On the 29 June 2017, Software AG hosted their Innovation Tour 2017 in Fourways, Johannesburg at the Langham Estate. Under the theme “Unleash your digital vision” the speakers unpacked the changing landscape facing businesses due to the rapid rate of innovation.
The first of four speakers was Mohamed Cassoojee, the VP and Country Manager for Software AG, who broke down the business model innovation. Cassoojee spoke of the “rise of the platform economy” which has drastically changed the business model to be based on a network, where the more people connected to your network the more money you will make, this has seen the shift away from linear business models.
These new business models, which is driven by innovation, has left companies with three options according to Cassoojee. They would have to choose between keeping their business the same, change to a platform model or adopt a hybrid model. This choice will determine how the business interacts with their customers.
If the company decides on a network or hybrid model they will then have a further two choices, do they build their own network or do they buy an existing from a company such as Software AG. The way businesses deal with this could determine their futures according to the Country Manager.
The next speaker was Patrick Shields, CTO at Software AG, who gave a brief and precise presentation on innovating and monetising business management systems. He started off by defining innovation as a technological response which brings about a lasting change in a company. Shields then spoke of how businesses have to follow the evolution of management systems and move towards the innovative digital enterprise management system. This step according to Shields will allow companies to operate as one system aiding in the ability to assess, detect and respond to various issues throughout the company.
Shields told the captivated audience that he believes IT leaders should be decision makers withing a company and that they should be driving this innovation.
Riaaz Jeena, Sales Director at Software AG, was the third speaker. His presentation which was titled “Monetising Innovation” pointed out the importance that partnerships with other companies when innovating. Jeena defined innovation as a new product, idea or method that businesses implement in order to keep current customers or attract new ones.
Then after a short interval, it was time for the keynote address by former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan, who now works in the venture capital space helping innovative startups get off the ground.
In his address, Jordaan spoke of Peter Diamandis’s 6 D’s of innovation.
- Digitise: All spheres are dominated by the data explosion
- Deceptive: Breakthrough innovations may be years in the making
- Disruptive: Innovations will cause a disturbance in their field
- Dematerialised: Physical products are being replaced by software
- Demonetised: Online products should be free
- Democratised: What used to be available to the few, will now be available to the many.
Jordaan then applied these 6 D’s to different innovations currently taking place, such as AI and robotics. By breaking down these 6 dimensions, Jordaan eloquently illustrated what innovation means as a whole and the importance of keeping up with your peers.
Jordaan concluded his address by urging decision makers in business to create an environment which breeds innovation. “Only the innovative will survive no matter the size of the company. Take risks and make mistakes, recognise and reward your innovators and always remember that ideas are easy but the execution is hard.”
By Dean Workman