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Businesses Have 3 Years to Adapt to the Open Economy

Businesses Have 3 Years to Adapt to the Open Economy

A new report commissioned by Samsung reveals that by 2020 companies which have not opened their borders to competitors, innovators and a new generation of independent freelancers will struggle to prosper in what Samsung calls the ‘Open Economy’.

This new Open Economy will be characterised by a deep use of freelance workers, routine embedding of startup driven innovation and a new kind of collaboration between former competitors.

Over the last decade, thanks to the ubiquity of mobile technology, businesses have become more open and collaborative and have a clear understanding of the benefits compared to existing ‘closed’ business models. However, within just three years, organisations will be operating in a world much less restricted by technical or human boundaries. People, data and ideas will be integrated into current business models more freely, yet it will be crucial for businesses to get to grips with, and fully embrace, the agile technologies and expectations of tomorrow’s work culture.

To thrive in this world of new technologies and highly dispersed digital workforces, companies will need to embrace security platforms which will allow them to share information openly but safely. This in turn will force them to fundamentally rethink how they build their business models and the technologies they depend on.

“Finding ways to safely empower new waves of future freelance workers is going to be the number one business challenge. Within three years, it’s expected that businesses will have to deal with over 7.3 billion connected devices, whilst a rapidly digitised and changing workforce will evolve to one that will transform businesses in how, where and when they operate,” says Nick Dawson, Global Director Knox Strategy.

On the global stage, European companies are leading the way in adopting the infrastructure and human capital that will power the next stage of this digital revolution. This will put them in pole position to harness the open and ultra-flexible workforces and businesses over the next three to ten years, according to research from The Future Laboratory which formed the basis of the report.

Across industries, innovation will emerge from new sources, with reverse innovation tactics of embedding start-ups at the heart of organisations becoming the norm. As this new future develops they will become critical strategic elements and a powerful driving force for innovation in every corner of businesses.

Marcos Eguillor, Founder of BinaryKnowledge and professor at IE Business School, a specialist in digital innovation and transformation, says, “Relying on past certainties will not foster the creativity that business will need to compete in tomorrow’s global market place. Companies will need to adopt the technologies that allow them to be fast and flexible enough to spot and understand their next competitive advantages, and recognise when it’s time to disengage from the previous one.”

Tomorrow’s organisations will use AI and machine learning technology to accurately predict – and make better decisions – about their future. It is not just today’s devices that present risk. Already new machine intelligences are being widely deployed in the commercial world that are self-organising, self-adapting and capable of far more accurate predictions about the future state of their businesses. Advanced machine intelligence will give those companies which adopt them unprecedented power to plan ahead and optimise their business models.

However, this desire for a more open approach often conflicts with the critical need to maintain high levels of security at all times across a company’s entire network of devices and endpoints. Driven by a rapidly evolving threat landscape and enforced by new legislations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), organisations will face many new challenges as they strive to protect their data across their entire business.

Nick Dawson continues, “Cyber-security platforms that allow businesses to be both technologically open and safe are the key to unlocking the future of the Open Economy.” Samsung Knox is such a platform. Today, it is the most powerful defence against mobile security threats in the workplace, thanks to an adaptive, modular design that embeds encryption and security keys in a secure chip-based hardware container. This allows the creation of secure, completely isolated work and personal identities on the same mobile device, ensuring that corporate data is always inaccessible to personal apps and processes and, critically, that personal privacy is always respected and maintained.

To download the full report, visit

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