The last 30 years have seen the fastest and most radical changes in technology in human history. This trend of rapid transformation isn’t going to cool off any time soon. In fact, the frequency of digital transformation in the marketplace has precipitated the introduction of a new buzzword in the technology and business lexicon—disruption.
Driven by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, big data, and blockchain, the speed of digital disruption has seen successful long-established companies that failed to recognize and adapt, fall by the wayside. It doesn’t have to be that way though.
Here are a number of tips to ensure your business is never behind the curve.
1. Acknowledge the Change
Burying your head in the sand will not cause the sweeping change to magically disappear. Ergo, the first and most important thing to do is recognize it. Don’t see digital disruption as your adversary. Instead, consider it as something that could improve your product, delight your customers, and grow your profitability.
Look at your competitors who are already riding the new wave and explore the ways you can learn from them.
Once you realize that there’s a digital disruption afoot, do not panic or react impulsively. Instead, take a step back to plan and strategize the path your business will follow to align itself with the change. You may have to overhaul your business model fast while developing a strategy that leverages the power of the emerging technological transformation.
This is not something you’ll do in a day and forget about. The new strategy must be evaluated, refined, and tested continuously. Working with a digital transformation consultancy such as WGroup would come in handy.
3. Strengthen Your Identity
Just because you have to change the way you do things when a digital disruption sweeps the industry doesn’t imply that you have to completely rid yourself of every aspect of your business today.
After all, you still have to find a means of offering a unique selling proposition in the event that all your competitors adapt to the technology change. You should strengthen your brand and identity while leveraging the deep-rooted strengths and capabilities that distinguish your business from everyone else in the market.
4. Maintain Focus on Your Customer
Since you were already running a business before the tech disruption came along, you shouldn’t lose sight of your existing customers’ needs. It’s possible for one to get caught up in the novelty of new technology and thereby forget the very reason for technology in the first place.
Digital disruption is not an end in itself—it’s the ability to enhance the customer’s experience that makes it so revolutionary. So as you strive to stay ahead of the disruption curve, always focus on the customer. Whatever you do should be geared toward making your customer more enthusiastic about your product.
5. Get Your Vendors On the Same Page
No business exists in isolation. You have to depend on multiple vendors such as raw material suppliers and telecommunication service providers. Whereas disruption may render some vendors redundant, the ones that remain must ensure their processes and procedures are amended as needed.
If they are unwilling to do so, it may be time to explore your options by working to replace them as soon as is contractually possible.
6. Start Thinking About the Next Disruption
Just because you have recognized a digital disruption and made changes to your business model accordingly doesn’t mean you can now rest on your laurels. There’s no end to innovation. Businesses that fail to innovate will fall behind their competitors and eventually die.
Therefore, once you do everything that’s needed to be in tune with today’s technology, start thinking right away about the next possible disruption. You do that by devoting some time and resources to R&D or simply studying the technology landscape outside your industry to see what disruption in other sectors could soon be making its way to yours.
Digital disruption is sometimes perceived as a burden with businesses thinking about how much it will cost for them to conform. However, disruption can be an asset if you view it as an opportunity to make your company better.