Digital Innovation – a business necessity.
Dr David J Hardman MBE – CEO Innovation Birmingham.
“The Future isn’t what it used to be” – never has this Steve Jobs’ quote from 1983 seemed so relevant. The exponential pace of arrival of new digital products and services is driving a new industrial revolution. It provides for a connected, data-driven world of opportunity, but alongside the increasing application of artificial intelligence, it will change the world of work beyond all current recognition.
But this creates opportunity for those SMEs that are prepared; although conversely those not moving at sufficient pace are at risk. The American writer Eric Hoffer said: “In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
The pace of digital innovation raises the issue of just what the next generation jobs are going to be? Artificial intelligence will displace many traditional jobs in a sector agnostic way. This begs the question what are the next generation businesses going to look like as new ‘technology’ businesses displace traditional ones?
So all businesses need to innovate and engage with the digital technologies, it is no longer a sector it’s an enabler. Provoking digital engagement in a regional economy is essential but the engagement needs to come down to all businesses – and currently 23% of businesses across the UK are not digitally savvy.