9 Governmental Actions Regarding Digital Disruption
Several years ago, I read Geoffrey Moore’s book, “Dealing with Darwin”. In this book, Geoffrey suggested that successful companies must evolve their competencies or they will become marginalized. The reason for this is without innovation, offerings become more alike each other. Geoffrey went onto suggest an extreme big idea. The idea was that in a flat world, it is not just the viability of companies that is being challenged but the standard of living of nations. Geoffrey said in particular that the US standard of living for example is being challenged by whether or not enterprises can continue to innovate. It is too bad that this idea hasn’t come up in the US election cycle yet.
As Geoffrey sees things, we live in an increasingly competitive, flat world where there is more and more competition for scarce resources. In this new competition, Geoffrey suggests that being “Best in Class” is a cop-out for enterprises. Companies need to be “beyond class”. Without differentiation, he says that returns will move to the cost of capital or less. Having said this, until reading Klaus Schwab’s book, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution”, I did not feel there was a role for governments in fostering business advantage and digital transformation. In Klaus’ book, he suggests that governments matter to fostering digital disruption and business advantage and that by doing so, they support the standard of living provided to their citizens. Strauss suggests the following nine ideas for go forward governance.
- Ensure the pervasive access to and use of information and communications technologies.
- Put in place the infrastructure needed to create economic opportunities and drive shared prosperity
- Close the data gaps—how data is created, collected, transmitted, and used. Doing this will allow governmental entities to track better infectious diseases, respond better to nature disasters, enhance public services for the poor, and understand migration patterns of vulnerable populations.
- Invest in becoming launch pads for digital transformation. This means finding ways to attract entrepreneurs and investors. It can also means changing policies and even acting more like entrepreneurs.
- Enabling the creation of digital reprogrammable space. Buildings should be built so they can instantly shift purposes
- Co-generation, co-heating, and co-cooling. Use created heat either to warm buildings. And cool them by using absorption refrigerator technology.
- Create mobility on-demand. This means wireless should be pervasive and increasingly free anywhere one goes.
- Intelligent street poles. LED street lights can act as a platform for sensing technology to collect data on weather, pollution, seismic activity, and the movement of traffic and people.
- Innovation Enabled Regulation. Enable rather than restrict technologies like 5G.
In the World Economic Forum’s work on smart cities, they have found that digital disruption is often driven by a global network of smart cities, countries, and regional clusters. Given this, if you want your city or region to retain its competitive advantage, there is work to do in governing for digital disruption.
Learn more: The Data Disruption Summit