Enterprises must disrupt or die


Technologies and ideas are disruptive when they solve simple and widespread problems in ways that have not yet been tried. Disruptive technologies and ideas also have the power to create entirely new markets; think the Internet (online publishing and advertising), wireless communications networks (smartphones), and services such as Airbnb, which made it easy for anybody anywhere to rent out their homes to anyone.

Disruption can create and it can destroy. Online advertising and free content have imperiled print publishing, for example, while video streaming and services such as Netflix doomed the Blockbusters of the world.

But disruption isn’t just for innovators that create transformative products and services. Enterprises must actively seek out disruption that can improve their internal processes, product/service development, and employee productivity. Mobile technology is a good example: Effective mobile initiatives afford enterprise workers unprecedented flexibility regarding where and when they work. This makes employees more efficient and more satisfied because mobile technology better aligns with their needs and, in the case of Millennials, their experiences.

Conversely, enterprises that avoid or actively reject disruption inevitably will fall behind their disruption-embracing competitors. Which road sales force is going to be more agile and effective: The one equipped with laptops and pagers, or the one equipped with smartphones and tablets?

Disruption can come in many forms, as ITProPortal contributor Matt Johnson notes:

Often, disruption simply means looking inwards. It’s crucial to analyse internal processes and identify any areas that could be improved upon. Minor irritations, such as having to make multiple phone calls and send several emails to get hold of a document, or delays due to missing out on speaking to people in different time zones, can amount to a large decrease in productivity over time. Small changes, such as adopting technology that can improve communication and enable collaboration, can have a big impact on productivity.

They might be hard to see at first, but disruption opportunities are all around you. The thing is, though, they really aren’t optional. Enterprises that fail to embrace and leverage disruption are doomed to fail.

Disrupt or die: The choice is yours.


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