My Office magazine unveiled its new direction at a launch breakfast at the Bryanston Country Club in Johannesburg today.
My Office News will provide both members and readers with a variety of new digital offerings.
The breakfast was opened by shop-sa chairman Hans Servas, in which he introduced the morning’s guest speaker: Matt Brown of Digital Kung Fu.
Brown set about explaining what digitisation is and how it will impact businesses across industries, which is discussed in detail below.
After the talk held by Brown, Rob Matthews of My Office News presented an outline of the product offerings.
Matthews outlined the advantages of digital, which include reduced cost to advertisers; flexibility to change artwork; broader coverage; speed of publishing; and better metrics (regarding delivery and readership).
“My Office is getting 6 000 unique visitors a month, with over 21 000 visits. The majority of the readers are in the Gauteng area, with an above-average concentration in the Western Province. These visitors spend in excess of three minutes on the site.”
The newsletter, sent out once a week on Wednesday, is received by more than 5 000 people with an average of 99,5% delivered and an open rate in excess of 25%.
“We are aiming to grow the database by 8 000 by the end of the calendar year,” says Matthews.
Digitisation and disruptive technologies
The changing digital environment
Digitisation is the conversion of something non-digital into something digital, disrupting it using digital technology.
“When it comes to digitisation, experts are clueless,” says Brown. Many great minds have missed some of the largest technical inventions of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Examples of this include Western Union brushing off the telephone, and the head of IBM questioning the validity of the personal computer.
Drivers of disruption
The drivers of disruption in the evolution of media include:
Consumer pull – a growing number of people willing to use the product
Technology push – more people are connecting to technology than ever before
Economic benefits – the benefits of going digital are now exponential
‘Digital’ is more than marketing
When digital arrived in South Africa, major advertising agencies bought out smaller ones in order to bring advertising in-house.
In the 1970s, WPP, OmniCom and IPG had traditional companies. Now the most forward-looking digital agencies in this century are Google and Facebook – technology companies.
The six Ds of Digitisation
The process of digitisation is rapid – so rapid that it is now exponential. The six Ds show a road map of rapid development that results in upheaval.
- Digitisation – when something is presented in ones and zeroes it becomes an information-based technology subject to exponential growth.
- Deceptive – digitisation can be deceptive in its initial period because growth doesn’t seem that fast, but it soon picks up speed.
- Disruptive – the digital technologies disrupt existing industries because they outperform them in both effectiveness and pricepoint.
- Dematerialised – major devices of the 1980s (such as a boom box and a telephone) have been are now in one device – the smartphone. Separate products become one product.
- Demonitisation – this occurs when commodities (such as vinyl record stores) are made accessible via technology (such as iTunes) and thus become worth less or even free.
- Democratisation – this is where the marketplace explodes. As more people join the digital world, technology becomes available to more people to use.
In 2000 6% of the world’s population connected to the Internet; 66% of the population will be connected by 2020. Companies like Google seek to democratise technology and connect the world with projects such as Google Loon.
Intelligent machines that can behave like humans has become the next frontier. Many major companies have invested R&D money in this field.
Currently, we think AI is “dumb”; just embryonic technology that is used in “personal assistants” on platforms such as iOS (Siri), Amazon (Alexa) and Microsoft (Cortana).
There are three types of AI:
- Artificial narrow intelligence – such as Google Maps, this type of AI can do only one thing at a time
- Artificial general intelligence – this is what we see in current levels of intelligence found in humans
- Artificial super-intelligence – this level of AI is far more intelligent than all humans combined – and this could ultimately see the end of humanity. Examples of this power has been evidenced in robots that can beat poker players and predict Supreme Court decision outcomes.
Changes in banking
Banks will soon become outdated if they don’t want to adopt digitisation technologies such as BitCoin and Blockchain. High bank fees and the cost of employing humans will render the old systems obsolete. Examples of this have already occurred in the taxi space. Taxi drivers protested the arrival of Uber – so Uber decided to roll out self-driving cars. And Uber drivers then protested
Unlocking value with data
Sensors are being implemented in jet engines to measure data that is returned to data analysts who attempt to reduce risk and improve efficiencies. The sole purpose of this is to learn where money can be saved, streamlining companies and generating value from data.
Businesses must accept reality
“Most businesses refuse to accept the inevitable,” says Brown. “People think that things aren’t broken so why fix it? But if they don’t consider changing, they may be left behind.”
Businesses need to ask the tough questions so they can get the right answers.
“Companies need to bend with the wind. If they are to exist in the future, they need to be agile and change to adapt to the market.”
Consider what will put you out of business and start strategising about how you will address the problems that haven’t become problems yet.
Matt Brown is the CEO of Digital Kungfu, a digital business consultancy that specialises in helping companies accelerate innovation and disrupt traditional markets by enabling them with new ways to do business that serve their customers more effectively and responsively.