EY Spotlight on Business, Issue 2, 2014

Issue 2, 2014

Spotlight on Business

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Disrupt, or be disrupted

The business environment we operate in today is a highly disruptive one. In many ways, we have technology to blame — and thank — for.

Emerging new technologies from digital devices to the “internet of things” are fundamentally transforming the notion of privacy and cyber security, leaving regulations to trail in some instances and organizations to struggle with compliance and accountability. Some argue cyber crimes can no longer be prevented: committed perpetrators will always outsmart defense mechanisms, so vigilant detection and effective response will be highly important.

With growth and profitability typically top of mind, it is easy for boards and C-suite executives to underestimate technology risks, including those exploited for fraud by insiders or third-parties, which are likely to be less apparent but no less damaging to the very growth and profit that businesses pursue.

Maintaining stability in disruptive environments will paradoxically require organizations to disrupt entrenched ways of thinking and doing, and innovate.

For instance, leading organizations are beefing up traditional approaches to risk management with big data and analytics — yet another disruptive technology that is now also gaining popularity with regulators in delivering more rigorous tax audits, and among finance and HR leaders in achieving tighter collaboration for better EBITDA growth. This is not surprising: business leaders are finding knowledge — the capturing, sharing and application of insights — and diversity in talent key to commercial success.

Entrepreneurs know best when it comes to innovating in changing environments. EY’s World Entrepreneur Of The Year, Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra Bank, who made history as the first non-banking finance
company to convert into a bank in India, is a fine example.

For businesses looking to stretch growth in a deal-making landscape that is increasingly defined by large deals and flat volumes, look beyond the well-recognized BRIC markets: how might Kazakhstan, a gem in Central Asia; and the envisaged 2015 ASEAN Economic Community figure in your strategy?

Max Loh, EY Managing Partner, Asean and Singapore

Max Loh

Managing Partner, Asean and Singapore