How Digital Disruption is redefining industires

We are currently living through the 21st century equivalent of the industrial revolution - the Digital Disruption

Innovative new technologies and the digitisation of existing products are impacting the value of existing services and methods. Efficient and fluid markets of the 20th century are being turned upside down because of new start ups or practices based on transformative digital technology

This digital disruption could see the biggest metamorphosis of industries’ business practices and models in the history of human working life.

What can happen if a business doesn’t adapt to digital disruption?

Research by the Cisco Initiative found that 43 percent of companies either do not acknowledge the risk of digital disruption or have not addressed it sufficiently. A third are taking a “wait and see” approach. In a Digital Age built on high speed and evolution, caution and idleness can be a critical mistake for executives and administrators to make.

When consumers feel digital disruptors provide services that improve on what they are currently experiencing, the flood of customers you could lose can be very hard to stop. This is the case for any company, no matter the size.

Blockbusters and Kodak have been two of the highest profile casualties. Both cornered their share of the market in the 1990’s and turned into giant corporations engrained in popular culture. By the early 2010’s they had both filed for bankruptcy.

Why? Because they were either too slow or refused to adapt their business strategy that fresher digital companies like Canon and Netflix were disrupting. 

The collapse of businesses, the loss of jobs and the tumultuous affect this phenomenon can have on human life usually grab the mainstream media’s headlines. But there is another way to look at this.

Opportunities for growth and increased customer satisfaction

Like past revolutions, digital disruption indicates the possibility to improve productivity and efficiency in businesses.

Ultimately it is the customer that benefits the most from digital disruption. Adapting traditional organisations and new market entrants compete to engage, attract and retain more customers over the long term by offering services and/or experiences that meet and exceed their expectations.

Those businesses that cannot do that unfortunately will see their share in the market plummet or cease altogether.

The jobs that unfortunately could be lost to digital disruption can and should be supplanted by a new wave of digital jobs. Titles that didn’t even exist in the 1990s have spiked since the turn of the century and will continue to proliferate in the next 20 years.

Generations Y & Z have embraced and grown up with transformative technology and should be able to supply the required skills necessary for the growth and development national economies will depend upon.

How to prepare for digital disruption 

Although technology has been the main facilitator, digital disruption only affects traditional markets if new technology can provide more effective customer satisfaction.  

According to Rachel Botsman, there are usually five areas that drive digital disruption. Removing any of them should yield a positive result in safeguarding your organisation from digital disruption. 

  1. Wastage of resources – Can you make use of service or product that is wasted in your current set up
  2. Redundant procedures – Can you eliminate or streamline procedures that in a digital age are superfluous
  3. Complexity – Can you simplify a frustrating or confusing customer experience
  4. Limited access – Can you offer some form of access to luxurious or expensive items
  5. Broken Trust - Can you provide a more transparent service in

There are also more general tips that businesses should focus on if they want to safeguard their share in the market against digital disruption. 

  1. Focus on how customer behaviour changes and understand how this could affect your business.
  2. Be prepared to shake up your business model to adapt
  3. Think about the future of your customers as well as the day-to-day operations.
  4. Harness technology, don’t fear it.


Search Consultancy is an equal opportunities recruiter and we welcome applications from all suitably skilled or qualified applicants.

We are currently recruiting for a wide range IT, digital & change jobs across a wide range of sectors. If you have been inspired to apply for a job or to discuss how Search can help you safeguard your company from digital disruption, contact us today.





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