Insights into the Transformation of Business in the Cyber-Age

Global network background. World map point, international meaning. Vector illustration

By Mario Raich, Simon Dolan, Dave Ulrich, and Claudio Cisullo

The rapid and disruptive technological developments are leading us into a global all encompassing transformation. The main driver today is the progression of the information and communication technology (ICT) and artificial intelligence (AI). The next step will be a deep transformation due to the Cyber-Reality, a combination of digital reality (DR), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) – resulting to a fast expanding digitalisation, which is creating a new wave of globalisation. In this article, the authors discuss briefly anticipated paradigm shifts in economy and in business, as well as propose new business models connected with Cyber-Reality.

Our perception is our reality!”

We are still in the midst of the transformation created by digitalisation and many people and organisations are trying hard to cope with it. Several recent writings insist that this transformation will be focussed on some industries vital to us, like healthcare, education and food industry. Nonetheless the transformation will happen in many other domains of life.

The speed, scope and depth of the transformation are increasing as well as the contextual changes. We argue that it will affect the social, economic, cultural and even political foundations of our civilisation. It will force us to cope with intelligent entities (AI based programs, machines, robots and virtual entities) as “partners” in all spheres of life activities. The universe created in the Cyber-Reality creates high expectations accompanied by high level of anxiety and fear.

In this article we wish to explore the future of business in the age of cyber world. Business represents the applied part of economy, which means we have to look at the future model of economy as well. Since we are looking beyond ten years, a large part of the thoughts and ideas presented herein are of an exploratory character. Nonetheless, the latter allows working on future design and scenarios towards a hopefully desired future.

In order to make a complex phenomenon a bit easier to grasp, we are proposing to follow the discussion using four kinds of “reality” as depicted in table 1:

Beyond the digital reality, a new – much more potent and disruptive revolution is emerging, the Virtual Reality (VR), which according to many experts, is the second part of Cyber-Age.

Today some organisations are already leading the digital revolution, while others are just waking up to the real digital challenges. Moreover beyond the digital reality,  a new – much more potent and disruptive revolution is emerging, the Virtual Reality (VR), which according to many experts, is the second part of Cyber-Age. It will entail by far more radical transformation than everything we have seen before.  In fact the digitalisation is just a step, a necessary transition towards VR. Digital reality is the “infrastructure” of VR.  The progress of the VR is tightly linked to the development of ICT and the Artificial Intelligent (hereafter AI). The digital reality, the augmented reality and the virtual reality are creating the “Cyber-Reality”.

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About the Authors

Dr. Mario Raich is a Swiss futurist, book author and global management consultant. He was a Senior Executive in several global financial organisations, and Invited Professor to some leading business schools like ESADE (Barcelona). He is the co-founder of e-Merit Academy, and Managing Director for the Innovation Services at Frei+Raich Ltd. in Zurich. In addition he is member of the advisory board of the Global Future of Work Foundation in Barcelona.

Dr. Simon L. Dolan is currently the President of the Global Future of Work Foundation. Used to be the Future of Work Chair at ESADE Business School in Barcelona. He is a prolific author with over 70 books on themes connected to managing people, culture reengineering, values and coaching. His full c.v. is at:

Dr. Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and Partner at the RBL Group ( He has written over 30 books and 200 articles on talent, leadership, organisation and human resources.

Claudio Cisullo is a Swiss entrepreneur. During his entrepreneurial career, he founded and established over 26 companies in different business segments globally. He is Board member of several internationally renowned companies. He is the founder and owner of the family office, CC Trust Group AG and also the founder and Executive Chairman of Chain IQ Group AG with headquarters in Zurich. Chain IQ is an independent, global service and consulting company providing strategic, tactical and operational procurement. (


1. Kai Goerlich, Swimming In The Immersive Digital Experience,;

2. How 5 Industries Are Already Using Virtual Reality,, – 377599834843

Augmented and virtual reality applications,

3. The autonomous Internet of Things: how the IoT will become context-aware and self-sufficient,

Vineet Gupta and Rainer Ulrich (2017) How the Internet of Things will reshape future production systems – 0

Subhash Kak. (2017) Will artificial intelligence become conscious? December 22.,

7 Predictions For How The Internet Will Change Over The Next 15 Years – 6d287f5b22e0

» Future Everyday Interaction with the Autonomous Internet of Things (A-IoT)

4. For more detailed dexcription please look at: Beyond Business and Society in Transformation, Mario Raich and Simon Dolan, London 2008 and „The great transformation in business and society. Reflections on current culture and extrapolation for the future“, Simon Dolan, Mario Raich, Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 16 No. 2, 2009, pp. 121-130

5. The case for digital reinvention,

6. Meshing was developed in 2015 by Mario Raich to speed up the creation, design and development

and finally the implementation and commercialization of innovations within the Smart Innovation Factory (SMIFA)

7. VUCA is an acronym used to describe or reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations.,_uncertainty,_complexity_and_ambiguity

8. It is a type of programmable matter, wherein after the fabrication process, the printed product reacts with parameters within the environment (humidity, temperature, etc.,) and changes its form accordingly. This means it has the capaibitily for serlfv assembling.

9. Mario Raich, Simon Dolan, Dave Ulrich, and Claudio Cisullo.(2017) Gloom vs. bloom of the future of work. The European Business Review September – October. p.22

10. Hybrid means existing and acting in two or three universes, the “real” the “digital and the virtual simultaneousely. Example is the virtual shopping centre from IKEA: The IKEA Store Experience that never closes,

11. The Future of Business, edited by Rohit Talwar, p.34

12. Ibid, p.38

13. Going digital: making the transformation work for growth and well being, EN.pdf

Smart Citiesas Innovation Ecosystems.  Sustained by  the  Future Internet

Here’s what smart cities do to stay ahead



16. The IKEA Store Experience that never closes,

16. 3 Ways VR Technology Will Transform Your Business Meetings,

17. Real Uses of Virtual Reality in Education: How Schools are Using VR,


19. Mark Purdy, Athena Peppes and Suning An, The Rise Of The Imagination Economy

20. Hernaldo Turrillo. (2017) Introducing the Well-being Economy, November 17.

21. Hernaldo Turrillo, 19/09/2017 Enhancing the Economy ‘Block After Block’,

22. Discussed by Raich and Dolan, in Beyond Business and Society in Transformation, 2008

23. Mark Purdy, Athena Peppes and Suning An. (2017 The Rise Of The Imagination Economy, November 13.

24. Raich. Dolan, Ulrich & Cisullo (2017) Gloom vs. bloom of the future of work: Can we chart a positive roadmap? The European Business Review September. October .

25. Life values e.g. healthy eco-systems, health, happiness, friendship and care, true mutual partnership etc. and spiritual values like trust and love need to be considered more important than pure materialistic values. Happiness values are increasing people’s happiness, like social relationships, playing, gaming, entertainment, sports, arts etc.

26. Liran A., Dolan S.L. (2016) Values, values on the Wall – Just Do Business and Forget them All. The European Business Review,

27. Predix Creates Transformation by Extending Industrial Automation to the Cloud. Predix intends to create a platform for intelligent applications to achieve business transformation based on the previous achievements of industrial automation.

What Is GE Predix Really Building? Dan Woods, – 1064a89a3c5b

28. Digitalization: The Pharmakon of Open Organizations, Albert Meige,

29. Steve Case has described the next business transformation due to the Internet of everything in his latest book as the third wave .[1] Steve Case, The Third Wave. An Entreprneur’s Vision of the Future, 2016

30. Life quality values: maningful solutions; meaningful activities for humans; solutions for better life, social values, opportunities to develop and deploy talents etc.

31. (2017) What’s Reshaping Entire Industries? October 6. by paul4innovating

32. A procurment which is taking care of all elements coming from outside necessary for the right functionning of the organization, i.e. talents, technology, raw materials, ideas abiout new relevant solutions and innovatiuons etc.


34. SMAC is an abreviation of: Social, Mobility, Analytics, Cloud

What is SMAC, and How Is It Reshaping The Enterprise?

35. An interesting overview of technology development is presented in the Infographic: A timeline of Future Technology,


37. For the First Time, a Robot Passed a Medical Licensing Exam

In Brief,

38. Patrick Caughill, A Virtual Reality Film Experience Just Received the First Oscar for VR,

39. Zara Stone, DARPA Invests $18.3 Million In Brain Implant Startup That’s Building ‘A Modem For The Mind’ – 204e3d2079d9

40. Virtual meetings, virtual retail shopping, virtual travel destinations, virtual education

3 Ways VR Technology Will Transform Your Business Meetings,

Why Yes, You Can Go Ikea Shopping In Virtual Reality,

8 Virtual Reality Travel Experiences That Will Blow Your Mind. See the world without ever leaving your couch,

Real Uses of Virtual Reality in Education: How Schools are Using VR,


42. Alibaba launches full VR shopping experience with Buy+, / November 29, 2016

43. New Virtual World Sansar Is Ready to Pick Up Where Second Life Left Off,

44. Chris Martin,The future of enterprise is virtual and augmented

45. ibid


47. Companies paying the development of talents and getting access when needed.

Today we have already examples for “Talent on demand”: Darpa,, and Crowdsourcing

48. Ray Kurzweil’s Mind-Boggling Predictions for the Next 25 Years,

49. Jeff Desjardins, Infographic: A Timeline of Future Technology,

50. ibid

51. “The singularity is that point in time when all the advances in technology, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI), will lead to machines that are smarter than human beings. Kurzweil’s timetable for the singularity is consistent with other predictions,– notably those of Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son, who predicts that the dawn of super-intelligent machines will happen by 2047“.

52.;; [email protected]

53. Convergence Research at NSF,



56. Collateral talent development is leveraging the executiuve talent development to spread talent development accross the whole organization. For detaills on collateral talent developmenplease see:

57. Raich, Eisler, Dolan (2014). Cyberness: The Future Reinvented,k%3ACyberness



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