Digital Business insights: What is the RoI of a seed? Revisited

Digital Business insights by John Sheridan >>


I HAVE ASKED this question before. And I am asking it again.

Because there is a lot in this simple question that remains unanswered.

We are all familiar with seeds. But if we weren’t, and somebody was trying to tell us that there was great value and potential in a handful of small, dried up, wrinkled specks of dust, we would probably prove hard to convince. 

Because what is a seed? Does it in any way demonstrate its true potential? No.

Because the seed carries within itself the programming to turn brown dirt, and colourless air and water into something so different it is hard to believe the seed had any part in it.

Acorn into mighty oak. Apple pip into apple tree. A small, hard, brown husk grows into a supple green plant…covered with bright coloured flowers. 

We don’t think twice about this miracle. We have learned the relationship. We appreciate the transformation. We understand the time scale involved. 

But what about the seeds of potential planted by the digital revolution?

We are not so good at estimating the value of the unfamiliar and the new. We measure it by what was…not by what might be.

We measure by things that have been done within the constraints and restrictions of a familiar environment not by what might be done in a new digital environment without those restrictions. 



There are two issues in play here.

One is the potential of the seed. The other is the potential of the seed planted into a new and changed environment. A new interconnected, collaborative and integrated, networked environment.

What is the potential of a network? What is the RoI of something without edges and boundaries?

Nobody really knows and most people lack imagination. They need help. Pictures. Stories. Examples.

How do you define the potential of something if you can’t describe where it starts and finishes, begins and ends… because it doesn’t?

What is the potential of a digitally interconnected sector, region or country?

What is the RoI of that seed?

Is that novel? Is that something new? Of course it is. We have never seen that before. It is a new potential expressed in a new condition.

And extremely difficult to judge or evaluate.


There is a vast gap between the technological “connection”, “collaboration” and “integration” of the digital revolution and the associated “thinking” that goes with it.

The digital revolution is full steam ahead. The connected “thinking” still lags way, way behind.

We live in an increasingly joined up and connected world, but we still run our societies using disconnected, disjointed strategies – across regions (geography), industries (sectors), government (departments) and time (political timescale). We don’t always think of them as disconnected, but they are.



We talk about smart cities yet continue to build dumb ones. A city is not smart because the parking meters or the traffic lights are smart.

A city is only smart as a result of joined up thinking across all societal dimensions and we haven’t yet begun to consider what that might mean.

Is it smart to allow cheap cladding to “pretty up” buildings and create firetraps? The architect, developer, builder and council planning department are all participants in the approval process. It all joins up. But the thinking doesn’t. And disaster is the result.

Manufacturers select cheap and vulnerable chips for their products and consumer devices and create the hacker paradise that we all now live in. And your fridge, your car, your router, your modem, your camera, your meters, your phone, your credit card, your children’s toys, your garage door, your library books or your office key are all ready to play. All because we used 25c chips versus $5 chips and a new Y2K disaster beckons.

Only this one will actually happen.

The revolution is outstripping the thinking. The revolution outstrips the governance and management. And in a joined up world, we are all shareholders, and responsibility doesn’t stop at the front door.

Legally it might in the short term, but we can do better than that.

We can start by “joined up” thinking.

We can start by talking “between” as well as “within”.

We can start by sharing and collaborating.



For the digital revolution powers on, ignoring departmentalism, nationalism and parochialism, continuing to join and connect.

The revolution is all-inclusive not all-exclusive. That is what makes it so disruptive. The connectivity creates new options with no reference to existing historic relationships.

So the whole 'C suite' has to invest time for joined up thinking. It’s not the CIO’s job. Nor the CMO, the CFO or the CEO alone. It has to be an informed collaborative discussion. The whole cabinet. The whole council.

And that means looking at how the digital revolution does disrupt, might disrupt and how it can offer new opportunity. It means collaboration with others. It means generating joined-up ideas and trying them. Planting seeds and germinating them.

What is the RoI of a seed? There are two points of view. The brown shrivelled view (what it is) and the green, leafy view (what might be).

Current thinking. Keep digging up the seed to see. There you go…still brown and shrivelled – no RoI there.

With any seed, there is an element of vision, hope, expectation and trust in a process. Demand the RoI too soon and there isn’t any. Measure it by past example and it doesn’t make sense either.

In a connected 21st century world where the implications of universal connection are impossible to map let alone evaluate, it is difficult for 19th century thinkers to keep up. They ask the wrong questions.

19th century thinkers probably weren’t even very good in the 19th century when the first commercially viable locomotive hit the rails. The top speed of the Blutcher was 4 mph…not very impressive, but ultimately it led to British Rail. So what was the ROI of the Blutcher?

And Stephenson also understood that ultimately all rails would connect into a railway network.

What was the RoI of the railway network in the 19th century? Was it the value to the railway company of passenger and freight? Or was it what happened as a result of the railways connecting the isolated towns and villages across a country transforming commerce, jobs, and creating new industries like tourism?



Business is not just about shareholder value. It is about the sustainability of shareholder value. And we are all shareholders.

Farming value, not mining value. Focusing on the medium and longer-term, not short term, next quarter bottom line.

Most farmers have always understood this. Value adding. Conserving, collaborating, investing and improving, applying a sustainable approach to agriculture that can be passed onto future generations.

Digital enforces a slow but steady shift in attitude. Not yet for everybody, but apparent in those early adopters of digital technology, the innovators and the young digital natives.

This 20 percent of organisations - the agile, the smart, the informed and the adaptable – recognise opportunity when it stares them in the face.

The RoI of a seed.

The other 80 percent actually have no choice in the matter, but have failed to recognise that fact…so far. The digital currents of transformation carry us all in one direction only.

Out into the digital ocean of change. We are caught in an enormous digital riptide carrying us out to sea faster than we can possibly swim in the other direction, back to the safe, solid land of the 20th century, when direction was clear, plans could be made and followed through, KPIs measured and MBAs meant something.

There is no solid land in the digital revolution. We are all at sea.

That is the intriguing thing about this revolution. We are impacted and affected no matter what we do.

The only intelligent option is to use the currents of change for personal, collective and collaborative advantage. And that means understanding what is happening. “Getting it”. Making and taking time to really understand the options and opportunities, not abdicate responsibility to somebody else. 



The major barriers and blockages to the digital revolution are nearly all human, nearly all attitudinal and therefore difficult to modify and change.

Command and control is redundant. But countless managers wrestle with this new fact every day. Unsuccessfully. 

Business loyalty has become hollow. Loyalty now only follows authenticity.

And millions of CEOs still face this disruptive revolution without full comprehension, unwilling to make time to understand what and why and how. “I’m too busy”, they say, from the bus as it disappears over the cliff.

But revolutions take time. And patience is required. 

You can't whip a tree and make it grow. The early adopters will adopt. But then...

This revolution involves technology (tools) AND people (users).

Technology is an enabler. But it has to be coupled with comprehensive understanding, imagination and enterprise.

And the process of change management is not like architecture where we draw a plan, then assemble inorganic elements into a structure. The digital revolution demands an approach more akin to gardening where we never really know what is going to "come up".

We have a general idea of what might be but then have to work with the reality as it emerges. Then water, fertilise, prune.

That is when we see the ROI of a seed. Not the picture on the seed packet.

This is uncomfortable for those who think everything can be controlled. Gardening is intelligent, sensitive management…not control.

The technology is the "easy" bit. But people are hard.

Worse still (or better still), we are now entering a stage of connecting organisations, regions, states, countries, supply chains and ecosystems and that requires even more understanding and a very different collaborative approach that is inclusive and recognises the new currency of authenticity, honesty, consistency and trust. 

And the traditional brokers are broken.

Industry associations, councils, governments have to seriously consider what it means to collaborate with others, and to move beyond merely talking about it, into action…because most current actions are reinforcing the status quo.

Talking about collaboration and working together, and doing it are different things. There are lots of words and discussions…but little action.

That is why we built the RED Toolbox -

It is a platform for discussion. A platform for action. A platform for collaboration. A platform for joined up thinking. A platform to support productive industries.

We are at the next big "bump in the road" in our digital evolution. Get this right and there can be profound benefits in our societies.

It seems to be especially hard for politicians and business groups and industry associations. The polarisation of all viewpoints into left and right, liberal and conservative doesn’t ring true in a connected world. There are good ideas from both side and all sides. We need the best of both.

It is no longer about where the idea came from. Who cares? The issue now becomes “Is it a good idea?” measured against all the wicked problems we face as a society.



The game has changed. Competition has morphed into 'coopetition', into shared value, into collaboration.

Ants operate collaboratively for the good of the nest. The queen does not control what happens in the nest. She lays the eggs. She creates the resource.

The ants forage, find food and manage threats with all the “decisions” being made at the small group level. The ants collaborate to solve problems. There is no central command and control. Yet the result of collaboration at this level is remarkably successful.

Collaboration at grass roots is already happening, not just in Australia, but across the planet. It is a very natural activity. Individuals and groups are collaborating to solve problems. Now we just need to scale up. And take this collaborative approach to the next level.

We can learn a lot from ants. They are successful. They have collaborated for 100 million years. And if the humble ant can manage this so successfully, then so can we.



John Sheridan is CEO of Digital Business insights, an organisation based in Brisbane, Australia, which focuses on helping businesses and communities adapt to, and flourish in, the new digital world. He is the author of Connecting the Dots and getting more out of the digital revolution. Digital Business insights has been researching and analysing the digital revolution for more than 15 years and has surveyed more than 50,000 businesses, conducting in-depth case study analysis on more than 350 organisations and digital entrepreneurs. Now DBi is turning that research into action through a series of digital business development platforms, the first of which launched in 2016, the Manufacturing Toolbox. DBi has now also launched a series of international online trade showcases, promoting Australian goods and services to specific countries and promoting use of those showcases in those countries. The first, just launched, is the Australia-Taiwan Trade Showcase. Coming soon are trade showcases for Japan, Hong Kong-China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and India. Australia's Regional Economic Development (RED) Toolbox has now been launched at


QMI’s new Vuable video social network helps industries innovate

THE NEW VIDEO social network launched by QMI Solutions aims to do a lot more than help drive industry innovation through moving pictures.

The Vuable team believes that fostering ideas, skills and experience will ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for Australia’s industries. The Vuable video platform will interlink small and large business, including innovators, researchers, start-ups and project owners.

Founded 25 years ago as the Queensland Manufacturing Institute – and now a national industry solutions catalyst and technology disseminator – QMI Solutions is well known for taking the lead in introducing new technologies to the manufacturing sector, successfully. 

QMI Solutions managing director and CEO, Gary Christian – who pointed out that QMI successfully introduced the first industrial 3D printing system into Australia 20 years ago – said Vuable had been created in direct response to industry challenges in visibility, market access, collaboration and innovation.

Mr Christian also foresees Vuable having a significant role in connecting Australian researchers with industry and in helping companies market their innovations and products nationally and, eventually, internationally.

“Gary is right about that and it is the research into this area that we used to shape Vuable,” QMI Solutions’ Vuable co-creator Norm McGillivray said. “There is nothing like Vuable currently anywhere in the world.”

Mr McGillivray said the way the market has adopted video – through Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat stories – is an indication of how a well-planned and astutely organised video platform like Vuable could positively impact industry business growth.

“When QMI started to research and investigate a new platform, we looked around the globe to see if we could find anything like it, one that was solely tuned to industries and innovators,” Mr McGillivray said.

“We thought, ah! Obviously, YouTube and other social media platforms serve a diverse range of video content to the masses, but there was nothing just dedicated to industry and innovators.

 “Vuable serves our stakeholders in the sectors in which QMI is already active – and that is suppliers into major projects, manufacturers and their intermediaries, projects in development and innovators,” he said.

“It is, however, not limited to these industries. We are talking with retail, tech and financial institutions about joining the network as well as major projects and our industry leaders including government departments and research organisations.”


Mr McGillivray said Cisco Systems had released a report earlier this year on the impact of internet-delivered video, estimating that by 2018 people would consume about 80 percent of their online information through video.

The growth of video information has been driven largely by the smartphone, Mr McGillivray said. Industry is rapidly coming to grips with its potential, with many already incorporating video into training and apps.

Mr McGillivray, who has been working with his team on Vuable for just over 12 months, said observations of the video trend is backed by QMI’s investment in the system.

“I see small businesses in general already using video in many ways, along with larger organisations including government departments” he said. “Members of Vuable may initially use it to say who they are, what they do and who they work with. Taking their capabilities from text into the visual space” 

“Research organisations and government departments will use Vuable to show what assistance programs are available, and what research organisations are doing currently.”

He said QMI could also see Vuable impacting the project space, highlighting major projects and being used practically for infrastructure to supply information, for contractors, community engagement, “and social good”.

Mr McGillivray said Vuable would almost immediately enable existing QMI Solutions customers to elevate their ability to market – an ongoing challenge in the manufacturing sector.

Mr McGillivray said in the initial planning stages of Vuable, a concern had been the capability of industry to create quality video updates – but the smartphone had virtually eliminated that concern. He added there would be a requirement of ongoing education to get industry comfortable about creating and publishing content, with confidence coming from seeing peers using the platform too.

There is also a range of “fantastic video editing apps that are either free or low cost as well as desktop computer options” he said.

 “The use of mobile phone is key … You can use mobile technology to get the best outcome, we are practising what we preach and have created our own videos on smartphones” Mr McGillivray said.


QMI Solutions has developed the Vuable platform in just over eight months, utilising in-house developers to adapt open-source software.

A useful feature is Vuable’s search functionality, which utilises hashtags, while full instant messaging capabilities are incorporated.

“This removes the friction from the dreaded cold call, and adds the ability for subscribers to interact, business to business, and arrange anything from meeting informally over a cup of coffee to arranging a site meeting at a business’s premises, we think this is a pretty cool feature,” Mr McGillivray said.

“Suppliers and innovators can come on-board and enjoy a free trial period of 30 days and if they don’t like it that’s fine,” he said. “But if they wish to continue it is a month-by-month subscription that’s $25 and they can upload their video any time they want. It’s very flexible, they have total control to pause and resume their subscription at any time.”

QMI has always been an innovator in technology adoption and dissemination.

The Vuable platform grew out of QMI Solutions’ own re-assessment of where digital was taking industries and enacting its own digital transition strategy.

The first instance of this was the introduction of the CoreValue business evaluation system to Australia and New Zealand. This was followed recently by QMI’s introduction of its Online Procurement System (OPS) that serves procurement for industry through a fully automated procure-to-pay system.

“These products are already successfully in the marketplace – and Vuable is the third product that we are bringing to market,” Mr McGillivray said.

 “Vuable is another first of its kind and in the form of a dedicated video platform for industry and innovation. We are very proud of that,” he said.

 “The vision of QMI is that QMI helps make new possible … Vuable will help us to supercharge that vision.”








Digital skills ‘found wanting’

DIGITAL disruption is having a debilitating effect on both worker and employer confidence. Employers are worried about skills shortages while workers are worried they do not have the digital skills to guarantee future employability.

In fact, according to human resources (HR) and recruitment specialists, Randstad, one in two Australian workers fear a lack of digital skills.

The quarterly Randstad Workmonitor Report showed over 55 percent of Australians think they need to develop stronger digital skills to guarantee their future job prospects. A further 67 percent believe that digitisation of the workforce requires different skill sets to those available at their current employer. 

With careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) on the rise, and many existing jobs set to become even more digitally focused in the future, Randstad Australia and New Zealand CEO Frank Ribuot said there was more pressure than ever on employers to upskill the workforce.

“Careers across the board are transforming with advances in technology, as we change the way we work, the way we communicate with customers and employees, and the way in which consumers spend and engage with brands,” Mr Ribuot said.

“In response, organisations are adopting increasingly sophisticated digital strategies to maintain a competitive edge and deliver a superior customer experience, but the workforce is not feeling confident their employer is keeping them up to speed with the pace of change.”

Mr Ribuot said if the issue of skills shortages and lack of training was not addressed in the immediate future, Australia risked having a workforce that was not skilled for long-term employability. 

“Organisations across many industries are snapping up talent with these digital skills, but not necessarily upskilling their existing workforce,” Mr Ribout said. “This has led to a gap within the talent pool and that gap will be set to widen if the issue is not addressed. A shift in thinking needs to happen now or we risk a skills shortage in the long term, with a significant section of the workforce ending up unemployable in the near future.”

With 85 percent of the Australian workforce agreeing that every employer should have a digital strategy in place, Mr Ribuot added that focus on training needed to be the priority.

“People are obviously crying out to be upskilled and offering the right kind of training and development will be key to employers attracting and retaining top talent moving forward,” he said.

“This time of year is typically when people reflect and review their careers and consider a change if their needs aren’t being met. Randstad research shows talent is not just attracted to financial incentives, but also skills development, career progression and workplace flexibility.

“While it can seem daunting to train staff from scratch, employers should keep in mind that many skills are actually transferrable.

“Many customer service roles for example have already shifted from interacting face to face, to creating content for social media channels and listening and responding online to customer feedback,” Mr Ribout said.

“The same principles apply, it’s just about shifting our thinking around how service is delivered and how we train and develop our people in these skills.”


Randstad Workmonitor highlights: Jobseeker sentiments in digital age

•        85% of Australians believe every company should have a digital strategy (84% globally).

•        62% of Australians surveyed state their employer has a digital strategy (59% globally).

•        67% agree that digitisation requires different skill sets than currently available with employees at their employer (68% globally).

•        55% believe they personally need to acquire more digital skills to guarantee their future employability (62% globally).





Digital Business insights: The equation for success =1+1=3 (or even 11)

Digital Business insights by John Sheridan >>

JAMES KIRBY, wealth editor of The Australian raised some interesting points recently, under the heading 'The four big housing market lies'. It’s worth reading The Australian just for that commentary alone.

He points out that Australians are able to pay their mortgages each month because interest rates are so low. When rates move higher, as they will, there will be a problem. 

Most deposits are 20 percent, which makes saving for a deposit just about impossible, without help from mum and dad. If that help is available.

Nearly 40 percent of the market is in interest-only loans. They rely on price appreciation to make money. Any change in conditions – negative gearing, tax deductions, rising interest rates, China shutting the gate, drop in house prices – and the overall market will shudder, disrupting other parts of the economy.

Anecdotally, Chinese housing investment is a subject that is regularly and quietly discussed in offices, living rooms and at barbecues when the subject of who bought the house at the end of the street comes up…”a nice Chinese couple. They outbid everybody.”

And there will continue to be Chinese investment in Australian capital cities for as long as Chinese and Australian regulators allow it. Blocking the dreams of young Australians to own anything in the city.

Last week, the OECD pointed out the obvious again, stating that Australia risks a rout if house prices fall sharply, which will bring the rest of the economy down with it.

There are some signs that government is waking up to this impending mess, but mainly in mutterings from the backbenches on all sides of the house. As far as action is concerned…

Nothing. Ministers sitting in self imposed straitjackets.

There is a breaking point to anything and everything.

“The straw that broke the camel’s back”. We all know the concept.

At some stage, even a relatively small impact can have a massive effect.

The market is under strain. From many directions.

Chinese investors keep adding fuel to the equation above, driving up prices.


Interest rates will go up this year. More strain.

Now let’s add a haystack of straws to the equation. See what the poor camel thinks of that.

Jobs disappearing because of digital technologies.

Enormous strain.

People need jobs to be able to pay mortgages. Household debt is higher than it has ever been. Wages growth is static.

Unemployment is 9.7% and underemployment is 8.2%. This set of figures is now destined to grow bigger.

Not in a sudden, dramatic tidal wave of change. But in a slow, steady, remorseless one job at a time, “boiling the frog” transformation.

Because the conditions that impact employment decisions are changing.

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates are not being narcissistic attention seekers, when they state very clearly that robots, automation, software and artificial intelligence are going to destroy jobs soon.

They are just being good citizens.

They are much richer, better networked and far better informed than most of us. They have nothing to gain from spreading wild rumours and dissent.

They just happen to have insights, perspectives and experience denied to most of us.

Oxford University pointed out years ago that 47% of jobs were likely to disappear in the next decade.

The uniformed (mainly politicians and economists) looked around, couldn’t see a tidal wave coming, and disagreed. Loudly. Based on “well it never happened before.”

Quite right. That’s why it’s called the digital revolution. With an emphasis on the word revolution.

Who do you believe?

The interesting thing about technology tools is that many of the impacts don’t arise at the invention of the tool eg when the fax machine was sold to the first business, but only when the adoption and use of the tool – the fax machine, became universal.

And the impact isn’t then about the fax machine, it is about the value delivered by all the connected fax machines and their ability to send and receive copy and images quickly, easily and universally.

The same with the internet. New value has arisen as the internet has grown and individuals have connected. Publishing, Search, Access to information. Collaboration. Social media.

But the real impact has been the resulting shift of power from the vendor – the provider of products and services and information to the customer. Customers now have instant access to information from multiple sources and the ability to compare, check and discuss that information with others.

This has disrupted politicians, columnists and pundits enormously. Because opinion can be fact checked instantly, and authenticity and honesty have gained new value. Even Trump can’t avoid that fact.

Many benefits and challenges of technology only arise once there is a critical mass of users. The critical mass creates a new condition, often shifting and transforming traditional power relationships as well as creating new possibilities.

We have seen this with the rise of online retailers like Amazon creating new retail relationships that ignore borders, high streets and tax officials. Or Uber disrupting taxi companies and AirBnB disrupting accommodation.

Uber relies on the universal adoption of mobile phones. Amazon and AirBnB rely on universal access to the internet.

These things we see and understand. And so far the impacts of technology have been largely positive. Phones, games, information, entertainment, shopping, office software, social media – all good.

What we don’t see or understand so clearly is the next set of connected technologies arriving in the marketplace.

When technologies first arrive the final impacts are not appreciated fully. Adoption is often slower than expected. Overhyped and exaggerated. But once critical mass is achieved adoption and use speeds up and the real impacts are revealed.

Robots. We all know about robots. We see them in films and factories. Rows of them lined up, doing specialised tasks, 24x7. Tireless, consistent, reliable.

Robots are now moving into new domains. Moving out of the factory into other environments. Mining. Defence. Agriculture. Healthcare. Warehousing. Transport. They are becoming multi-purpose. Adaptable. Configurable. Friendly.

Artificial intelligence. AI. We know that intelligent machines have competed and beaten humans in Chess and even Go. AI techniques are now being applied in speech recognition, driverless cars and writing articles. So we are already seeing real world applications in action. With more to come.

Smart systems. Enterprise management systems are maturing quickly, replacing legacy systems in government, academia and corporates eliminating administrative jobs like never before. Many full time workers have been shifted onto contracts, into part time and offered redundancy packages.

So the percentages for part time employment and underemployment (almost 18%) will grow, as big businesses, academia and governments finally get their systems in order.

And this isn’t happening in just one industry, it is happening across all industries and at practically the same time.

This is what Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking can see from their lofty perches. And are warning governments about.

In retail and wholesale, in transport, in manufacturing, in hospitals, in universities, in defence, in agriculture, in restaurants and catering, in education, in healthcare, in professional services, in finance and insurance, in mining and energy.

Most of us now have direct experience of this happening in our families, with our friends, and in our networks and our workplaces.

And yes, some jobs are being created as most jobs are being destroyed, but nowhere near enough.

But the quality and value of the new jobs is variable.

There are some high value “Lexus and Mercedes” class jobs, but a lot more low value “pushchair, billycart and skateboard” class jobs on offer. At less pay, less security and with no future.

So throw the “jobs” hand grenade into the same economy as the “housing bubble” and it gets interesting to say the least.

And most people can now see this coming. Or feel it coming. Or suspect it is coming.

We need to remove the “spectacles of delusion” and take a good look at this issue.

Using 20-20 vision. No politics. No left and right. Just listen to what Gates, Musk and Hawking are trying to tell us.

To start with, we need to accept the real unemployment figures – see Roy Morgan for more on this issue.

You need to know where you are, before you can decide where you want to go next.

We can get out of this predicament we have sleepwalked into, but only if we work together.

The solution isn’t quick. There is no quick fix, magic wand. It requires a clear vision, coupled with consistent and persistent effort.

Which we are well placed to pursue.

We have to focus on our productive industries. Agriculture, creative industries, manufacturing, ICT, medtech, greentech, METS and tourism.

These are the industries that offer the possibility of high value, high wage jobs.

Add value through design, branding, licensing, promotion and advertising. Match productive industries with R&D from universities.

Connect businesses for collaborative action. Share successful case studies and projects across, within and between regions. Connect regions for collaborative action on jobs and regional growth.

Export. Showcase our value-added productive industries to the world. Target the 20 or so major overseas markets with our value-added products and services.

Keep doing the above.

Collaborate and act.

That is the equation for success.




John Sheridan is CEO of Digital Business insights, an organisation based in Brisbane, Australia, which focuses on helping businesses and communities adapt to, and flourish in, the new digital world. He is the author of Connecting the Dots and getting more out of the digital revolution. Digital Business insights has been researching and analysing the digital revolution for more than 15 years and has surveyed more than 50,000 businesses, conducting in-depth case study analysis on more than 350 organisations and digital entrepreneurs. Now DBi is turning that research into action through a series of digital business development platforms, the first of which launched in 2016, the Manufacturing Toolbox. DBi has now also launched a series of international online trade showcases, promoting Australian goods and services to specific countries and promoting use of those showcases in those countries. The first, just launched, is the Australia-Taiwan Trade Showcase. Coming soon are trade showcases for Japan, Hong Kong-China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and India. Australia's Regional Economic Development (RED) Toolbox has now been launched at