Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka’s says companies need to take a two-pronged approach to dealing with the disruptive challenges of 2016.
Sikka says disruption is everywhere. Like many others he points to the rise of Uber as an example of how every industry is threatened by change.
Uber came from nowhere to undermine the taxi industry in only a few years.
This happened as a consequence of Moore’s Law .
Sikka says Moore’s Law means rapid change. Human brains are not wired to understand exponential effects so we can find fast change hard to comprehend. This makes it hard to respond to Uber-like threats.
Rapid technology advances bring opportunities to disrupt faster, cheaper and more efficiently than ever. They also provide the tools to defend against disruptive threats.
Incremental change, different to disruption
According to Sikka companies wanting to defend themselves against disruptors need to be creative in two departments: incremental change and being different.
Incremental creativity is about being better at what you already do. He says you should renew your core business. Technology can help you do this by simplifying and improving processes. You can use automation, open technologies and the cloud.
The key is to free up the capacity needed for innovation.
Being different is about doing completely new things. Finding new customers, offering new products, seeking out new business models. Openness is central to this. You need to use rapid prototyping, open platforms and open workplaces. If it is a sales pitch for Infosys, the reference passed me by.
Sikka says you need to enter: “Frontiers where we don’t even have the vocabulary to describe what’s happening”.
Bill Bennett travelled to Shanghai as Huawei’s guest.