Don’t Pay “Disruption” Lip-Service: Says Opentext Lead

OpenText's Albert Nel gave three key areas where businesses need to focus to embrace digital disruption at CxO Disrupt Sydney 2017.


Large and small businesses alike are all embarking on their own digital transformation journey. Some have started off on the right path, using data as their map and technology as their vehicle – but there are those that are only looking at digital disruption for the sake of it.

As OmniChannel Media’s returned to Sydney for their 3rd installment of CxO Disrupt in the city, OpenText Vice-President for Enterprise Sales, Albert Nel spoke on the right way to begin digital disruption within the industry and send out a warning to those who were paying disruption lip-service.

“From a digital disruption point of view, there are three key areas that you need to look at from an organisation.”

Changing the Business Model

Albert explained how in an era where fintechs are threatening the status quo with their quick decision process and agile reactions to change, incumbent organisations need to start taking lessons from their younger competition.

The financial services industry isn’t the only one under threat from start-ups, as we see it all over the world, from retail to music to wearables.

The key to the successful start-ups were that they rejected the norm, and so adapted their own business model to meet the needs of the customer.

“We see a lot of organisations that drastically change their business model to adopt how technology is changing. Being able to transform fast enough to stay relevant in this business and how they do business is integral,” Nel told 200 of Sydney’s leading C-Suite executives.”

Technology is growing at a pace like never before, so rather than creating a new, more stabilised business structure, it’s more important the business models stay flexible for new innovations in the future.

Optimising Your Operations

If you haven’t accepted that automation in the form of artificial intelligence and machine learning has already reached our day-to-day lives, it will certainly get there within the next five years.

Nel reckons the doom and gloom that sometimes surround the entrance of automation is misguided, as Nel stated that robotics won’t as much take jobs away as it will give us new jobs to do.

“I don’t believe robotics is going to replace humans, I believe it’s going to change the way we work as humans,” he explained.

“I don’t believe robotics is going to replace humans, I believe it’s going to change the way we work as humans,” Albert Nel, Opentext.

If that’s the case then businesses should look to get ahead in the curve, implementing the technology sooner, rather than later, as it will allow them to test new ideas with a lower risk value.

It is this that will make businesses more efficient as well, as Nel emphasised the need to promote and encourage technological change, rather than be fearful.

“Becoming more efficient in your businesses will happen by embracing disruption. It’s how you embrace machines and technology that will make you more efficient,” he said.

Focusing on the Customer Experience

Times are different now to how they were a century ago, or even a decade ago. No longer does the business decide what the customer wants.

The customer holds all the cards and so you have to make sure that their interactions with the business, whether that be in a physical reality or a virtual world, are maximised.

Nel believes this will be the differentiator for incumbent organisations and start-ups, as flexible companies will be able to quickly adapt to the needs of the customer.

“Enhancing customer experience to stay relevant is essential as some of the more nimble and agile companies come to play,” he said.

We’ve already seen what companies like Uber and Netflix have been able to do by providing a seamless experience, and it’s time that businesses leave their legacy behind and embrace technology for the sake of their customers.