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The impact of technology and the future of business
We live in a fast-changing world with new products and services launched daily. While change has become commonplace, a tsunami of emerging technologies is quickly coming into play.

Date of publication: March 2018

New technologies open amazing opportunities, with the potential to alter industries in ways never imagined, and results never thought achievable.

Innovation is top of mind for every senior executive. Business leaders experiencing disruption to their industries are looking for new business opportunities to pursue. To succeed in this highly dynamic environment, every company in every industry needs to become an “innovation powerhouse”. This means undertaking many innovation initiatives, while ensuring that business continues to operate as usual.

The impact of emerging technologies on traditional industries has been analysed in this paper and a transformation blueprint has been proposed for companies to drastically improve their innovation capabilities. Led by the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at the University of Sydney (Australia) and Silicon Valley Innovation Centre (USA), this blueprint is relevant for governments and businesses across various industries such as banking, telecommunications, infrastructure, energy and utilities, mining and others.

This paper discusses the broader economic context in relation to technological advancements, and offers a practical guide to:

  • industry disruption from emerging technologies and why companies are often caught off-guard with substitute products and services
  • succeed in this fast-changing world, highlighting the need for organisations to become innovation powerhouses that can quickly apply the latest technologies to their business
  • the development of a transformation blueprint, outlining key steps traditional businesses should undertake in defining strategy, the launch of new products, changing organisational structure and realigning corporate governance
  • innovation through high degree of experimentation and the decisive leadership required in a supportive corporate culture
  • the different priorities and expectations of the future workforce.

Chapter 1: The fourth industrial revolution is here

We have entered the time of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, where technology breakthroughs go beyond production automation or digitisation of information. Read chapter 1 here.

Chapter 2: Running a business in an idea economy

“We are now living in an Idea Economy where success is defined by the ability to turn ideas into value faster than your competition.” - Meg Whitman, CEO of HP Corporation. Read chapter 2 here.

Chapter 3: Become an innovation powerhouse

Fundamental company transformation to fully empower innovation is imperative to remain competitive today. It is not sufficient simply to reorganise or make a couple of acquisitions. Read chapter 3 here.

Chapter 4: Evolving governance, leadership and workforce

Companies need to transform into innovation powerhouses to succeed in this fast-changing world. Read chapter 4 here.

Final remarks

The most successful enterprises in today’s fast-changing markets are those that take steps to become an innovation powerhouse.

To do this, businesses not only need to respond to opportunities far more dynamically, but also engage early on. Corporate leaders must keep up with technology trends, update their company’s business strategies, kick off corporate transformation initiatives and enhance other innovation capabilities. The transformation blueprint outlined in this paper offers a comprehensive set of steps every company can follow to accelerate its transformation journey.

The blueprint is an integral part of our new Leading Transformation Projects program, jointly offered by the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership and Silicon Valley for Innovation Center.

Collaboration between John Grill Centre for Project Leadership and Silicon Valley for Innovation Center

The collaboration between the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership (Australia) and Silicon Valley Innovation Center (US) leverages each organisation’s strengths in project leadership and corporate innovation to provide joint executive education programs for companies interested in preparing themselves for the coming industry disruption in banking, infrastructure, telecommunications, energy, resources, transportation, government, and other industry sectors.


Amar Flora






Amar Flora

Chief Operating Officer, John Grill Centre for Project Leadership

A passionate entrepreneur and intrapreneur, Amar serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at the University of Sydney and a founding partner of Curio Group (Australian Financial Review Fast Starter 2017). Amar also founded iCommunis in 2017, a technology platform to improve community engagement across all infrastructure categories. Amar’s interest and experience includes Business Technologies, where he has established a Silicon Valley partnership in custom executive education.

Andy Zhulenev






Andy Zhulenev

Vice-President, Silicon Valley Innovation Centre

Andy Zhulenev is Vice-President at Silicon Valley Innovation Center, responsible for its Corporate Innovation Services. He has a unique 360-degree view of innovation both from enterprise and startup perspective. Andy has over 20 years of experience in strategy consulting, private equity, information technology and business process outsourcing. He worked with customers in Banking and Financial Services, Manufacturing, Retail, Aerospace, Software, Hardware and other industries.