It is not uncommon for organizations to make Biblical Mistakes when adopting new technology. While our commodity industry is making strides towards a cleaner future through portfolio diversification, there is concern that our Industry might overlook a significant opportunity: ..Tech.
This situation brings to mind past instances where companies failed to recognize the potential impact of new technologies, such as Kodak’s oversight of the digital photography boom in the 1990s or Nokia’s inability to anticipate the rise of smartphones. Or my favorite, the tale of Blockbuster’s failure to adapt to online streaming services serves as a reminder of the importance of staying ahead of the curve.
Considering these examples, it is essential for organizations to urgently update their internal and external applications to better integrate new, cleaner, and more user-friendly technology. This will allow Blockchain and AI-based solutions to replace the ‘Keyboard Kings’ of some Middle and back offices processes, coupled with bridging the gap to new assets to utilize the data being captured.
However, updating technology is not an easy task, especially during a period of carving out a new portfolio. Current ETRMs are progressively being fixed and enhanced for their current business models, while constantly being pulled in different directions when a new product is introduced, a new office is opened, or a new asset requires integration. This is when the project juggling starts.
While CEOs and executive teams are focused on adopting and enhancing their physical portfolios, investing in technology to become lean and efficient is just as important. Expanding your business and investing in upgrading your tech are two hands that need to clap.
There are numerous Blockchain/AI Technology solutions available to take Commodity Traders to the next level. Many of these solutions seek partnerships with the biggest names in the industry, and are always looking for someone within those organization to talk too.
The question remains as to whether the organization is prepared to accommodate these solutions internally or whether the CTO/CIO has the bandwidth to integrate new technology while still maintaining and upgrading existing systems .
So how can we help bridge this gap ?
Here are a few solutions I would probably size up and present to my CEO or executive Committee. ·
- Hire an M&A Blockchain/AI specialist who can find the best tech projects to add to the portfolio. Correlation to the industry is essential, but looking further afield is also important. Tech Assets should be part of the Portfolio. ·
- Increase the IT budgets to match the growth of the business, otherwise in flight projects often land earlier than planned, thus causing issues with product quality and internal relationships. ·
- Make sure you have an internal Blockchain / AI specialist to audit the entire process from front to back, and allow them to run a virtual Operating Model, using Blockchain & AI simulations, and adopt where possible.
History has shown that companies that fail to embrace new technologies risk becoming intuitional mushrooms, as in they grow in the dark.
Our Commodity Community has an opportunity to learn from Kodak’s mistake and not overlook the significant opportunities presented by technology. By making a few internal adjustments to bring in new thinkers who can help us adapt and thrive in the digital age, we can invest to complement our already robust operating models and future-proof our business, ensuring competitiveness in the years to come….
Or we can just kickback, and smile and have a Kodak Moment.