Digital disruption: How's your company responding?

27th Dec 2018

Are you and your company prepared to address the continuing waves of digital disruption? Whether you’re ready to lead the charge or are lagging behind, digital disruption is likely to affect your business.

What is digital disruption?

To begin, what is digital or technology disruption? Savoy Stewart describes it as “Technology that displaces an established technology and shakes up the industry or creates a completely new industry.”1 Examples abound from streaming videos replacing video stores to robotics affecting manufacturing, medicine, agriculture, and the military.2

Savoy Stewart

Digital disruption affects all types of businesses and their operations, creating the need for new business models and processes. From recruiting to production, marketing and sales, companies must equip themselves for technology-driven change.

How Proactively Are You Addressing Technological Change?

When exploring your readiness for digital disruption, it’s helpful to assess where you and your company fall in the spectrum. Are you a:

  • Digital Leader: Ahead in anticipating the technological changes facing your organization
  • Digital Adopter: Easily adaptable and proactive in your approach
  • Digital Follower: Adaptable, but taking a passive approach
  • Digital Laggard: Lagging behind in your ability to adapt

To understand how businesses see themselves in relation to digital disruption, Savoy Stewart analyzed responses from a survey of over 1,000 North American and Western European companies.

While 29.5% were excited about digital disruption and see it as an opportunity, only 18.3 % rated themselves as digital leaders. At the other end of the scale, only 12% expressed concern about their ability to adapt, yet 23.4% rated themselves as digital laggards.3

What You Can Do To Become Proactive

If you or your company are struggling to adapt and thrive from digital disruption, keeping up with technological changes may feel overwhelming. For ways to get started, see our guest blog by Jay Palter, How Do You Stay Up To Date with Innovation? You’ll find key strategies for staying up-to-date in the financial services industry, which can be applied to different industries too.

Other options for being a digital leader include leveraging data to increase customer loyalty and provide exceptional customer experiences.4 In our blog, Analytic Insights Along the Customer Journey - Part1, we describe how data analytics can help companies better understand the customer journey. In Part 2, we explain how data driven insights can lead to actions resulting in better outcomes for both you and your customers.

Act Now for a Competitive Advantage

The window of opportunity to gain competitive advantage …falls inside a window of three years,”5 so it’s important to act now. Regardless of where you are today, identify steps you can take to be in the forefront of technological change and become a Digital Leader.

Co-written by Nina Katz. 

Who is Beyond the Arc?

We help companies apply innovation to attract customer, improve customer experience, and develop data-driven strategies. From telling your story in clear, compelling ways in digital and everywhere else, to unlocking business value with data science, AI, and machine learning, Beyond the Arc has got you covered. Follow us on Twitter @beyondthearc


1,3,5 “Over 35% of companies view digital disruption as an opportunity NOT a challenge” Savoy Steward

2“5 Industries Utilizing Robotics.” Ohio University

4“The Reality of Digital Disruption – How to Stay Ahead.” Forbes Insights Team




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