We live in a wonderful world of buzzwords. Everyone is talking about digital transformation. Digital transformation has a brother. His brothers name is digital disruption.
And so … what is digital disruption? In a business, it is when your way of doing business is challenged by someone else in such a way as to “disrupt” your way of business and change your overall future profitability. It is another business that changes the expectations of the customer as to make your approach seem irrelevant. When you are disrupted, you must quickly change your strategy to survive.
For the most part, while technology is playing a huge role here. Disruption for the most part is about changing customer expectations. Uber changed my expectation on how to get around when I am in another city on business. Yellow Cabs, even though cheaper, cannot compete in my mind.
Disruption in the end is a shift in power in relationships. Disruption, as a human phenomenon, is caused by shifts in, among others, the way people use technologies and about changes in their behavior and expectations. These changes can be induced by new technologies and how they are adopted or leveraged by disruptive newcomers. However, the change can also have a broader context that has nothing to do with technologies. Is that still ‘digital disruption’? No. Yet, in some cases digital technologies could be leveraged to address those changes in behavior or expectations/needs and so forth.
Source: Charlene Li
Disruption is about the real connection to the customer and leveraging what others don’t get about their expectations. This can come from the edges, i.e., our digital ecosystem, for example. Who is closest to the customer? How can technology be adopted to the customer’s advantage? That is what becomes disruptive.
Some technology has been more inclined to be disruptive than others. That is one reason traditional IT departments are always leading the way here. Social networks were one of the early influencers. So was mobile technologies. Cloud based eCommerce (think Amazon) is still going strong. Amazon Go will change the game even more. The cloud, in general, leverages technology exclusively for the benefit of the customer.
And now, big data and analytics are definitely required to understand the customer. AI is starting to make a strong push. Voice based customer interfaces are moving fast.
There is a clear next phase to all of this. The Internet of Things and connecting devices into a real customer ecosystem will march along endlessly. Smart won’t just be about our phones. When combining technologies, like the IoT and AI, and voice interfaces, those are the game changers that may cripple your business model. It is going to happen more and more. Digital disruption will be fueled by the amazing world of digitally integrated systems.
When focused on customer needs, technologies will continue to disrupt.