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What kind of opportunities do AI and digital technologies present for businesses?

Posted on: July 24, 2022

A large opportunity exists for Australian organisations to use new and powerful technologies (Artificial intelligence [AI] and Cloud technologies) to transform their businesses. Business Model Transformation synthesises the key learnings and contrasts those with conventional wisdom. It explains why it is imperative that businesses should address the business opportunities of these technological advancements.

One of the authors of the book - Stuart Black - shared some of the challenges and key takeaways from this book. 

1. What kind of opportunities do AI and digital technologies present for businesses?

The business and academic press offer plenty of examples and suggestions regarding the potential of AI and digital technologies.  Indeed, Chen, Guo and Shangguan recently found that cloud computing (one of the specific digital technologies we discuss in our book) has a significant and positive impact on the profitability and market value of listed firms in both short and long time periods.  However, when we look for exemplar businesses using AI & cloud to revitalise and refresh their business model, few of the firms are Australian. We all have children, and we care deeply about the future competitiveness of Australian organisations.  We wrote this book as both an illustration of the opportunity for incumbent organisations to transform their business models as well as an inspiration for action

2. What are the key challenges that businesses would need to overcome when looking to digitally transform their businesses?

Whilst there are certainly certain technical challenges (for example, “tech debt” and overall technical readiness for change) that firms need to consider, our case studies indicate that the greatest challenge is determining to do something whilst avoiding some of the conventional wisdom (for example, the pathway to transformation is through understanding what you want to do and then considering how technology will help, rather than conducting numerous “proof-points” to gain confidence).  We expand on this sense of conventional wisdom versus our view throughout the book

3. What are the key takeaways from your book?

There are numerous takeaways, the first of which is that business model transformation enabled by cloud and AI is available to a broad range of organisations.  Our case studies include large and complex organisations, partnerships, family firms, not-for-profit organisations and government agencies (of both the large and small varieties). Our second key takeaway is that these organisations embarked upon business model transformation for one of three common reasons: either they were seizing market opportunity, they were fighting potential market irrelevancy, or they were undertaking necessary infrastructure improvement that then enabled other activities. Our final takeaway is an identification of a set of nine antecedents that have enabled organisations to successfully undertake business model transformation enabled by cloud and AI.  We also discuss a number of other topics in the book, such as the role of the board and the process by which organisations catalyse themselves for change.