforeseen competitors are out there looking for a gap and already working hard at chipping away at our traditional businesses. It seems inconceivable that established businesses with huge brands, huge marketing muscle, assets, bricks and mortar that have been built up over 50+ years can be threatened by young start-up businesses with very little means and in a very short period of time. Consider the following few examples from Terence’s presentation where large companies felt safe in their businesses until new technology disruptors came along out of the blue:
|Hotels felt safe, since they had buildings and then came along:|
|Taxi companies felt safe, since they had cars and then came along:|
|Retailers felt safe, since they had shops and then came along:|
|Media companies felt safe, since they had assets and then came along:|
And the frightening thing is just how fast these start-ups not only get going but take over. Uber launched in the USA for the first time in 2010 and by 2015 was in 450 cities in 66 countries with revenues of $62.5 billion. One can see all around us how fast technology is changing and the impact that it has not only on our businesses but on our personal lives as well. Imagine how many technology disrupters are out there being worked on as we speak.
Imagine when you can ask the likes of Siri for professional advice on almost anything from legal, to medical, to consulting etc. Imagine how todays’ professionals be they lawyers, insurance brokers, GP’s, consultants will need to adapt their service offerings when heuristic (Artificial Intelligence) computers and robots know more in 1 minute than what a professional has taken 10 years to learn (and has forgotten half of what he / she has learnt if it is still relevant).
Look at the way banks have changed from bricks and mortar to online and now more recently ‘Blockchain’ which is set to revolutionise banking and contract / transactional settlements across geographies and jurisdictions.
Not to mention the IoT (internet of Things), Cloud computing, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence etc. And what about genetic engineering and the way medicine is set to advance and the certain ethical dilemmas that will abound. Imagine the number of uses for drones and the businesses they will threaten and change. What about electric cars like Tesla. Will we still need oil / petrol?
Terence paints a very real picture and says: ‘The most unexpected risks usually comes from competitors you don’t know, from industries you don’t know’. Terence also gives some advice in terms of identifying these left-field risks. Keep an open mind, look for trends and speak to your kids to see how they think and do things!
You can download Terence’s presentation here and download a video of the session here once it is available. Once again thank you Terence for your most enlightening presentation and to all those who braved the traffic to come to BarnOwl’s info sharing event.
Written by: Jonathan Crisp
Director – BarnOwl GRC and Audit software
Terence is a director of Ruhi Consulting, a strategic consultancy focusing on strategy consulting, deal origination and fund raising for small business. Terence spends some of his time at an internet startup, Matchi, which sources innovative financial technologies and matches these technologies to financial institutions globally. Terence has a wealth of experience having been a mining research scientist (at Mintek for 4 years), lectured at a university (2 years), and developed household chemicals at Reckitt Benckiser (3 years). Changing tack, he ventured into strategy consulting at Monitor Company for 2 years, advising corporates in multiple industries. He then joined Nedbank Capital, where he spent 12 years, occupying several positions including originating M&A deals in corporate finance, as well as spending several years as an Executive Head of Strategy, Marketing and Human Resources.
BarnOwl is a fully integrated governance, risk management, compliance and audit software solution used by over 200 organisations in Africa, Europe and the UK. BarnOwl supports best practice risk management, compliance and audit frameworks (e.g. COSO, ISO31000, Compliance Institute’s handbook, International Professional Practice Framework), whilst offering a highly flexible and configurable parameter-driven system allowing you to configure BarnOwl to meet your specific requirements.