Institute for Future


08 April 2016

In future, the smart organisations will be the proactive ones that predict your every need, cutting through the digital overload and treating each client and customer as a segment of one.

Governments will send your driver’s licence application as your 16th birthday approaches, retailers will text to say they’ve left a new box of the laundry  powder you are about to run out of at your door, says PwC Chair in Digital Economy, QUT Professor Marek Kowalkiewicz.

“It won’t be ‘here’s what customers like you buy, watch or listen to’ but ‘here’s what you need now’,” he said.

Professor Kowalkiewicz said organisations were joining the digital economy’s move to proactively provide services and products when they were needed, not after they’d been requested. They would even predict and supply products before we realised we needed them.

“Proactivity in organisations will provide whole new ways to escape the information overload we are all experiencing, and provide a raft of new services,” Professor Kowalkiewicz said.

“It will change everything about the way we live and the way we do business.

“At the centre of this transformation will be our individual digital identity that we alone curate to allow chosen organisations to interact with us.

“Yes, we will give up some privacy but the pay-off will be more convenience. At first, we hesitated to use paywave but now everyone uses it because it saves time and effort.

“Having a digital identity will give us freedom from information overload as well as more control of who we share our information with and what they do with it.”

Professor Kowalkiewicz said proactive organisations would become trusted partners and an invisible part of our lives.

“For example, you are turning 16, the proactive organisation sends you a learners application. Driving instructors and defensive driving course providers will have contacted you.

“Banks will analyse your credit card spend and alert you to suspicious charges, or to a possible data breach in an organisation you deal with, then automatically cancel your compromised card and send you a new one.”

Prof Marek Kowalkiewicz

Professor Kowalkiewicz is working in partnership with Queensland Government to explore a proactive approach to provide more time and cost-effective services whilst providing greater convenience and personalised service for customers.

“For example, the proactive utility company will monitor water usage, spot a water leak before you do and with your pre-approval send someone out to fix it,” he said.

Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said the Queensland Government was working on personalised service delivery for Queenslanders.

“We are looking at how we can be on the front foot in providing access to services, with the customer in mind,” Ms Enoch said.

“Our approach is driven by better insights about what our customers want and need, and how they want to interact with us, in order to personalise, inform and provide services around their needs and individual circumstances. 

“We are working with industry leaders and innovators, federal government, local councils, small businesses and members of the public, to reimagine how we can provide government services tailored to customers before they even realise they need them.

“There is some very exciting and innovative work underway and the State Government looks forward to sharing more news in coming months about how we can better deliver services to Queenslanders.”

Professor Kowalkiewicz said advanced computing power would enable organisations to divide their customers down to a segment of one to deliver truly personalised service.

 “Our trusted partner organisations will take proactivity to another level and actually predict our needs,” he said.

 “With the use of the internet of things, your laundry powder box will have a sensor in it and notify your store it’s nearly empty or you’ll just find a new box on the doorstep when you get home.”

Media contact: Niki Widdowson, 07 3138 2999 or Rose Trapnell, QUT media team leader, 07 3138 2361 or 0407 585 901

PwC Chair in Digital Economy, Professor Marek Kowalkiewicz, says in the future a digital identity will give us freedom from information as well as more control of who we share our information with.


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