Should companies be in the business of experimentation and change- change that might make them or might break them? Or should they stay with tried and true business models- models they know have worked in the past. This is the layman’s term version of the question: Should businesses embrace Digital Disruption or not?
What is Digital Disruption?
Digital disruption is essentially the evolution of business models based on emerging technologies. To imagine the benefits of this phenomenon, you can look to an example of a business that did not embrace this revolution: Kodak. Kodak, a company with thousands of highly successful photo printing shops around the United States, failed to keep up with changes in digital imaging and social media and basically went bankrupt.
Why Do We Talk About Digital Disruption? is Digital Disruption?
The main benefit of digital disruption is avoiding becoming obsolete. It’s not business-cannibalization like many complain- it’s a survival mechanism. Additionally, this revolution boosts your ROI, reduces long-term operational costs, increases process efficiency, and allows companies to make data-driven decisions.
Tech and software companies have incredible possibilities ahead if they accept and make the most of digital disruption. Not only do they need to embrace technologies like blockchain, AI, and chatbots, but they must be constantly anticipating the next change, the next technology, the next trend. The idea is to build a culture of innovation and experimentation that anticipates, rather than reacts.
There is no question of whether to adopt digital disruption or not. There is only the question of how fast will you embrace this evolution, or how fast will you become outdated and fall behind the more relevant, more agile competition.
Technologies Driving Digital Disruption
Blockchain is all about providing trust in an untrusting world. The technology grew up because of digital currencies, specifically Bitcoin, but is applicable to any case where two parties exchange value of any sort.
Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
Virtual Assistants are everywhere these days. It seems like everyone is creating one. The technology is mature enough to provide a natural language conversation between bots and people.
Chatbots (text based agents) are now mainstream. The next wave will be speech-enabled AI-powered interfaces that use Natural Language Processing to interact with humans seamlessly.
The ability of systems to "learn" and improve effective task execution over time has become mainstream and a mostly mature technology. The challenge is having enough "new" data to actually boost this learning capability. It’s also important to remember that machine learning doesn't solve a specific problem by itself. Rather, it needs to be incorporated as a foundation layer within a more complex solution.
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation has gained a lot of traction in the last year, especially in the enterprise world where re-engineering new systems or rapid evolution of software is impractical because of regulatory constraints or huge investments that take years to complete. While there aren't Open Source RPA solutions, there is a huge opportunity in leveraging common software development tools to automate end-user tasks.
Digital Disruption is About Opportunities
Everyone is on an even playing field. Established corporations have an opportunity to influence society through technology. New companies have opportunities to dig deep into these crucial technologies. Small companies can change and adapt faster than anyone else. Opportunities for growth abound. The question is whether your company will take them or become obsolete.