24 October 2013
Professor Alnoor Bhimani spoke with LSE Professor Leslie Willcocks at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales’s annual P.D.Leake Lecture held on 24 October 2013. Their lecture entitled “How is Digital Information Transforming Business?” drew a large number of participants from industry, academia, the public sector and the accounting profession. Professor Bhimani discussed the pace of data growth in the global economy identifying the types of new data in existence and the underlying reasons for the extreme growth rate. He noted that a number of large organisations deploy Big Data analytics to unravel hidden patterns and unknown correlations. Insights derived from Big Data analysis of largely unstructured data provides a basis for developing new core competencies which are difficult for rivals to replicate. This is particularly so for internet based companies where markets exhibit ‘winner takes all’ characteristics. Professor Bhimani noted the lopsided cost mix balance of web-enabled companies and how this instilled pricing approaches and costing issues which point to a need to rethink the roles of cost management techniques. The lecture covered issues relating to cloud based computing, outsourcing and offshoring and pointed to a variety of challenges for the finance profession.