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Info Sharing Session: The Evolution of Competition – Beyond the Red Queen

25 August, 2016
8:00 am - 10:00 am


25 August, 2016 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am

BarnOwl Info Sharing session: 25 August 2016

The Evolution of Competition: Beyond the Red Queen

Presented by Mark Casey, Deloitte Director and Global TMT Executive

We were honoured to have Mark Casey, the leader of Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) industry for Africa and more recently the leader of Deloitte’s global Media sector present to us.

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What a brilliant presentation. Seriously thought provoking stuff and the audience like myself was spell bound. Thank you Mark for your time and insights.

The title of the presentation may not be obvious. The red queen is a reference to Lewis Carroll‘s fantasy novel, Through the Looking-Glass (Alice in Wonderland). The following interaction between the Red Queen and Alice explains the essence of Mark’s presentation on competition and innovation: “Well, in our country”, said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.” “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen.  “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place.  If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

Most of us in business think we are being innovative and being competitive by just leap-frogging our competitors. This is ‘just keeping up’. To be innovative a quantum leap needs to be made.  Mark used the cell phone industry as an example demonstrating how each of the cell phone providers competed by leap-frogging one another based on ‘Price’ and Performance’. From 2003 Nokia, Motorola and Blackberry (RIMS) competed based on price and performance. In 2007 Apple came along with a ground-breaking vision to put their Apple Mac in a phone. This was an innovative leap well beyond sms (BBM) and phone calls to web, apps, music, photos etc.  The rest is history… our children don’t even know who Nokia, Blackberry and Motorola were!

One can see all around us how fast technology is changing and the impact that it has not only on our businesses but on our personal lives as well. The ‘more 4 less’ revolution seems to be getting faster and faster. What is frightening is that ‘more 4 less’ fast becomes ‘more 4 free’. So the asset that your company is invested in (be it product or service) today will probably become a freely available asset in the not too distant future (sooner than you think).  As a business we need to make money out of what we have today (with continued investment, marketing and leapfrogging ‘innovation’ etc.) however we must not be blind to what is around the corner. We need a strategy for the future that will ensure that we stay relevant and stay in business when today’s asset becomes free.  This is a serious challenge both for big business which has so much investment in existing product and services and for small business which does not have freely available R&D funds and can’t afford to make any mistakes or back the wrong horse.

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Imagine when you can ask the likes of Siri for professional advice on almost anything from legal, to medical, to consulting etc. Imagine how todays’ professionals be they lawyers, insurance brokers, GP’s, consultants  will need to adapt their service offerings when heuristic (Artificial Intelligence) computers and robots know more in 1 minute than what a professional has taken 10 years to learn (and has forgotten half of what he / she has learnt if it is still relevant).

Look at the way banks have changed from bricks and mortar to online and now more recently ‘Blockchain’ which is set to revolutionise banking and contract / transactional settlements across geographies and jurisdictions. Not to mention the IoT (internet of Things), Cloud computing, robotics, Artificial Intelligence etc.

Mark certainly gets one thinking. Anyone who is a member of a board / exco should hear Mark’s presentation. Not only was the content of Mark’s presentation brilliant but even more brilliant was the way in which Mark delivers his presentation.


You can download Mark’s presentation here and download a video of the session here. Once again thank you Mark for your most enlightening presentation and to all those who braved the traffic to come to BarnOwl’s info sharing event.

Written by: Jonathan Crisp

Director – BarnOwl GRC and Audit software


About BarnOwl:

BarnOwl is a fully integrated governance, risk management, compliance and audit software solution used by over 200 organisations in Africa, Europe and the UK. BarnOwl supports best practice risk management, compliance and audit frameworks (e.g. COSO, ISO31000, Compliance Institute’s handbook, International Professional Practice Framework), whilst offering a highly flexible and configurable parameter-driven system allowing you to configure BarnOwl to meet your specific requirements.

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GRCReady is the official provider of risk management content for the BarnOwl GRC software solution. GRCReady provides extensive risk libraries and risk maturity checklists/surveys which are integrated with BarnOwl.

GRCReady, based in Australia, offers a comprehensive and holistic library of products and associated services including templates, policies, procedures, guidelines, checklists etc. to help owners and directors of SMEs, startups and corporates to satisfy their corporate governance, risk management and regulatory compliance needs.

By integrating GRCReady's rich content libraries into BarnOwl's GRC software, we are able to offer our clients a state of the art, turnkey GRC solution.

GRCReady provides, arguably, the most comprehensive risk and governance maturity assessment framework with detailed steps and artefacts. BarnOwl's survey and action plan portal provides a simple and effective way to monitor and report on your current state of risk maturity and suggest and drive remedial action plans to take you to your desired state of risk and governance and maturity.

By integrating GRCReady's risk libraries with the BarnOwl GRC software, means that you don't have to start from scratch. In addition, ongoing updates and insights keep you informed and up-to-date on best practices.



Season Rhyrhm is BarnOwl's preferred partner in Botswana assisting with BarnOwl implementations, support services and client relationship management.

Season Rhythm is an established and distinguished player in the ICT sector in Botswana, specialising in a range of cutting-edge solutions. Season Rhythm leverages BarnOwl to provide tailored GRC&A services to businesses in Botswana facilitating:

  • Governance: Enabling organisations to establish and uphold effective governance structures, ensuring transparency and accountability in decision making processes.
  • Risk Management: Equipping businesses with tools to identify, assess and mitigate risks, safeguarding against potential threats and ensuring continuity in a business environment.
  • Compliance: Ensuring adherence to regulatory frameworks and industry standards, protecting businesses from non-compliance penalties and fostering trust among stakeholders.
  • Audit: Streamling the audit process with comprehensive tools for planning, execution and reporting, driving efficiency and accuracy in internal audit and compliance assessments.
  • www.sr.co.bw/ict


BarnOwl works closely with NSA in the field of GRC and assurance.

NSA is an education and risk & assurance advisory services provider, consisting of a team of professional consultants and facilitators who have been hand-picked on experience and expertise. NSA services include:

  • Strategic intervention: 30 expert consultants facilitating strategic planning, combined assurance, effective governance and risk management assignments.
  • Continuous professional development: CPD training for internal auditors, external auditors, accountants, risk managers, government officials, and psychologists.
  • Online learning: accredited training for the local government sector, including the Municipal Financial Management Program and Supply Chain Management.
  • Online skills development: skills in demand for 2030, including cybersecurity, Protection of Personal Information, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and programming.

BarnOwl and NSA work closely with our clients to align and enable best practice GRC and assurance framework & methodologies within BarnOwl. NSA regularly presents online information sharing sessions together with BarOwl.



Nico Technologies is BarnOwl's preferred partner in Malawi assisting with BarnOwl implementations, support services and client relationship management.

Nico Technologies Limited is an established IT products and services provider in Malawi, specialising in managed IT services, IT infrastructure services, IT project management, digital solutions, digital transformation and IT advisory.

Nico Technologies uses BarnOwl extensively within their own organisation to automate and manage their own risk and compliance functions.



Morgan Solus is BarnOwl's preferred business continuity specialist consulting firm with its 'BCM toolkit' software. BarnOwl GRC together with the BCM toolkit, provides a comprehensive risk management and BCM software solution.

Morgan Solus is a specialist consultancy firm focusing on risk, resilience and continuity. Morgan Solus's core services are centred on resilience, crisis management, business continuity (BCM), IT services continuity and disaster recovery (DRP) and training.

The BCM toolkit ensures a consistent approach to implementing BCM and IT disaster recover and cuts down implementation timelines by 60% whilst driving up successful outcomes.

BarnOwl's extensive GRC and assurance functionally coupled with Morgan Solus's BCM toolkit provide the ultimate risk management and BCM software solution.



Arbutus Analytics is Barnowl's preferred data analytics software. BarnOwl GRC integrated with Arbutus Analytics, provides the ultimate in continuous risk monitoring.

Arbutus Analyzer is a powerful data access and analysis solution specifically developed for auditors, business analysts, and fraud investigators. Its robust performance and user-friendly features offer you the ability to access and analyse data quickly and simply.

BarnOwl GRC, integrated with the real-time metrics from Arbutus provides a strategic early warning system driving preventative and predictive capability facilitating effective business decision making business improvement.

www.arbutussoftware.com with local sub-sahara African distributor www.betasoftware.co.za


Barnowl works closely with Pax Resilience in the field of GRC and sustainability.

Pax Resilience offers solutions in risk, resilience and cyber security. Pax Resilience strive to create peace of mind by assisting you to build the resilience in your organisation so essential to survive and thrive in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world we live in.

Pax Resilience regularly presents online information sharing sessions together with Barnowl.



Paige Law is the official provider of compliance content for the Barnowl GRC software solution. Paige Law provides an extensive Library of South African acts including provisions [CRMPs] and checklists which are integrated with Barnowl.

Paige Law specialises in compliance, Commercial Law, Legal process consultancy, managed legal services and POPIA/ GDPR.


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