New Industry Advisory Board paves the way for digital disruption in the service sector

30 August 2019

The impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and technology on customer experience is a key focus for the newly-formed Industry Advisory Board from The University of Queensland (UQ) Business School.

The board brings together partners from private and public sectors who recently held their first meeting with top UQ academics from the Service Innovation Alliance – an interdisciplinary research arm of the Business School.

The primary aim of the board is to collaborate with UQ academics to address current challenges facing the future of service innovation within organisations.

The board brings together ten industry representatives with diverse expertise in the areas of digital disruption and customer experience from a range of respected organisations. Partnering companies include Blue Helix, Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Marketing, Credit Union Australia, Deloitte Access Economics, Felix and PlantMiner, Judo Bank, KPMG, Pitcher Partners, RACQ and Uniting Care.

Professor Janet McColl-Kennedy, SIA Co-Lead and Business School Director of Research with Melissa Witheriff, Head of Digital Innovation at Credit Union Australia and SIA Industry Advisory Board member.

The initiative is led by internationally recognised experts Professor Janet McColl-Kennedy (Marketing) and Dr Christoph Breidbach (Business Information Systems) from the UQ Business School, who both lead the UQ Service Innovation Alliance.

Customer experience management is listed in the top ten priorities of CEOs globally, according to Professor Janet McColl-Kennedy, who is also an award-winning scholar in customer experience.

“This collaborative initiative will pave the way for future business leaders and industry to further understand the impact of digital disruption and how they can leverage it to transform customer experiences,” said Professor McColl-Kennedy.

 “It is vital to engage with industry to address business and societal challenges and bring the insights from this exciting collaboration to our student learning experiences, so they are at the forefront of cutting-edge findings when they graduate.”

The first meeting for the Industry Advisory Board analysed key challenges that industry members are facing in the areas of customer service and technology.

 “The goal of the first meeting was to brainstorm and pinpoint the current challenges within service industries,” said Professor McColl-Kennedy.

“The key themes that came from this first meeting all link to digital disruption within the service landscape, with a particular emphasis on how technology and AI are shaping the customer experience.”

The board will re-convene for a workshop in September to finalise their key challenge themes and commence the planning stages for a conference scheduled for July 2020 that will attract top researchers from around the globe to jointly workshop solutions.

Business School students will benefit from this board, with access to the knowledge of the industry members and their expertise in guest lectures, internship opportunities and the influence they will have on the curriculum.

You can follow the findings of the Service Innovation Alliance Advisory Board and discover more about the Business School academics that are creating change, here