Leading Digital Transformation Masterclass: UNSW Business School

10 April: Leading Digital Transformation Masterclass by AGSM @UNSW Business School

Such an insightful presentation and panel discussion. Professor Venkat Venkatraman from Boston University Questrom School of Business gave his insights taken from his research and published in his book, “The Digital Matrix: Innovation, Disruption & Transformation” . Panel members included Professor Janine Granger and Professor Nick Wailes from UNSW plus Wendy O’Keefe from ANZ, Professor Zhu from CSIRO and Dr Carmen Leong. Professor Venkatramen spoke about the digital transformation and how this is affecting every aspect of industry and our daily lives. He said that technology is not just a  function to be managed but is the essence of the change in digital technologies. A business in today’s world has to choose between having IT technology as the headwind or as the tailwind. The graph shows market capitalisation in billions and the age of the company – the largest companies today are all digital megagiants.


Put in an historical perspective, in 2007 there was no smart phones. There are now 3.4 billion smart phones on the planet. The Top Companies in 2018 had 6 digital companies and 1 conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway. In 2019, it is 7 digital companies in the Top 10. Market share used to be the scale to use when measuring success in the marketplace, the scale to use now is “webscale” – how many people you touch with your business. Scope or reach can be expanded into adjoining areas in unrelated industries. Examples are Amazon moving into healthcare, Google into cars. All the traditional industries are being disrupted. The speed of change before was linear, it is now non linear with digital companies. You Tube is now the biggest TV channel in the world; in the USA, 39% of people are on Netflix. There are now 3 types of players in industry:

-          Industry incumbents

-          Entrepreneurs

-          Digital players

Every industry is becoming digitised as digital giants enter a sector and experiment in the old industries. Venture capitalist are funding the frontiers of innovation. Tesla sold 500,000 electric cars in 2019 and will sell 1 million in 2020. UBER is now in 632 cities and sees transportation as a service – they do not own cars. July 2010 saw the first UBER ride – there have been 12 billion rides since then!

Digital transformation has been in two waves. The first wave was Analog to Digital; the 2nd wave is physical assets to digital (automobile, energy, healthcare and airlines).

Teresa Dao