SaaS Article -Digital disruption: The what, why and the notable trends(source: SaaS Industry)

Digital disruption: The what, why and the notable trends

Powered by SaaS Industry
At a Glance

Digital disruption is the impact of new digital technologies and business models on existing products, services, systems, and structures. Digital innovation is changing the nature of present jobs, often extending and diversifying activities and various responsibilities. The scope of digital disruption is not experimenting with new technologies for namesake. Instead a genuine digital firm should extend beyond that. It is a digital company’s culture, strategy, and operating style that distinguishes it and gives it a competitive advantage.

People fear what they do not understand’ is a commonly heard phrase. It is a general occurrence in our society if we are faced with an unknown or an unheard-of circumstance and get afraid. In scenarios of a drastic change in society, we try to hold on to whatever we are familiar with and avoid adapting to the change.    

In the case of the pandemic, when lifestyles and working cultures were disrupted, transformations were staring at us, forcing us to embrace changes on many levels such as lifestyle, education, business, workspace, and much more. 

Delving into disruption

People generally associate the word ‘disruption’ with negative connotations. Disruption isn’t necessarily a good thing. But not all disruptions are harmful. Digital disruption brings about change, which may be both positive and detrimental. This is true for workplaces as well.

Some decades ago, the concept of a workplace was different. People dressed differently for work, had a different atmosphere at workplaces, connected differently, organized their businesses contrastingly. One example of this would be from the movie, The Post, where journalists investigating the Watergate scandal could be seen using public telephones to wire the critical information to their sub-editors or editors. Today, they can push out long-form stories with a few swipes and clicks on their smartphones. Similarly, workplaces and industries in the contemporary world have undergone dramatic changes with digitization.

Disrupted status quo

Experts who observe the changing dynamics draw parallels between the entry of steam engines and electrification in the 18th century, which revolutionized sectors of the economy, and the present revolution brought about by the internet, robotics, artificial intelligence, and data analytics. Even in the early stages of the 2000s and its subsequent decade, the disruption brought about by the digital revolution, though relevant, was not very significant. A three-year research-based study in 2011 by Capgemini Consulting and MIT Center for Digital Business stated that only about one-third of companies globally had efficient digital technologies and transformation plans in place. 

The status quo has been disrupted today, and evolving trends powered by digitization influence and drive a change in the modern workplace today. A data chart curated by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2016 highlights how critical technologies, the price of which were a bit on the expensive side, fell significantly. For instance, the cost of a 3D printing technology in 2007 was 400 times that of a similar model serving the equivalent functionality in the next seven years. Drones, industrial robots, sensors, smartphones, and many others join the list, signifying an increasing demand for tech and digitization.

For instance, the Digital Transformation of Industries (DTI) project, also launched by the WEF in 2015 as part of the Future of the Internet Global Challenge Initiative, has been serving as the focal point for new opportunities and themes arising from the latest developments and trends from the digitalization of business and society. In fact, it is connected to the broader theme of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which has brought about the many impactful changes in the way organizations work and deliver.

The rate of technological advancement is quickening. Moore’s Law has been seen to have generally kept pace with advances in computer power. Because the cost of sophisticated technology is falling, the world around us is becoming increasingly digital. There were just 500 million Internet-connected devices in 2005; now, there are 8 billion. It is projected that the number would touch 1 trillion by 2030.

Elements of a digital workplace

Today’s workplace, disrupted by digitization and growing trends, can observe the changes along these four elements,

  • In terms of technology 

Things like innovation, application, and design form the core of digital transformation. Efficient technologies are the front-runners that bring about change and are playing a massive role in reducing complexities involved in various tasks  

  • Business-specific changes

This segment covers the internal operations of businesses and their conduct. They include marketing, development, and delivery, among others. When digitally transformed, the way a company runs, how it develops, and how it is marketed to the customers, undergo changes.

  • Industry-specific changes

Customers, techniques, procedures, and standards are all part of this element. When digital transformation enters organizations, it affects the entire industry. Since one person innovating his business eventually leads to more people following suit, the whole sector would soon be subjected to digital transformation, owing to competition and other factors.

  • Societal changes

Digital transformation impacts the way society runs and evolves. Changes in customers’ demands, transaction patterns, and the conventional method of interacting with them make businesses reimagine their approach and induce societal changes.     

A truly digital business is about more than merely experimenting with new technology for the sake of it. Instead, it is a digital enterprise’s culture, strategy, and functioning method that distinguishes it and offers it a competitive edge. 

Digital companies are constantly working to allow new and leaner operating models, supported by agile business processes, linked platforms, analytics, and collaborative capabilities that improve the firm’s efficiency. A digital firm is always looking for, identifying, and developing new digital business models, always putting customers and workers first.

The pertinence of this disruption 

Pierre Nanterme, the former CEO and Chairman of Accenture had once enunciated that digital disruption was at the heart of the different conversations he had with many CEOs.

Though he states that the challenges are many, the series of waves brought about by it has led to profound impacts. They are the following. 

  • The digital consumer wave, where consumers are able to savor more interactive and personalized experiences due to social, mobile analytics, and other cloud technologies.
  • The digital enterprise wave that leverages the aforementioned technologies to optimize corporate functions and transform enterprise collaboration for enhanced productivity. 
  • The digital operations wave, which features the emergence of AI, robotics. Cognitive computing and the Industrial IoT and their role in revolutionizing businesses.

Mr. Nanterme said back then that these were the waves that accounted for nearly one-third of his company’s revenue. He hinted at the societal gains brought about digital disruption to be double that of the benefits reaped by industries and workplaces.

Business leaders tell me that they are intent on disrupting before they are disrupted. They want to drive value from data in new ways, and they are embracing a world of rapid experimentation that allows for the ability to innovate faster. Success is no longer about changing strategies more often, but having the agility to execute multiple strategies concurrently,

Pierre Nanterme, the former CEO and Chairman of Accenture

Though myths revolve around the opinion of growing digital adoption and how digital modes of businesses have altered the conduct of workplaces and industries, experts and organizations like the WEF state that incumbents today must accept the disruption and embrace profound transformations brought about by digitization. 

These are the big shots now

Experts and futurists have laid down their list on specific changes disrupting workplaces and other industries today. They have successfully disrupted the earlier status quo and are in the stages of revolutionizing the traditional oligopoly that dominated previously. Some of them are already here, while some others will make their way soon.

  • Cloud for sure

Transiting to cloud-based offerings and services has benefited companies in terms of scalability, cost, and risk. Instead of heavy on-premise software managed by IT teams, companies these days have been exploring cloud infrastructure options such as SaaS, a model growing in adoption, bringing down the global IT spending.

  • IoT is here too

Daniel Newman, principal analyst, and founding partner at Futurum Research, opined that IoT devices have been changing the way businesses are conducted in industrial activities, especially in manufacturing and production. IoT devices are here to disrupt the existing state of affairs in workplaces, starting from sensors to control temperatures to tracking devices in supply-chain industries.

  • Chatbots for assistants?

Experts like Bernard Marr, a futurist and the CEO of Bernard Marr & Co., opine that adequate steps are being taken to make natural language processing and sentiment analytics enhance chatbot experiences. Accessing company websites, blogs and trying to reach out to them these days would primarily connect one to chatbots offering help. Powered by AI, they are well-positioned to leave a profound impact on the conduct of business and various operations.

  • 3D Printing tech to stay

3D printing may appear to be something out of a science fiction film or television program, but reports state that the technology is already here and growing in popularity. Currently, 3D printing is mainly used to assist existing production processes. 3D printers are growing more advanced, and 2021 may be the year when their stock prices soar.

  • Going Crypto

Bitcoin and blockchain technology are no more known to some select few. With its growing popularity and volatile nature, people have started exploring the new arena. Though it is to become a dominant force in ordinary business, considering the increasing cybercrime and data breaches, consumers and companies seek higher levels of protection, which cryptocurrency provides. Digital wallets are set to disrupt traditional banking and even internet payment systems. 

Reports indicate that the force of digital disruption is relentless. Businesses must accept and even plan for digital disruption. You can stay ahead of the game and work with the flow rather than against it if you keep an eye on the ball and recognize the indications of digital disruption in your business. Working with the tide helps you meet these developing requirements, keeping existing consumers satisfied and providing possibilities for new customers to get what they need from your business.

Previous News Post
Next News Post
Related Posts

Become SaaS smart in just 5 minutes

Get the daily email that makes reading the SaaS news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and stimulated, for free