Is Your Business A Potential Target For The Next Digital DISRUPTION?

What does Digital DISRUPTION mean for your business? If it’s the destiny of every business what can we do to prepare for it? Let’s dive in and find out!

Drive for digital has already happened!

According to a forecast by Accenture, in just 5 years, Australia’s digital economy is going to experience a 26.1% growth from 2015 to 2020.

Business around the globe are spending $174 billion on cloud technologies alone. Many organisations now have chief digital officers or have developed separate units that are responsible for driving digital strategy.

While the stats look promising, many business are still struggling with their organisational structures to facilitate the change towards digital transformation and to face the digital disruption challenges head on!

Innovation is transforming every business!

The phenomenon of digital disruption is not a new one! Nonetheless the opportunities and risks it presents change over time and those who make the first move, history remembers them as innovators!

Ever wondered how iPod replaced CDs, how Amazon defeated Barns and Nobles, why didn’t Marriot think of AirBnb, why cab drivers couldn’t come up with a brilliant idea that Uber did and how Netflix became the number one choice of Blockbuster’s long-time customers!

Businesses that are bold enough to innovate, serve as the poison pill for those that are still following the rules of the last century!

Speed of change remains critical!

When I say only the agile survive, it means that not do businesses need to innovate and change their business models, they need to do it at the speed of digital disruption, in order to survive!

From the rise of digital, to beginning of internet era, to social media and now mobile, technology, every couple of years, digital seems to be disrupting every aspect of our lives and that too at an unprecedented pace.

Instead of embracing and expanding the new digital wave, Kodak, Polaroid and many others spent their time and energies on defending the status quo. By the time, they realised digital photography is here to stay, it was already too late!

Rethinking value creation

One thing that’s common among all these innovators (Netflix, Uber, AirBnB and many others) is their ability to pin point a gap in existing products and services and filling it by rethinking a solution that creates greater value for the users! Most importantly the core of their investment is focused on the customer and supplier value proposition not product or services they serve!

Do you really think Marriot knows what a hotel industry is all about? Without having to own property, hire and train housekeeping staff or be on call 24/7, AirBnB was able to run a simpler and more efficient business model that was profitable to all parties (i.e. customers and suppliers) involved!

AirBnB’s impact on the hotel industry is yet another example! “Digital disrupters know how to rethink value creation and create a new market space that did not exist before!

Businesses can deliver value to customers using the five steps in the interaction curve: Buying, using, transferring, co-creating and integrating products and services! Business that are able to offer greater value in terms of novelty or efficiency on any of these customer touch points.

Understanding the magnitude of change

The magnitude of disruption can often potentially wipe out major businesses and sometimes entire industries.

Understanding the magnitude and the scale at which a new business model will affect your remains critical. Consider how YouTube’s “How to” videos is impacting formal education and how online booking for travel has almost eliminated the traditional role of travel agencies.

Personalisation of products, services and interactions

Today, consumers are actively approaching businesses they can interact with on a personal level. Digital Marketing analytics has made it possible for businesses to reach their customers with a personalised, relevant and targeted message, which they are more likely to welcome than cold calling or mass marketing methods. It’s the customers who dictate the business, not the other way around.

In the era of internet of things, wearable technology and social media, suitability, affordability and timeliness all play a vital role in delivering personalised service to the target market!

Timing is everything

Businesses that can anticipate the disruption before it happens, become leaders! Such businesses see themselves in a powerful position to launch themselves as pioneers in a field and sustain that image by continuing to innovate.

On the other hand, if the alternate solution does roughly the same or better job more quickly and at a cheaper cost, it will only be a matter of time that this new business model improves to a point that your solution will become irrelevant!

When Reed Hastings, founder of Netflix offered John Antioco, Blockbuster’s CEO to promote Netflix in its stores in return for Netflix running Blockbusters’ brand online, he got laughed out of the room. 10 years later Blockbuster went bankrupt and Netflix rose to a multi-billion dollar company.

Those who survive the wave of disruption, make a move before it’s too late to make any move at all.

Investment in digital infrastructure

Digital disrupters understand that technology alone cannot make all the difference. True disruption happens with the right integration of technology, people and processes with a change in the overall organisational structure and business model.

Whether it’s by hiring new talent, reinforcing new vision, or reallocating budget to new digital technologies and better customer interactions, business need to find a way to survive the wave of disruption quickly sweeping over the industry they serve.

Opportunities to survive digital disruption

Despite the eye-popping examples of digital disruptors vanquishing seasoned market players, According to Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation, 45% of company leaders believe that digital disruption is not a broad-level concern!

For those who do realise the threat it poses are in a better position to act on time. So what are the opportunities for those willing to survive digital disruption?

1. Disrupt the disruptor – Challenge the competition before it starts (Jet.com has become a threat to Amazon – the greatest disruptor of the 21st century)

2. Secure your position – “If you can’t be as good as them, buy them! (Facebook acquired WhatsApp) acquire

3. Absorb digital capabilities – Integrate online and offline customer interactions (AudiCity – Audi’s showrooms where you can custom design virtual car models on a digital screen)

4. Follow the footsteps – Learn the disruptors’ tricks and infuse a digital first mindset within your organisation.

Next wave of disruptive technologies

Digital Disruptors are always ready for the next wave of disruptive technologies that might hit their industry or affect their value chain. Preparing for a response towards potential threats and maximising the organisational capabilities to bring digital business innovation is what businesses need to do.

Even if you are a market leader today, to continue being so, businesses need to become their own disruptors!

Get out of your comfort zone and challenge your own silos and business processes, before someone else does!

Conclusion

Digital disruption is already happening and no one can escape it.

Applying high-level digital technologies to your business without understanding their potential impact, can be deadly. The need for businesses is to

  • Understand which companies are most prone to steal your share of the pie and how?
  • How can you disrupt your own business model to keep your competitors from narrowing the circle in the first place?
  • Can you use digital technologies to improve the customer experience throughout the value chain?
  • Do you have the right set of skills to compete in the age of connectivity, collaboration and rapidly evolving customer needs?

Digital disruption can be unpredictable and overwhelming, but those willing to take the risks are rewarded immensely!

Success in the Digital Age Requires Extraordinary Retail Leaders

Retail leaders in the digital age

Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal 1. But how can retailers lead and influence their staff during this digital disruption? Maybe it’s time to challenge retail leadership says Ken Silay, Partner, Innovator’s Equation. Ken suggests writing for Innovative Retail Technologies that “The truth is retail is run by old thinking and old metrics” and “difference between the old and new thinking in business creates a gap in retail leadership that will continue to get wider”.

Dr Ganesh Shermon, Managing Partner for “R for C Talent Management Solutions” (North America) recently highlighted the challenges retailers face. He said that retailers are confronted with dramatic managerial changes, given the convergence of the human mind, (Intellect), behavioral psychology (Cognitive), smart machines, and deep learning science and knowledge (Neural networks) as the basis for management actions. That’s really a mouth full!

The truth is that the old way of leading a retail business does not work anymore. But what should retailers do to get their businesses on par with the digital age?

Strategies that leaders should consider in the Digital Age

Prof Kamal Kishor Jain, Head of HR and Business Psychology Department at IIM Indore, recently said digital age leaders need to acknowledge the limits of their expertise. Additionally, the leaders should build a reliable network of knowledgeable experts to help them navigate through their choices. Prof Jain suggests the following:

Speed – is the most distinguishing characteristic of the digital age. No matter how fast you are moving to transform your business; the depressing reality is that you still probably aren’t moving fast enough.

Knowledge creation – we need to become more right brained to compete and survive. Leadership is not a noun, it’s a verb. The real charismatic leader is one who disseminates knowledge into his subordinates.

Primarily leadership qualities – leaders should be daring, caring and sharing. ‘Failing fast’ and ‘falling forward’ are critical precursors to success in the digital era. Such disruptive change requires leaders to be caring about people are affected by such changes. It is only by caring that a leader can elicit support from followers.

The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an initiative of IMD business school and Cisco, and HR consultancy metaBeratung, have identified four competencies (HAVE) that business leaders need in order to excel in the era of digital disruption:

Humble – in an age of rapid change, knowing what you don’t know can be as valuable in a business context as knowing what you do. Therefore, digital leaders need a measure of humility, and a willingness to seek diverse inputs both from within and outside their organisations.

Adaptable – in a complex and changing environment, an ability to adapt is critical. The global reach of digital technologies has opened up new frontiers for organizations, shrinking once insurmountable continental divides and erasing traditional boundaries between territories. Dealing with the cultural and business impacts of this requires adaptability.

Visionary – in times of profound disruption, clear-eyed and rational direction finding is needed. Therefore a clear vision, even in the absence of detailed plans, is a core competency for digital leaders.

Engaged – painting visions for the future, successfully communicating these visions and being adaptable enough to change them, requires constant engagement with stakeholders. This broad-based desire to explore, discover, learn and discuss with others is as much a mind-set, as it is a definable set of business-focused activities or behaviors.

How can leaders change their retail business to digital?

It is impossible for retailers to change overnight from doing their things the old way to embracing the digital economy. Indeed, the process must get started and in quick time. Therefore, the ability to digitally re-imagine the business is determined in large part by a clear digital strategy supported by leaders who foster a culture able to change and invent the new 3. Kane et al proposed the following strategies for retailers to use getting their business to the digital age:

Create a strategy that transforms – when developing a more advanced digital strategy; the best approach may be to turn the traditional strategy development process on its head.

Get the right people for job – just as important as developing talent is reducing the risk of losing it.

Take risks – to boost risk taking in their companies, executives need to change their mind-sets.

Sparking new ideas – many new ideas arise through collaborative efforts among people of different backgrounds.

Telling the story – storytelling is becoming a popular means of gaining employee buy-in and organizational traction for digital transformation.

After all, it will probably require an extraordinary retail leaders to facilitate the move of their businesses from analogue to digital.

Digital Transformation and the Healthcare Industry

In the last few years, healthcare has joined other industries in the quest to deliver better customer experience. This has brought about a fundamental change in the healthcare industry and they have now shifted from volume to value of care of patients. The evolution in the cloud, data and mobile technologies has disrupted the health care industry.

The disruption has forced insurance companies and healthcare providers to move from a health system driven model to a customer oriented model. The behavioural needs of the modern customer has also changed and they now demand both control and choice.

Digital transformation is revolutionizing healthcare. It has helped connect and apply data, communication and technology to engage and redefine customer experiences. Most people have a misconception that digital transformation is about automation of jobs, processes and technology but it is much bigger than that.

Digital transformation requires you to rethink all your business processes. It is all about using data and digital technology by putting the needs of the customer at the centre of the business. If you want to succeed in the transformation, you need to look at the entire ecosystem of the company and determine ways to drive more value to the customer.

Optimize Clinical and Operational Effectiveness

Digital technology has helped improve quality and outcome of healthcare services. Consumers are now able to access and analyse information, so that they are able to make informed choices. Innovative solutions are offered to improve quality of care and efficiency of services. The new technology has helped reduce clinical variations.

Operational Analytics

The operations are streamlined and this helps reduce costs. Clinicians and executives are now able to share information and analyse the structured and unstructured data to make informed choices. Structured (electronic medical records) and unstructured (handwritten case notes) data can be brought together to get insights and uncover actionable intelligence.

Clinical Analytics

The quality and outcome of health services are drastically improved by creation of powerful data models. The healthcare professionals can collaborate and share insights in new ways. The accuracy, completeness and consistency of health information is improved by resolving problems that are caused by bad data.

Medical Data Storage

Innovative and new technologies in the healthcare industry is generating more data than before. Digital technology has enabled healthcare providers to store the data and utilize it in the best possible way. The data can be used to optimize patient care and anticipate the emerging health trends.

Technology has helped create a system of engagement with patients. Physicians will be able to get more information about their patients and this can revolutionize the services that are provided to customers. Health professionals can explore and navigate reports faster.

Digital transformation is an ongoing process that puts customer at the centre of healthcare business. It is important to look beyond technology to drive innovation. If the healthcare industry wants to keep pace with digital disruption, it needs to engage with those that it wants to please, its consumers. Failure to engage with the customer can result in the industry operating behind the times.

Digital Marketing Trends for 2013

Digital marketing is ever-evolving, and as we move into the year 2013, it is evident that the technology to deliver the enterprise with digital at its core is here now. The challenge is to lead and marshal the talent and innovative culture needed to make it a reality. Given below are a few trends to watch out.

Increase in the number of Digital Marketing Agencies or Consultants

The digital revolution has forever changed the balance of power between the customer and the organization, putting customers in charge of the relationship. The pace of decisions and deployments for marketing automation software and services is booming. However most marketing teams are not yet ready to deal with the complexity of marketing automation nor are they capable of fully leveraging the digital transformation that is required. Due this and the unprecedented demand is contributing towards the increase in the number of Digital Marketing agencies or consultants.

Small and medium businesses are also realizing the power of content marketing and need consulting services to help with the proliferation of the marketing tools and technology available, so more and more organizations are turning to digital marketing agencies to preside over these efforts.

CMO and CIO Departments to strengthen their partnership

Technology is rapidly remaking marketing departments; marketing campaigns are morphing into enterprise digital media projects that encompass. Marketing budgets are growing to meet IT demand, it is critically important for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to collaborate in new ways and transform their organizations to drive business growth.

The Year of Mobile

Consumers are spending more time and money on their mobile devices than ever before; there are encouraging evidences which support consumer engagement via mobile. Brands are keen to leverage location technology, social media and other behavioral data to orchestrate their mobile marketing as it is generation lot of attention.

Integrated Marketing Campaigns

As marketers aspire to leverage cross-channel digital campaigns to deliver real-time results at a lower cost, integrated channel campaigns will take dominance. An integrated tool set that can convert unknown traffic to known traffic will leverage competitive advantage to most companies.

Data Driven Marketing

Data driven marketing will take prominence in the year ahead. An average B2B company uses, on average 6 different Marketing automation tools to manage a single marketing campaign, and all these tools provide the bulk of actionable data. Moreover, a company’s social network can now range into millions of potential unique contacts. The sheer number of people, accounts, and permutations in the data make engaging with that audience very daunting. At the same time, companies are under intense pressure to drive revenue, and tight budgets are forcing marketers to make informed data-driven decisions. Tools that will enable marketers to extract the insights from the detailed bulk data will actually serve modern marketing needs.

Optimized Cross Channel Customer Experience

This is what all marketers’ are focused on delivering. The customer journey should be seamless across channels and each should play to its strengths. To achieve this all your digital platforms must talk to each other and in sync with the overall marketing strategy.

Content marketing

The trend in Content Marketing is to focus less on preparing content that will sell and more on content that will educate. Instead of pitching products or services, delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent will work. Content writers and bloggers will be distinguished by the content they create and their influence reaches, not by their titles. There are a host of new decision engines, social curation platforms, content provisioning and production technologies and services emerging (e.g. Story stream, Smartology, iTrigga etc). The demand for content curation rapidly increasing, there is an interesting new set of platforms and services appearing that will enable new content models enhance content delivery by enhancing existing CMSs.

Other trends:

· email marketing will continue to growing at astonishing rates

· Paid search for B2B companies will become less popular as new ad platforms will emerge

· Google will continue to dominate the B2B search market

· The big four of the internet will be Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.