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This is a liveblog which means everything was written at-the-moment.

“If you want to ride the wave of disruption, you need to have an agile system in place and work like mad.”

And with that, IFS President and CEO Alistair Sorbie kicked off the this year’s edition of the world conference, held in beautiful Boston.

To the backdrop of a super-sized 4k screen (Moderator Jon Briggs described it as “the size of a small planet”) on which a series of videos illustrating the disruptive impact of technologies played, Sorbie said disruption – when identified and utilized effectively – can supercharge business growth.

You need 3 things

  1. Know your business well. That way you can.
  2. Stay agile. Be quick to respond as you can’t often predict what changes are happening.
  3. Low drag. Systems don’t hold you back; the right systems push you forward.

Disruption is everywhere, and Sorbie used the example of the automative industry; the arrival of the ‘car of the future’.

He asked what’s going to power it, pointing out that the ongoing oil price crisis has had a disruptive effect on the energy industry, driving a wave of mergers and acquisitions — which will of course require reorganisations, integrations and fresh ideas.

Gasoline may be here today, but with the emergence of lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells that may not always be the case. How can the industry adapt and ride the wave of disruption?

The Uber effect

He called it the Uber effect, a reference to the app which is quickly replacing traditional taxi cabs; devastating one sector but building a new one in its place.

New industries like Uber are arriving all over the place, and it’s about seeing their innovations as opportunity instead of threat.

Sortie, who hailed his company’s major milestone (“As of today, we now have 1 million IFS users around the world”) and its continued outperforming of the stock market, also teased the launch of IFS Applications 9 later in the day — “true business agility”.

This conference, by the way, has its very own app that enables interaction and crowdsources feedback.

Download the IFS Wo Co app to get the most out of the three days to-come.

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