In 2010, to set up a payment solution for an internet company was a terribly slow and cumbersome process. The whole system was based on decades old technology and involved many parties. Patrick and John Collison, brothers from rural Ireland, spotted the business problem and offered an online solution (Stripe Inc.). The API of their payment platform would allow businesses to instantly (as opposed to several weeks) connect to credit cards and banking systems, and receive payments. The company now handles tens of billions of dollars in internet transactions annually, making money by charging a small fee on each one. This has given Stripe a 23 billion valuation in February 2019.
This story illustrates the changing world we now are doing business in. A world where market positions vanish fast and whole industries are on the verge of bankruptcy. As Gary Hamel puts it in his book The Future of Management, and as the story above illustrates:
Hamel also emphasizes the fact that customers and employees have never been so well informed thanks to the volume of information easily navigable on the internet: this is another important reason why agility at scale, addressing both issues, is so important today.
This echoes with Sopra Steria's Digital Transformation book #1, describing the complex business world, presenting some clear, new imperatives to companies: