Let’s talk: Disruption


What’s the next big game changer in tech?

There is ongoing major disruption in all industries at the moment due to tech. Whether you are embracing the changes within your organisation or not, it is undeniably happening.

Lots of new business opportunities come from technological advancements and can completely change consumer culture. Think of contactless cards, as a very simple example, which are now used in over 90% of purchases according to research by Westpac Banking Corporation. It’s hard to think back to the time when we didn’t use them.

There’s not just disruption in the end product though, AI, automation and cloud services can totally transform the way a business functions internally. Companies that fail to be the disruptors and embrace the change may fall behind in their market and so with that in mind today we’re asking the question of what’s next to come.

What is the next game changer in tech that businesses are going to experience?

Gihan Perera, Futurist and author of “Disruption By Design”

No, the robots are not coming for your jobs, but they will help you do your job better – through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. We have AI in our homes and personal devices, and it’s rapidly gaining traction in the workplace. Already, it’s being used for customer service, sentiment analysis of social media, predicting customer behaviour, recruiting and managing talent, training and coaching, and more. It’s the biggest tech game changer on the horizon, and must be a part of your business strategy if you want to stay ahead of the game.

Sandrina Postorino, Committee Member, Sydney Angels

As we have seen from the recent success on the ASX such as AfterPay and ZipMoney, millennials are demanding new forms of payments solutions and credit providers. New businesses are also demanding better management of their money.

ezyCollect is a great example of a startup that helps businesses simply get paid, faster. It’s an advanced web-based accounts receivable solution that easily adds on to MYOB or Xero accounting software to automate the process of chasing late paying customers.

This is one of the investments that Sydney Angels has made and we have great faith in the future of ezyCollect.

Scott McKinnel, Managing Director, Check Point

As technological advances including AI, automation and cloud services facilitate increasingly digitally-led operations and create opportunities for personalised services and business efficiencies, company and personal data has become an organisation’s greatest asset. However, security can’t be forgotten in the race to implement tech advancements – particularly when customers’ personal details and safety is at stake.

With cyberattacks and data theft identified as two of the five biggest threats to society according to the World Economic Forum, there’s a clear need for technology solutions that can safeguard against vulnerabilities. The issue with a host of emerging threats is they are indiscriminate about their targets. No longer are small organisations immune, they face the same challenges of large organisations, and thus need the same level of protection albeit simplified and at an affordable price point.

Cyber security solutions are constantly evolving to anticipate cyber criminals’ next move, grow with a business’ economies of scale and ensure compliance through automated processes. As such, a number of industries including financial services, retail, hospitality and HR would certainly benefit from taking a proactive, agile approach to safeguarding personal and company data.

While other technologies can impact how companies operate, the real game changer for businesses will come from ensuring proper protections against cyber vulnerabilities are put into place.

Stephen Barnes,Byronvale Advisors Pty Ltd, Management Consultants

For business the next big game changers are predominately digital.  Blockchain and Web 3.0 are two broad digital areas that I think will be game changes.  Blockchain has three main benefits – security of data, smart contracts and speed and efficiency – and will be relevant particularly in industries such as payments systems, trade (both domestic and international), property and identity, medical, and energy. Web 3.0 is the next paradigm in web interaction and will change how people search and find information in the internet delivering personal, specific sets of results.

Add blockchain and Web 3.0 together, and also add in other technological advances like 5G and spatial computing, and the whole way people use technology is going to be massively different and very soon.  Non-digital game changer is the move from disruption to collaborations.  We have seen this with the growth of co-working spaces, but the next step is smaller businesses and individuals collaborating with large enterprises that have the resources that smaller business doesn’t have.  However, digital and non-digital disruptions do go hand in hand.  The technologies of the future will be far too complex and interdependent for anyone to go it alone.

Anthony Du Preez, Founder & CTO of BidEnergy:

Three words: robotic process automation (RPA). According to McKinsey, RPA or deploying robot workers with machine learning can add $4 trillion to the Australian economy by 2030 and will displace more than 6 million full time jobs.

Get this transition right: unemployment goes down, income rises as productivity soars and the 30 year miracle economy keeps on growing. Get it wrong: the gap widens as unemployment soars.

As a technology business, we’re living this now – we’re heavily invested in building our robot workforce and they get smarter by the day. But we are also very careful to keep our skilled humans and make sure they are continuously climbing the cognitive ladder – to more productive and interesting work.

RPA or robot workers are not just for the big end of town. This technology is a game changer for small businesses, as the cost to hire a robotic workforce that gets smarter with artificial intelligence means small businesses can tap into capability and expertise previously only afforded by large enterprise.

For example, robot workers can cost effectively check every invoice that a small business must pay to ensure the bill is accurate, there is no invoice fraud and as the robots get smarter, they can see if the small business could be getting a better deal with a different supplier.

With the launch of our new look SME intelligent robots, we can now deploy a robotic workforce for small business that can do just that. Exciting times ahead for a progressive small business! 

Roby Sharon-Zipser, CEO and Co-Founder at hipages

While there’s considerable talk about the rise of robots and driverless vehicles when it comes to next generation technology, I believe the biggest technology disruptors are those that digitise traditionally manual and time-intensive activities to revolutionise how we do the mundane.

Now that we are well into the age of connectivity, we seek instant gratification at almost every turn. This premise has driven the on-demand economy surge, where consumers can watch entertainment, arrange a ride or order food in a couple of clicks.

I expect the diversity of on-demand services to grow and spread into wider areas of our lives. For instance, we are seeing the rise of the on-demand tradie economy. Australia’s consumers and tradespeople are seeking smarter ways to engage through new technologies that streamline consumer-tradie connections, communications and job coordination.

Our research with EY Sweeney and L.E.K. showed that tradies are bogged down in admin, sacrificing six figures per year, while almost half of Australian homeowners (43 per cent) struggle to find quality, available tradies through traditional avenues.

With Australian households spending over $73 billion each year on trades, and 250,000 trade businesses across the nation, there’s great opportunity to help nurture the sector through new digital services.

Essentially, the next big game changers in technology will be those that shorten and simplify those everyday activities we didn’t even know could be done faster and smarter, like hiring a tradie within minutes.

Robert Liong, Vice President and Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Fiserv

Our rapidly evolving world has brought disruption into the centre of global companies’ priorities. For banks in particular, Open Banking is a new proposition that will drastically transform the way they operate and provide customers greater choice. On the 1st July, Australia will begin to implement their open banking regulations which will drive data sharing, resulting in a more competitive financial services market, and most importantly, adding value to their end customers.

Rather than viewing open banking simply as a compliance regime, financial institutions may take this opportunity to actively embrace the concept in order to continue to grow in a highly competitive market.

Moreover, banks that take a broad view of open banking will increasingly realise that open APIs are a two-way street, allowing them to not only access information but also bring more intelligent experiences to their own customers within their own interfaces.

Open banking will undoubtedly shake up the market, particularly among younger, digital savvy consumers who haven’t previously had an affiliation with a financial institution. One such example of the impact of open banking will be greater choice and enhanced customer experience offered to the end user. Leveraging open banking APIs would enable an autofill service on a loan application; the value of APIs in this case is an increase of customer convenience as they wouldn’t require to manually input all of their personal data.

The fact is that having control of their own data will enable customers to use banks as a ‘one-stop’ shop in the near future. In light of this, institutions that are at the vanguard investing in technology will be the winners and thrive in this highly competitive market.

Dr Vu Tran, Co-Founder of Go1

When I think about the next big game-changing technologies, it’s easy to consider the likes of AI, blockchain and AR/VR- but much has already and will continue to be written about these. Instead, I’d like to put on my other hat as a medical doctor and look at what I believe may be one of the most important areas of technology this century and that is genomic medicine. In the learning space at GO1.com, we are continually looking at how learning can be tailored to the individual and healthcare should be no different.

At this point in time, healthcare is often provisioned in a “one size fits all approach”. It’s insane to think that the treatment I provide to a 55kg woman for a medical condition may be the same for a 150kg male with completely different genetic characteristics. Genomic medicine looks to create medical regimes and treatments not only based on the medical issue at hand but tailored to the genetic differences between individuals. This kind of innovation stands to not only increase the efficacy of medical treatment but potentially stamp out chronic disease and even cure cancers. In this case, game-changing would be an understatement.