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If we were asked to sum up the biggest disruptions for the traditional industries of the past century, two concepts would come to mind: digitization and ongoing internationalization. For our children, these concepts are a given; their world appears larger than ours, working times are no longer bound to the traditional nine-to-five timeframe as ‘it is always noon somewhere’. Digitization has been an integral part of the life of millennials (in fact, it is strange that some televisions did not feature swiping).

Nonetheless, for many industries these two concepts, albeit often tightly coupled, have been a game changer. The digital revolution provides new opportunities for new or changed business models, but also challenges traditional business models and value chains as digitally performed processes often allow for higher agility, lower transaction costs and better availability. Similarly, customers become acquainted with these online business models and as a consequence, demand increased transparency and competition to get the best value-for-money possible. Even if it means we have to procure the services or products on the other side of the globe.

In this edition of Compact, we provide viewpoints on different aspects of the Digital Economy and internationalization with articles on the impact of digitalization and globalization on political risks in Western economies, platform thinking in manufacturing, roll-out strategies for international ERP implementations and the Semantic Web. Of course, in times like these there is a specific focus on the value of (digitized) data in two articles on Data and Analytics, focusing on Security and Trusted Analytics.

This edition of Compact also marks the celebration of KPMG’s Centennial. To express our pride for reaching this milestone, we have taken the opportunity to refresh the look and feel of Compact and bring it to today’s standards. Besides, as this milestone and both themes are of critical importance for KPMG as a global company, we invited our chairman, Albert Röell, for his view on these themes. Last but not least, to emphasize our global mindset, we have decided to publish this edition of Compact internationally.

We hope you enjoy this edition and that it enriches your perspective on how all-embracing our digital world has become. If you would like to explore these ideas and concepts further, we invite you to contact us or any of the contributing authors.