Week in Review: The big fish are looking to adopt small fish culture

  • Large companies begin to see value in certain facets of startup way
  • Accenture’s Digital Performance Index spotlights PLCs adoption of digital

I HAD an interesting conversation with Accenture over the Digital Performance Index (DPI) report it produced on large Malaysian Brick & Mortar companies. Already run in 42 countries across the world, but never in Asia, a team of Accenture researchers use publicly available data sources to produce a report on where the top companies of a country are in terms of adapting digital to their business.

Specifically, Accenture looked at the 28 largest public listed companies in Malaysia, measuring the performance of the companies across four functions, looking at 117 metrics with 42 activities to get a view of how the companies are applying digital.

Defacto the combined score becomes a high level assessment of where the country stands as well in terms of the digital economy. You can read the article for a deeper understanding of where Malaysia stands, or attend our What’s Next conference on 9 Nov where Accenture, as Knowledge Partner for What’s Next, will be talking more about the interesting report. One of the points that stood out was how the boards and senior management of these companies all understood the importance of digital and its application to their business. But acting on this awareness has been slow among the large PLCs.

Naturally, global companies are adapting to digital as well and are looking at the cultural aspects as well. Just last week we saw McKinsey & Co acquiring a Malaysian startup, VLT Labs. And you would expect McKinsey to swallow up VLT Labs but it plan to keep it a separate entity and even wants to learn its culture to adopt to its own. And that’s because traditional companies are quickly recognizing that there is great value in many aspects of startup culture with the focus on speed, adapting, staying lean and having a digital first mentality.

These reasons are also why another large Malaysia company, Celcom Axiata is trying to adapt a startup culture as it seeks to rediscover its winning ways.

And this week I again heard from a large company, this time a global one that is 40 years old with over 136,000 staff, about its interest in the startup culture. But Oracle is doing it differently. Rather than learn startup  culture via acquisitions, it hopes that the new digital hubs it is launching across Asia, staffed with mainly digital natives, will create their own culture that will rub off on Oracle with its Japan and Asia Pacific senior VP François Lançon believing that it is easier to create a new culture than try to change an existing one.

Between the acquisition method and new digital business setup, I suspect many of the PLCs in Accenture’s Digital Performance Index will be opting for the latter method as part of their digital adaptation. I deliberately avoid saying “digital strategy” because one of the key takeaways from Accenture on the Digital Performance Index is that the business and digital strategy of companies, has to be one and the same.

Yet, many large companies have started their journeys with a digital strategy. I think there will be a natural realization and shift to both business and digital strategies merging into one and the same when they find their standalone approach has not worked. Question is, will it be too late then?

As Oracle’s Lancon says, “This is a world where if you do not run fast enough, someone else will. That’s what we are seeing.”

With that, I wish you a restful weekend and a productive week after, and I remind you to get your What’s Next ticket because it’s going to be awesome!

Editor’s Picks:

‘Challenger brand’ Oracle's digital hubs in Asia mark its transition from product to services company

Digital hubs, MTEP mark expansion of MDEC support to startup ecosystem

Google bolsters its cloud commitment to Southeast Asia

Alibaba Cloud trains its sights on Southeast Asia

Go-Jek extends Go-Pay to other online, offline businesses

Xiaomi keeps it pure and simple with Mi A1

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