Everyone is marvelling at Amazon Go, an innovation that seemingly sprang from nowhere. After identifying yourself to the store via a mobile app, you pluck products from the shelves and then just walk out. The store identifies when you pick up and put down products, so that it knows what you take with you when you leave, and you’re account is changed some time afterwards. It’s disruptive even, with pundits predicting massive jobs lose and a rewiring of the retail landscape.

Amazon Go isn’t unprecedented though. There were clear signals that that future of payments wasn’t to make payments frictionless, but to eliminate payments entirely. Amazon Go was entirely predictable if you knew where to look.

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Consumers want a relationship that doesn’t have money at its centre, and they now have the tools to demand this.

Consumers want to have their data shackles removed

Mobile data is seen by many as the hottest commodity on the planet and with 74 per cent year on year growth in mobile data traffic our consumption craving does not appear to have any limits. For Australian mobile consumers, the feature that tops the most wanted list is ‘unlimited data’ as part of their mobile package (37 per cent).

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Mobile consumers are demanding the data plan ‘ball and chain’ to be un-shackled

Our most favourite and divisive device

Half of the Australia mobile consumer population engage with their smartphone within 15 minutes of waking up. This sets the tone for the day and the way in which our most favourite device has become an extension of us, embedded into our daily routines, experiences and interactions.[1]

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Smartphones have moved front and centre, across many of our relationships for better and in some cases, for worse.

There is no doubt retail is in an era of transformation. Driven by the acceleration and adoption of technology and the changing behaviours of shoppers, retail must adapt to thrive in the future.

Today’s connected customer has greater expectations than ever before. With information at their fingertips, they are knowledgeable, in control and can choose to purchase anywhere at any time. Faced with a proliferation of options coupled with the ubiquitous use of mobile, we are seeing a trend towards more frequent, yet shorter interactions. This limited attention has set a challenge for retailers in evolving the way they think about engaging customers and driving loyalty to their brand.

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Gone are the days of the retail store being somewhere simply to purchase.

Over 4 million people in Australia have some form of disability, each having unique circumstances and aspirations for their future. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will provide them with ‘choice and control’ in the supports that they receive with an emphasis on self-direction in planning and access to services.

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Annual NDIS expenditure of $22 billion means the market for disability services will more than double over the next 4 years.

5 ways Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can make life easier for Boards and organisations

In 2014, a Japanese investment firm announced they had appointed a robot to their Board. Deep Impact Ventures made headlines around the world when they promoted an algorithm, called Vital, causing some pithy journalists to ask if some companies’ Board meetings would be improved by sitting next to an algorithm!

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When implemented successfully, RPA can help to deliver on what many Boards are seeking to implement in their organisations; efficiency, innovation, talent, improved risk and control frameworks, and better customer service.

Life’s interactions experienced through a 5 inch screen

With 84 per cent of Australians owning a smartphone in 2016 (compared with 79 per cent in 2015), connecting through a 5 inch screen has become a ubiquitous way of life – with our chosen device there to guide, inform and distract us throughout the day, and for some even during the night. 18-24 year old mobile consumers are leading our national push toward ‘peak smartphone’, with 94 per cent of this trendsetting demographic having access to at least one smartphone. This year Norway (91 per cent) and South Korea (89 per cent) have taken top spot on the global leader board, with the global average penetration rate being 81 per cent.*

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Australia 2G networks to be decommissioned this December. 1 in 5 smartphone users will be impacted.

Few would question if the Australian government should undertake digital transformation strategies.  They do, however, inevitably introduce new risks. Digitally enabling traditional processes and systems exposes government and the privileged citizen data they contain to attack by hackers, undermining trust in the government’s ability to deliver on digital.

The Australian Government has recognised the need for cyber security, recently announcing their Cyber Security Strategy to promote an improved institutional cyber culture and raise cyber awareness amongst government and businesses to help ensure all Australians remain secure online. Our government needs to be confident that they have the right solutions in place for their current cyber risk, so they can continue to invest in technologies that are going to accelerate their growth.

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Digital transformation inevitably exposes government and citizen data to attack, raising questions about security

There are big changes afoot around the direction of tax policy in the next few years. A new G20/OECD joint agenda is moving its focus on from modernising and coordinating international tax rules to a new tax program focused on inclusive, economic growth.

The President-elect in the US appears ready to influence the US to a more protectionist economy. Both of these factors are likely to influence the Australian Government and its Treasury advisors over the medium term.

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Tax mismatches and arbitrages will no longer be the basis for competitive advantage.