Digital transformation wasn’t a once-off event, the disruption hasn’t come and gone. There’s a new wave making its way through one industry after another, and building on the first. Every business leader needs to keep their eye on the horizon and do everything possible to stay abreast of the changes coming their way.
A fundamental shift
It’s vital to understand the nature of these changes and to appreciate that even digital-ready businesses – those that have emerged from the first wave – will be coming under increasing pressure to fundamentally transform business processes to align with the evolving world of work.
Born-digital companies are redefining business models and reshaping the competitive landscape. They’re putting AI and automation into practice to drive greater efficiency and offer more value with deeper levels of insight. Digital business technology is no longer about tweaking processes with incremental improvements, it now represents a new way of thinking.
Disruption from outside
Digital functionality is beginning to augment the physical world in often surprising ways and creating connections between systems and people that allow for a new level of capability. Born-digital companies put such technology at the core of their business models, using it to create value where incumbents can’t.
Jackie Grieve, head of digital strategy at League Digital, says: “As we move forward into a second or third wave of digital transformation, disrupters and competitors might be businesses that operate outside your industry. But their ability to leverage digital might make them a competitor in many sectors. We have already seen this in the fintech market where non-financial houses are offering banking or financial services to the benefit of the customer.”
Obstacle or opportunity?
It can be tricky for incumbents to get their heads around the kind of innovation that might be required, but adopting the right mindset is a key starting point. It’s a question of whether you see this disruption as an obstacle to be overcome or as an opportunity to be embraced. Those stuck in the former mindset will lack a proactive strategy to stay relevant and end up having the rules dictated to them, relegated to a perpetual state of playing catch-up. It’s not a long-term strategy.
Disrupters are hunting for ways to get to your customers with more to offer – and you need to see them coming. Once they find an opening, they can scale up quickly and at minimal cost. Speed is an area of focus across every industry. Today’s customers expect things to happen sooner and with greater efficiency. Data, along with analytics, algorithms and automation, drive that acceleration and make historical benchmarks irrelevant.
The keys to survival
Business leaders should be trying to think like the disrupters and looking for ways to leverage technology to enhance the customer experience. The C-suite should be considering platform-based operating models, new ways to make effective use of data, bringing digital skills into the business, forming new strategic partnerships, taking an aggressive stance towards automation and helping people work with technology. The situation is especially urgent for those still lagging behind in their digital transformation efforts. There is simply not a moment to waste.
To see how we can help your business prepare, take a look at our digital transformation brochure.