Scenario planning key to realising future potential, Holmes says

Scenario planning key to realising future potential, Holmes says

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Totally Gaming

Technology adoption and the possibility of a more unified marketplace are two critical variables that the gaming industry must consider when planning for the future, according to Phil Holmes, Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s vice-president of strategy and planning.

In a session on ‘Scenario Planning for the Future’ at EiG 2014 in Berlin today (Tuesday), Holmes outlined the importance of putting in place provisions to react more effectively to unforeseen trends.

“It is uncertain whether it will continue to be a fragmented or unified market, and technology adoption is another critical variable,” Holmes said. “The players will decide when enough is enough.

“If you don’t couple your products, services and overall business with the trajectory of the industry, then you’re irrelevant.

“However, in many ways the industry doesn’t really seem to know where it is going. Transforming is inevitable, but transforming to what?

“Scenario planning is part art and part science, and it is about understanding whether the various moving parts of the multi-million dollar industry are getting bigger or smaller.”

Holmes explained that scenario planning comprises aspects of organisational strategy, environmental analysis and forecasting and spoke about “horizon mapping”, which splits up the timeline of a business into the immediate, the next three to five years, and the longer term.

“The concern is if you bet wrong you could end up worse off than you were before,” Holmes said, before outlining Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s eight-step scenario planning process.

The process begins with questioning what the lottery and gaming industry might look like in 2030, and how a gaming company might respond to remain relevant.

“These introductory questions help to generate valuable dialogue,” he added.

“Understanding the impact of globalisation, localism and urbanisation is important, but disruption will not come from the things you know – it will come from the things you don’t know.

“Therefore you need to be aware of the variables, and what is certain and uncertain. If you’re not trying to control it, someone else will.”

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