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The year of digital disruption: Looking ahead to 2016

Ang Thiam Guan, Managing Director, Singapore & Brunei, Cisco | Jan. 11, 2016
In 2015, we saw Singapore loudly affirm its commitment to become a Smart Nation, as well as the Internet of Things growing from a proof-of-concept to a business reality. 2016 is shaping up to be a year of digital disruption, and organisations must not only adopt a new outlook on business and technology, as well as the impending wave of business digitisation.

Organisations must also address the 'digital vortex' of disruption, the inevitable movement of industries toward a "digital centre" in which business models, offerings, and value chains are digitised.

Current forecasts around the number of connected devices are too conservative. By 2030, I believe that there will be closer to 500 billion connected devices. With digitisation, every aspect of day to day business will change; from supply chain to customer interface to productivity, every company will become digital. However, according to The Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation, only 25 percent of executives have a proactive plan to address digitisation.

The value at stake for Singapore businesses in both the public and private sectors is approximately $52 billion. There is a strong momentum of IoT deployment across the globe; over 70 percent of Asia Pacific firms have an IoT solution in place, with Singapore leading with a very high rate of adoption of over 90 percent of firms expected to have implemented IoT by the end of 2015.

Forty percent of market leaders will be displaced or eliminated by digital disruptors in the next 10 years. These disruptors offer differentiated products and services and better value than incumbents. This creates a hyper-competitive landscape driven by digital disruption, where lines between industries are blurring and markets are changing exponentially.

In 2016, digitisation should be a priority, as technology strategy will play a critical role in our continued success as a country in the digital world. This digitisation should also be at the top of the corporate agenda. If governments are moving on digitisation with this type of tremendous speed, our businesses have to move even faster and be even more dynamic to realise the full potential of this opportunity.


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