After spending 13 years in the Middle East, Pakistan and Switzerland where he was at the forefront of the cutting-edge technology in the areas of the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and online media, Wayne Hull recently assumed the role of MD and head of Accenture Digital for South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Hull joined the company at such a time when the impact of the fourth industrial revolution affects business and government.
Here, he shares more about his new role and explains what this means in terms of the digital opportunities and challenges facing the latter today and tomorrow…
Why are you most excited about your new role?
We are operating and living in a new world. A world where digital is creating changes at unprecedented levels of speed and scale. There is no doubt that all businesses and governments will be impacted in some form, and for most, in a very significant way. This creates a reality of opportunity and risk. I am excited to be able to partner with our clients as we together prepare for and take advantage of this brave new world. I truly believe Accenture Digital globally and in SA is best positioned through its experiences and people to lead, support and partner with our clients and the overall digital ecosystem. This is exciting!
What have been some of your most notable achievements to date?
I never think about my achievements. I spend my time thinking about the journeys that I have been on, what I have learned from them, and how I can leverage these lessons and new insights to make my current journey remarkable and memorable. The most recent professional journeys that really stand out for me are: setting up new businesses from ground zero in Pakistan and Qatar; managing a business in the Middle East in the height of the global and Dubai economic crisis; and the success and failure from building an international IoT software venture. And now, I am in the midst of my digital South African journey.
Comment on the company’s growth strategy, and how you intend to drive it.
Accenture Digital South Africa’s aspiration is to more than double our business over the next three years, both organically and through potential acquisitions. We partner with our clients to imagine, create and deliver extraordinary digital experiences with transformational results. Our strategy to achieve our aspiration is: by building a leading digital interactive agency, by moving our clients’ data from a system of record to a system of insights and to a system of engagement, and by being able to deliver all digital experiences through different platforms.
What's at the top of your to-do list?
I love what I do! And I love it because I believe deeply that the two equalisers in life are the internet and education. The digital opportunity for South Africa as a country and for its citizens is to leverage this new digital world to accelerate our socio-economic situation, and bring new innovations and business models to our business that make us globally competitive.
My top three priorities are: 1) building SA’s leading digital service provider by partnering with our clients to imagine, create and deliver extraordinary digital experiences with transformational results; 2) creating a digital culture across our business, our clients and our ecosystem that inspires new ways of working; and 3) sharing innovative digital South African success stories globally.
What are some of the opportunities and challenges currently facing the company?
The impact of the fourth industrial revolution is what is facing all of us across all businesses and governments.
At a country level, today, the intersection of mobile and a young population is a significant socio-economic opportunity. However, the cost and scale of connectivity is a significant prohibitor to accelerated benefits. Tomorrow will be the country’s ability to initiate policy from co-ordinated discussions between private and public enterprises and policymakers around the opportunity and implication of artificial intelligence and robotics to our workforce.
At a business level, the opportunity and challenge is being able to manage the operational realities of business today, whilst transforming your business to be able to service new customers with new products and services tomorrow. All businesses, small and large, will be required, in more significant ways than most realise, to do things differently. At the core of this change are two areas: 1) the capability to accelerate transformation of brands and service providers to create highly individualised experiences based on individual customers’ unique motivations, and 2) to embed digitisation in the current operations and create new digitised operations.
What has been your most noteworthy learning in the space?
Some of our clients are engaging deeply in the new digital world, and the first strategic step is to start – setting up a digital hub in the organisation where digital ideas, experiences and prototypes can be born is critical. The critical step is to start today, and to ensure the governance and investment around this is strategic for the business or government department.
What are you currently reading / listening to for work?
I am currently reading Peter Thiel’s Zero to One. Amazing insights! And I love Big Think and Silicon Valley online weekly journals.
Tell us something about yourself not generally known.
I am not crazy about the dark or heights, and my biggest indulgence is cigars, particularly Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2.
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