What are they, and what should we do about them?
Digital Disruption and Disruptive Technology are phrases flying around at the moment, but what do they actually mean, and what should we be doing about these things?
Digital Disruption is defined as the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.
Disruptive Technology is defined as a technology that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or a groundbreaking product that creates a completely new industry.
Simply put, both of these are just referring to something new that challenges, or replaces, the old.
My question is this: Why do we need special terms to convince us that this is something worth doing? To me, this is common sense. Always challenge, always grow, and always look to do it better.
A lot of organization’s seem to run on organizational memory (we have always used this product therefore we will keep using this product), rather than looking at what is best for their client’s, their staff, and their bottom line.
So what should you do about these things besides striving to do better?
Well, for disruptive technology, depending on what industry you are in, this may be more difficult, as you may have to rely on technology partners or Strategic Consultants to keep you up to date with the latest technologies and how they could assist you.
Digital Disruption however is another story. If we have a product that we use in our day-to-day businesses, we can ask ourselves these simple questions:
The answers can then dictate the actions. If you aren’t using it fully, why not? Do your processes need optimization? Does the product meet your current and future needs, or only your historical needs?
For a practical approach to keeping up to date with this, assign a Product champion within your business unit whose job it is to keep up to date with the product, it’s direct competition, and to review regularly how you are using it and how you could use it to better your business.
Now for the flip side. Just because a technology or process is old, does not mean it is not the best for your business. Be careful of “improvements” for improvements sake.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But if it ain’t optimal, optimize it. And if it ain’t the best, disrupt it.