Let’s start off with what is digital disruption, let’s not get confused we are not talking about something that is limited to information technology businesses or computer systems.
Digital disruption should not be considered a negative process, it is the process of transforming and evolving our business practices with the aid of digital and other emerging technologies, it allows us to re-evaluate how we do things and helps us to improve or redesign our business processes
Whilst talking to local motorcycle dealer I was interested to hear them describing the change from the mechanics having access to a computer to look up information on servicing bike’s in a central office to how they now have computers at every service bay because it is now an essential tool as not only do they look up service information but need to be able to run diagnostics and checks on the modern motorbikes.
Not only does this save the mechanics (or should we call them technicians) time but has ultimately made them more efficient and put them in a situation where all the tools they need to complete their job are easily at hand.
So what we traditionally look at as a non-tech business is being affected by what is referred to as digital disruption, being open to the possibilities that this disruption and opportunity has brought has given this business an advantage and enabled them to be more efficient.
We can look back at other examples where digital disruption has changed the way we work and live and look at the lessons to be learned.
A fantastic example is Kodak Cameras, they were leaders in bringing photographic cameras to the masses, unfortunately, they did not see the trend for digital cameras as a threat to their traditional market and viewed it as a gadget thing, this allowed other brands to develop this market to a point where film cameras became mostly redundant, by this time it was too late for Kodak to change, and they went the way of the Dodos.
Another example is the encyclopedia, the change that we can see in living memory is enormous, it used to be a status symbol to be able to say you owned a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica, the mass of volumes of books containing information and facts. Then in 1993 Microsoft released Encarta a digital version of the encyclopedia, this had a massive effect on printed versions of encyclopedia due to the ease of access and the fact it took up very little space, interestingly Encarta became a victim of its own success and was discontinued in 2009 due to the advent of easy access to the internet as a source of information and fact. It should be noted that Encyclopaedia Britannica transformed its business and is still available as an online digital resource.
Just because you don’t see yourself as a Tech company does not mean that Digital Disruption will not or cannot affect your business
Digital disruption is something that we need to embrace, it is not something to be afraid of, often it is consumer-driven and if embraced will help us to be more successful in the future.