Angelique Mohring: Digital disruption is driving change at a rate that no-one has predicted and it is forcing huge scale transformation. We already know that 30% of jobs will be lost due to automation, AI and machine learning, and organisations are grappling with what this might mean for their business.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), companies will be spending $2 trillion on digital transformation technologies by 2020. However 70% of all transformation deliver lukewarm results and is simply not driving the economic growth that it should be driving. As pointed out by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, digital disruption is far-reaching and we need to make sure it leaves no-one behind. We need to sound the alarm. Governments, organisations, society and individuals are simply not prepared!
It’s not only about optimising the 70% of people remaining in the workforce, but also those who will be losing their jobs.
Fintech Disruptors: What has been the journey for GainX?
Angelique Mohring: I am an archeologist and trained anthropologist where it is about the basic fundamentals – reconstructing individuals one bone at a time, looking at the make-up of the family and then at the community.
When starting out, I spent a year looking at the market and really digging into the challenges of digital disruption and articulating its effects on individuals, society and the economy as a whole. All this was done without writing a single piece of code.
We then built and in 2014 launched our digital transformation platform, which for the first time gives organisations complete visibility of their transformation projects, including how people fit into these plans. Through AI and behavioural analytics we are able to map the flow of thinking within an organisation and accelerate the flow of information and ideas in a way that drives growth without creating a toxic environment, i.e. building in an auto-immune response to change.
The market has responded very positively and we are receiving tremendous feedback, which is translating into hockey-stick growth.
Fintech Disruptors: What is your product strategy for this changing environment?
Angelique Mohring: The market keeps telling me that transformation is consumed in innovation – you can’t innovate without transforming, and you can’t transform without innovating.
I realise there is more to do, not only to help organisations optimise the 70% of people they retain in the new digitised world, but also the 30% of the population who will find themselves unemployed. Millions of jobs will be made redundant. We need to know what it will mean to have so many people redundant, and quite possibly in debt, where there is no structure in place nor the funds to support them.
I watched Blackberry implode in my neighbourhood in Canada and witnessed the effects of this first-hand. Whilst there is an economic benefit in helping large companies navigate the digital transformation, there is also the other side, which has to do with self-worth. The individual matters, and while it is difficult to predict the exact economic impact, we can predict the skills required for what is certain to be a massive global economic shift
Fintech Disruptors: Does Brexit change your decision to base your international head office in London?
Angelique Mohring: Our R&D remains in Waterloo, Canada, because it is a phenomenally good place to build IT due to the stability of the Canadian dollar, the talent available and tax situation. However, London is an international city with an insane amount of talent. Sixty percent of Fortune 100 companies are based here, and there is no other comparison elsewhere. GainX is an international company and in my space Brexit doesn’t matter. If it is a stable transition we win and if it’s chaotic we also win.
Fintech Disruptors: How important is talent in this environment?
Angelique Mohring: Hiring for a large organisation and hiring for a technology provider like GainX differs like night and day. What I look for in people is personality and a particular frame of mind.
In a world of political and economic chaos people will need to be comfortable wearing multiple hats and be able to handle change. People need to understand innovation, not only in their own environment, but across other functions. This is critical for information flow across organisations.
Automation and machine learning will drastically change the skills requirements. If we want to be really honest, nobody knows exactly what this means but through AI and behavioural analytics we believe we will be able to predict the skills required in future.
Fintech Disruptors: What drives success for a new entrant like GainX?
Angelique Mohring: There is a considerable amount of mentor whiplash and I think it is important to have a strong core and belief to come back to. When fatigue sets in there has to be a reason why one is getting out of bed.
Looking at my personal situation, I believe someone has to figure out how to handle change and I have a contribution to make, not only to help organisations to manage transformation but also those who will be marginalised by digital disruption.
I get excited at the prospect of hiring people smarter than myself who are able to translate my ideas. It is about bringing them together to get the best possible outcomes and solutions.