Industry 4.0 – Africa's opportunity to get real about technology

Ignore the
4.0 hype

Africa needs to focus on
real opportunities.

Wednesday, Oct 17th

Deloitte offers protection against disruption through Gnosis

Deloitte offers protection against disruption through Gnosis

Strategies adopted by businesses to avoid being disrupted need to be all-embracing and not limited to digitalisation and technology.

This is what Deloitte's new Gnosis system, to be rolled out in June 2018 and developed by the strategy department within the company's revived Centre for the Long View, aims to address.

The system is centred on an AI-based trend-sensing and analysis machine called Deepview which gathers and processes information for review by a scenario-planning team.

Dr Florian Klein, Strategist and Head of Scenario Design at Deloitte's Centre for the Long View says Gnosis is unique because it looks beyond the rollout of digital technology to help businesses avoid being disrupted.

"When you think about the future or about how to implement your strategy you should not just focus on digitalisation. I know digitalisation is very real but there is much more to life. There is politics, social economics, scarcity, competitive landscapes and together with digitalisation they will shape the world that we will live in and that we have to plan for."

All information is assessed by a panel of experts at Deloitte in collaboration with external contributors, for up to six weeks.

The panel is responsible for drawing up scenarios for a business, industry or product to help prepare for the future.

App for planning

These scenarios are presented in the form of an application for use by a business or organisation.

"The use of big data and artificial intelligence is forcing us to use the human brain to communicate better with each other. Many people tell me that 'this sounds impressive but I have my newsletters and Google Alerts' (for crowdsourcing information and trends) but Gnosis does something more. First of all you have tools that are developed by techies for techies like IBM Watson or Google Alerts. These are amazing tools and they are really helpful but they haven't been developed by strategists for strategic decision making. They are just using the raw technical power of the machine but the thinking behind this is not strategic."

Dr Klein believes that Gnosis can be differentiated from similar systems, including Bloomberg terminal. He says this terminal has been consistently improved but was not designed with strategic planning in mind – in order to benefit, users have to know exactly which information they require.

"Gnosis was made by the strategy department of Deloitte rather than the technical department for decision making. It helps one to process information and to structure thinking and (proceed) faster through the process. I think that is going to be the difference ... it will make the decision making process faster and projects quicker. It will help with knowing what is going on in the market and to recognise patterns that can help one react faster."

Dr Klein's team at Deloitte also identified megatrends that influence the sustainability of any business in preparation for the introduction of Gnosis to the market.

Megatrends include the global scarcity of natural resources , the emphasis on interconnectedness and collective behaviour by customers as a result of hyper-connectivity, aging populations, as well as an erosion of governance.

This is expected to result in a decline of the traditional world order and dematerialisation represented by the shift in the value structure from physical property to intellectual property i.e the rise of service-based economies over manufacturing-based ones.

"These megatrends are long term, they move slowly but they affect several of the spheres that we work or live in," concludes Dr Klein.

ALSO ON ITWEB AFRICA

Why should I outsource my company's Africa payrolls? Published on 16 October 2018

Zim must invest in cryptocurrency says finance head Published on 17 September 2018

Newly appointed Finance Minister will urge Central Bank to establish unit to embrace virtual currencies.

Crypto-backed solar programme launches in Uganda Published on 09 October 2018

Wala, CP-EM partner to create utility-scale, grid-connected renewable power systems.