Australia is uniquely positioned as a trusted partner to enable responsible leadership of digital transformation in top global businesses, while providing a regional perspective and expertise to work with the top 5 export markets in Asia. Learning from the sequence of events that led to the ban on Huawei’s 5G technologies out of concerns on data privacy and espionage, Australia should have its own strategy for China’s AI empowered businesses, instead of reacting to the decisions made by the US or Europe. The principle of responsible leadership is to make sustainable business decisions that take into account the interests of all stakeholders, including clients, employees, shareholders, the environment, societies and the future generations. Given that the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) project has been perceived as a complicated, tedious and unsustainable business strategy to deliver such an ambitious goal, reinvigorated responsible leadership principles must be adopted for the next digital transformation centred around AI, big data and the Internet of Things.

As all things are increasingly becoming connected via the Internet of Things, an integrated cyber-physical systems marks the era of Industry 4.0, also known as the data-driven fourth industrial revolution (Lasi et al, 2014). AI and computer algorithms can monitor and control real objects in the world, enabling autonomous systems for many applications, including smart manufacturing, self-driving drones for transporting small goods, and robots for social interactions. The future of work in the era of industry 4.0 will be determined by the entrepreneurs and creative economy.

Amid the current trend of global economic downturn and financial uncertainties, accelerated by the US-China trade war and Brexit, Australia must explore entrepreneurships and innovations as a way to diversify its economy. The CSIRO has predicted a $315B potential market in Asia-Pacific for digital innovation (CSIRO, 2018). As AI is at the centre of digital economy, our stance on responsible computing would ultimately determine whether we can ultimately compete with the rest of the world in terms of realising the full potential of autonomous systems to innovate businesses and services.

AI adoption would transform the entire business, disrupting the value chains, organisational structures, operational processes and revenue models. Business and start-up leaders can observe and learn from the importance and advantages of embracing disruptive technologies, but most importantly, they must work on the people, organisation, leadership, governance, policy and strategy to make digital transformation happens.

Successful digital transformation will lead to empowered employees, engaged customers, transformed products and optimised operations. This requires a leadership at the critical intersection between the viability (business), feasibility (technology), and desirability (human factor).

On 17th September 2019, Professor Dian Tjondronegoro from the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation (BSI) hosted a Tech Leaders Meet-up at Gold Coast campus attended by C-level information and technology managers and chief consultants, as well as academics and entrepreneurs across business and IT. 

Associate Professor Jun Jo from the Department of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), pictured top right, showcased many robotics and AI applications, such as drone-enabled tracking of a target object.

Dr Yong Wu (BSI), pictured middle right, presented how blockchain can be used to support supply chain traceability in agribusiness, such as tracking beef quality and authenticity.

Associate Professor Andreas Chai (GBS Digital Transformation cluster), pictured bottom right, discussed how behavioural economics strategies can help to encourage customers to adopt digital metering and time-of-use based tariffs and reduce peak-load demand.

The unifying theme across these presentations is how digital technology will transform businesses and that technical expertise alone will not be sufficient to fully realise the benefits. BSI is well positioned to lead the digital transformation using its expertise on: 

  1. Digital Value Chain,
  2. International Business and Sustainable Enterprise,
  3. Governance, Leadership and Management, underpinned by our core values for sustainable-, entrepreneurial-, digital-enabled-, and Asia-Pacific-focused business and social innovations.