“We’re Not Ready For The Digital Future”

Global study indicates business leaders are not ready for the digital future and reveals make or break business attributes to keep pace with the “Information Generation”.

A study, The Information Generation : Transforming The Future, Today, was announced last week that seeks to explore the impact of a growing global community of digital citizens. These individuals are always connected and are engaged online. Outlining new expectations that these individuals have, the study is revealing about the fundamental business attributes critical for organisations to compete and thrive sucessfully in this new world.

While businesses know they can get value from this data, 49% admit to not knowing how to turn all of their data into actionable information.

Commissioned by EMC, the study includes forecasts of major economic, digital and privacy shifts by 2024.  40+ prolific experts have identified key signals of change in how we connect, communicate and innovate today, which will continue to grow and transform our world.

Infographics - Information Generation

Nearly every element of life will be data-driven – with increasing open exchanges for personal data, AI    enhancing decision making, and more.

The study is based on the responses of 3,600 directors – Csuite business leaders across 18 countries.

Key findings include :

  • Leaders (96 percent) believe new technologies have changed the rules of business, democratising information and rewiring customer expectations;
  • Very few organisations are doing the following extremely well and organisation-wide:
    • 9 percent innovate in an agile way;
    • 12 percent can predictively spot new opportunities;
    • 11 percent deliver personalised experience;
    • 12 percent operate in real-time; and
    • 14 percent demonstrate transparency and trust.

52% admit they do not use their data effectively or are drowning in information overload.

The impact of big data

By 2020, it’s estimated that more than 7 billion people on at least 30 billion devices will have created 44 zettabytes of data (or 44 trillion gigabytes), according to Gartner and IDC respectively. This is rapidly leading to a world in which nearly every element of life will be data-driven.

While businesses know they can get value from this data, 49% admit to not knowing how to turn all of their data into actionable information. This includes:

  • Even though 70% say they can gain insights from data, only 30% are always on and able to act upon their information in real time, and are unable to achieve this very well and company-wide
  • 52% admit they do not use their data effectively or are drowning in information overload
  • Only 24% consider themselves “very good” at turning data into useful insights and information

“In an increasingly connected, real-time world, consumers are demanding more from the organisations they interact with. Businesses need to be always on if their consumers are,” said Cheam Tat Inn, EMC Malaysia Managing Director.

Cheam Tat Inn








Cheam Tat Inn

“In Malaysia specifically, the smart device phenomenon is no longer new. Broadband penetration and the adoption of these devices show no signs of slowing down. Moreover, according to reports by International Telecommunication Union, Malaysia has the fourth largest proportion of Digital Natives in its population. These Digital Natives will be tomorrow’s consumers, employees, and leaders. The impact of technology megatrends is only going to increase every year. Businesses and ‘digital natives’ born of the cloud are already driving this new way of living. For mature businesses that are now redefining themselves for this new world, transformation needs be focused, purposeful and company-wide. This will be especially important for businesses to thrive in a hyper-competitive, hyper-connected ASEAN.”

“Our mission is to provide practical foresight for a world undergoing rapid change – and to help turn insights into action,” said Rachel Maguire, Research Director at Institute for the Future. “It’s critical that we systematically explore the longer-term implications of an age in which information is at the center of everything we do, continually re-conditioning us in ways we still have yet to imagine. The world’s most information-savvy organisations – if they ready themselves – will lead one of the most significant transformations in history.”

Further reading

  1. More details on the Information Generation
  2. Reflections Blog – Are you ready for the Information Generation?

Study Methodology

The research was conducted by the Institute for the Future and Vanson Bourne on behalf of EMC. Vanson Bourne surveyed 3,600 business leaders across 18 countries from mid-size to large enterprises in nine industries. Institute for the Future led the creation of the study to identify and forecast the imperatives and shifts in the new digital world. The research questionnaire and imperatives are based upon in-depth interviews and workshops with 40+ influential global decision-makers and experts across multiple industries, with a diverse mix of academic, industry, nonprofit, and think-tank leaders.

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