Digital transformation and Industry 4.0 are a reality – and they are happening fast. While the new technology-empowered business landscape offers countless new opportunities, there are many unforeseen risks as well. Kathy Gibson was at the Deloitte Risk Conference to find out more


SA businesses face a world of risk

Businesses face a wide range of external risks and leaders must not only be aware of them, but ensure there are processes in place to mitigate them.

That is the word from Kuseni Dlamini, chairman of Massmart Holdings, addressing the Deloitte Risk Conference.

He points out that there are five overarching risks that businesses face today.

The first and possibly most relevant is technology risk, led by cyber-risk and cyber-security.

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Manufacturing in the era of Industry 4.0

When it comes to enabling Industry 4.0, the state has a major role to play, and we could learn from how Singapore has turned itself into a knowledge economy, attracting new manufacturing opportunities.

“For us, if we are not ahead of the curve we will not only be swamped but, as a nation, there is a good chance we will become totally irrelevant,” explains Rahul Ghosh, regional director: Africa of IE Singapore.

“For government, this has become urgent. So the stance has been to embrace disruption and use it to essentially transform the whole country -the economy, industry, society and the nation.

“Our target is that, by 2025, we will have become a smart nation.”

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Digital disruption drives business risk, innovation

Arguably one of the biggest risks facing business today is the speed of digital transformation and innovation.

These create a lot of friction that we need to address, says Thiru Pillay, MD: consulting at Deloitte Africa.

“Even in our own organisation, one of the challenges of the speed of innovation is compliance, processes and policies.”

Digital transformation and the fourth industrial revolution are changing the way the world thinks, Pillay points out.

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