If You Really Understood Digital Disruption You Would Be Shaking In Your Boots

2012.11.13_Super Nervous

Business professionals drop the word disruption in conversations today as often as they discuss the stock market.

And the word digital is part of our normal vernacular.

Put the two words together, digital disruption, and it adds up to much more than the sum of its parts says Forrester Researcher Dr. James McQuivey. He says that if you really understood digital disruption, it would totally terrify you.

Three Sources Of Digital Power

According to McQuivey, three sources of digital power have unleashed a disruptive force that will completely alter every business:

1. The prevalence of free tools and services

This allows innovative disruptors to rapidly build products and services to meet specific needs.

2. The rise of digital platforms

Ambitious competitors can easily take advantage of these platforms to get the upper hand.

3. The rapidly increasing class of digital consumers

These consumers are ready and willing to accept new services especially when they are user friendly and solve a problem.

McQuivey says no business will be left untouched by this digital disruption. “It’s disruption of disruption itself,” he says.

They’re Coming For Your Business

Most people think they understand digital disruption. 89% of executives surveyed by Forrester believe that digital will disrupt their industry. “But they don’t realize just how big a deal disruption will be when it finally hits them,” says McQuivey.

Here are three things to consider about digital disruption.

1. Digital disruption is remaking industries that don’t even have digital products.

If you think apps aren’t relevant to you, you may want to think again. Forrester has interviewed C-level suite executives at diverse companies and even leaders of pharmaceuticals and construction supplies are exploiting digital disruption opportunities.

2. Digital will disrupt your product…but only if you let it disrupt your process.

Your company’s product experience can only be as digital as your process allows. Only 39% of executives surveyed by Forrester believe that their companies have policies and processes that can be adapted to digital. This is a huge challenge for them and an opportunity for innovative digital disruptors.

3. Digital disruption depends on free tools…and more free tools are coming!

Apple, Facebook, Google, YouTube are just a few of the companies that continue to introduce free tools. Want to be an Amazon merchant? It just takes a few minutes to register and it’s free. Want to develop experiences for Kinect for Xbox 360? The software development kit is free. Regardless of what we think, there is such a thing today as a free lunch. And the free lunch buffet is getting bigger while the entry price to eat is not rising.

Still Think You Get Digital Disruption?

Most of us think we understand digital disruption because of all of the digital tools we use. We also think we understand disruption because we watched what happened to the music, newspaper and media industries.

Most C-Suite executives also think they understand digital disruption. Unfortunately, our organizations are at risk if we fail to realize just how powerful digital disruption is, how it can quickly negate our old processes and how diligently we have to work if we want to join the digital disruption revolution.

Your only solution to survive is to become a digital disruptor. And once you join the digital disruptive revolution, you can’t get off that train. It’s the new way to do business.

Why keeps C-suite executives from fully understanding digital disruptions? What are some things we need to do to understand and leverage opportunities of digital disruption?

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  1. Chris Roffe says:

    Great post Jeff, one of my favorite topics.

    One of the problems many organizations have is that it requires a huge leap of faith to implement something they don’t see the need for when they operate in the past & present mindset -the future is only next year’s budget in this context.

    Organizations can make a choice: be reactive and potentially suffer at the hands of digital disruption or be pro-active and gain from it by positioning yourself to harness its momentum.


    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      Thanks so much for reading and for leaving your insights.

      So true that many organizations are only operating in this and next year’s budget. Ultimately, that will hurt them in the long run!

  2. […] If You Really Understood Digital Disruption You Would Be Shaking In Your Boots […]

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