Are You Being Controlled By Disruption?

Does the idea of disruptive technology strike fear at the heart of your business, or are you fully engaged with the idea of causing disruption to fuel progress?  Whatever your feelings on the subject, it is clear that disruptive technology in this digital age is growing fast.

Whilst the idea of disruptive technology is not new – the term itself was coined around 20 years ago and classic examples include the invention of the personal computer and even Alexander Graham Bell’s prototype telephone – it is in the digital age that Cloud-based businesses run by ‘digital natives’ – those who have grown up in the digital age – are causing disruption across all sectors.

In PwC’s 21st CEO survey (2018) 38% of surveyed CEOs believe that the speed of technological change is a threat to their business.  A contributing factor to this is likely to be the disruption to traditional business models by digital natives, many of whom have established these Cloud based businesses free from the monolithic structures of many traditional organisations.

Examples of such innovative business model disruption that have led to high growth and high profitability include organisations such as Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, iTunes, and WhatsApp.  These digital native organisations have been able to move quickly ahead in sectors previously dominated by what PwC’s Mike Greig refers to as ‘Digital Laggards’ – large organisations with tradition structure that aren’t able to respond quickly to innovation. 

Discussing these organisations, Greig says; “Digital laggards will need to enable themselves to innovate at pace to operate in the data driven digital markets in order to survive.  Most laggards are at a significant disadvantage in share price valuation and are dependent on running asset based business model they want to transform with digital change.  Most do not have the more profitable data driven business models of the Digital  Native disruptors who are finding new sources of customer value faster in both digital and now asset opportunities.  Laggards must move now if they want to survive as the rate of change coming increases exponentially”

Research from IT research and advisory company, Gartner, focuses in on the need for CIOs to be at the forefront of digital innovation, particularly in relation to the intelligent digital mesh as a foundation for future digital business and its ecosystems, or risk losing out to those companies that are already forging ahead and anticipating what increasingly digitally savvy customers will expect in a world of AI and augmented reality.

Accenture’s Digital Disruption Index looks at those incumbents that are putting themselves back in the digital game to become ‘giants of disruption’, gaining ground on those original digital disruptors, and how other incumbents can prepare themselves to take on the digital innovation challenge.

So whilst you could be forgiven for feeling that it’s the end of the line for businesses that have established themselves in line with traditional business models, the reality is that this is far from the truth – as long as they are willing to adapt. Disruption – and disruptors – can be found in all businesses and sectors.  In order to benefit from disruption, it is the role of business owners and leaders to embrace it at all levels, regardless of hierarchy. 

Change and disruption is second nature to the digital native generation, and it doesn’t have to cost. By listening to our staff, partners and competitors; as well as customers and potential customers as part and parcel of all business and enterprise, we can harness disruption to the benefit the bottom line, as well as re-engaging with clients and colleagues. It’s never too late. 

At Hamilton Forth we consider ourselves disruptors to the traditional recruitment model, and we can use this to help you take control of disruption and benefit your business.  To find out more about how we can help you find the best talent to enable change in your business, contact [email protected]

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