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!

One Challenge Private Equity Doesn’t Think About – Digital Presence

Private equity firms face plenty of challenges but the one challenge that they don’t think about is credibility in the digital domain and a good Digital Transformation will take care of that. Before you acquire a company you may have to convince the owner or owners that you are the right fit for them. It’s their business – they want to be sure you’re going to take them further than they can get on their own, and if they give up their majority – the confidence their share is going to be worth far more when you are done. Private Equity needs a Digital Transformation.

Confidence comes from walking the talk. Would you trust a tailor to dress you if he was wearing a suit from the 70’s? I sure hope you answered, no! Now, carry this line of thinking through to your digital presence. If you were betting your future on a firm bringing you to the next level, they better look like they came from the next level. Private equity firms need to seriously consider their digital presence, and in fact, the principals need to think about their personal brands as thought leaders – welcome to Leadership Casting. You may not know it, but you could be one Google search away from having your reputation, even career destroyed. What is that question, that keyword phrase that can cause you to experience that kind of potential negative result? It’s your name.

You start to do with business with someone you have never met before – what do you do? That’s right – you Google them. Today, people expect you to come to the table with a reputation both offline and online. And this is what Leadership Casting is all about. What are you going to find when you Google your name? Is it going to be thoughtful insights into your industry, life, some compelling information about you – or is it going to be you wearing a beer cap at the ball game or, even worse, something totally NSFW (what were you thinking when you posted those pictures?)

Leadership Casting is an exciting part of the entire Digital Transformation package as it is the solution for super-charging your online persona – or brand. Most of us know that all the major companies now monitor the Web and social media for every and any remark about them – and immediately move in to squash any potential negative comments or posts. Leadership Casting, though it employs some of the tools of the social media brand manager, focuses on showing the world you are a thought leader, and builds a positive presence for you online.

Every private equity firm should be lining up right now to get on to this. Building a brand online – promoting the rock stars in your company as thought leaders, making sure your digital presence is compelling. This is what builds your firm’s credibility. Today’s digital world wants to know about you, what you think, what you stand for as well as how good you look in a beer hat. Knowledge is power is the old saying – well today that has been turned upside down – managing the knowledge about you is power.

Want to convince your next acquisition your firm is the right partner? Think about a Digital Transformation – and start with Leadership Casting.

Digital Transformation in Real Estate

In the last five years, however, the paradigm of real estate transactions has gone through a major change with digital transformation of our societies being at the heart of this change.

Every aspect of our lives has changed drastically in the last two decades and much of the change has been fuelled, catalysed and necessitated by the increasing digital awareness and ubiquity. The Real Estate industry, although, much slower to adapt to this change has since picked up pace and is now at the forefront of some of the cutting edge innovations.

As our lives are more connected, and there is greater financial freedom with easier movement possible, a greater value has now been found in attempting and executing phone system transactions online. There is less apprehension and greater confidence being shown by buyers, sellers, brokers, lessors in deploying digital mediums to conduct their real estate business.

The National Broadband Network in Australia is set to take this transformation into a much higher terrain as improving connectivity and access will bring about better transmission of data, improved transparency and a much larger populace into the online phone systems fold. Consumers will be able to view and evaluate properties from far and wide, while developers will be in a position to pitch them to a more varied audience. The brokers will find themselves being able to create unified platform for the interaction of both buyers and sellers.

Digital transformation in the real estate sector also means that there is an improved coordination and liaison amongst the various parties involved. Virtual meetings, conference calls and video conferencing means that physical presence is no longer the clinching requirement to close a deal. Digitization also moves the land records and ownership documents to the online sphere, this reduces fraudulent transactions and improves confidence amongst buyers.

Thus, we see that the actual transformation brought in by increasing digital presence in the real estate industry is to increase transparency and improve confidence amongst buyers. This has in turn allowed for a greater organization of the sector. Real estate brokers are now no longer regional players but can scale their operations with considerably decreased costs. For the buyers, there is a greater sense of security in real estate transaction. They have greater access to information which in turn provides them a clearer picture of the property in question and the sellers on hand. For the sellers, the new digital age has opened up new market avenues hereto non-existent. Wider scope, better targeting and improved conversions have helped bottom lines.

In conclusion, digital transformation has been a holistic and all-encompassing phenomenon that has helped each one of the stakeholders in the telephone systems chain.