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Book review: Swipe to Unlock

Swipe to Unlock: The Primer on Technology and Business Strategy is a marvel to read, as the ‘techno trio’ unveils deep insights into the seamless relationship between business and technology. The book is full of current case studies that testify to the current hype, which says “technology drives business”. The trio slices across and demystifies several technologies and business disciplines, ranging from ICT hardware, robotics, AI, Big Data, and technology-driven business transformation to Cloud Computing.

The trio simplifies the seemingly complex technical verbose into very simple layman language and in some instances uses analogies that relate to our daily lives.

It gets more thrilling in the movie (oops – the book) when the trio exposes the fast and furious nature of corporate takeovers/acquisitions. It’s an innovate or die situation in the global technological space. I was thrilled to learn how techno firms stayed ahead of the competition by acquiring rival firms. Facebook acquired Instagram and WhatsApp to expand its global dominance leveraging on Instagram and WhatsApp subscribers’ base. Similarly, Microsoft extravagantly acquired LinkedIn with its 400 million subscribers in 2016. Blackberry is a case study of a smartphone company that failed to innovate and died, as the competitor Apple advanced its iPhone with fascinating and advanced features between 2010 and 2015. The book reveals the terrifying dominance of Amazon across industries from bookstores, movies, hardware, logistics, and voice search to cloud computing services. The versatile Amazon competes with Google on search engine services. Amazon Web Services is a fierce competitor to Microsoft Azure on cloud services. Amazon Alexa remains a serious threat to Apple’s Siri on Voice search services. This was more striking to me; Amazon is a direct competitor to the traditional FedEx and UPS on warehousing, distribution, ground, and air transportation.

I would have loved to read some recent developments in the tech industry in the recent COVID-19 era, considering that my copy of Swipe to Unlock was updated in January 2021. I do not doubt in my mind that the technology sector was impacted by COVID-19, just like any other industrial sector. One example is the story of Zoom, a video conference company that recorded more than a 300 % increase in sales in 2020, as the world normalized Working From Home (#WFH) in response to the COVID-19 global crisis.

In closing, I recommend this as a must-read for those interested in advancing digitally enabled business strategy. I am looking forward to reading more books and guidelines from this techno trio.

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