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How enterprises can use digital disruption to their advantage

Digital disruption, the change brought on by new emerging technologies and ideas, is often viewed as a negative force. This is mostly based on the ‘disruption’ side of things, which impacts existing products and services within the current market. But, far from being a negative, digital disruption is simply a reality that will contribute to future success if embraced. For example, using chatbots cut business costs by $20 million last year and that’s expected to jump to $8 billion by 2022.

There have been countless examples of digital disruptors, including:

  • Netflix started out challenging the video rental giant Blockbuster, who didn’t see that the future of movie rentals was digital, with DVDs by mail before growing into the streaming service we know it as today.
  • Uber, Gett, and Lyft have driven a marked decline in the steadfastness and value of the once safe investment of NYC taxi medallions.
  • Amazon has contributed to the decline and possible fall of Barnes & Noble, as the online super-retailer engulfed the market of physical and digital books.
  • Canon and other mobile phone manufacturers knocked Kodak from its top position when they added built-in cameras to cell phones, making traditional cameras redundant.

And there’s no sign that digital innovation is slowing. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, algorithms will positively alter the behaviour of more than 1 billion global workers and by 2022, IoT will save both consumers and businesses a combined $1 trillion a year in maintenance, services, and consumables.

Enterprises that embrace digital disruption will reap the benefits—and those that resist it, or ignore it, will struggle to keep up.

Using digital disruption in business

So, how can a business embrace digital disruption and use it to its advantage? The most important thing will be for organizations to recognize that the traditional work sphere is changing and be open to making changes. A dangerous trap to fall into is believing that all the main processes are already in place and don’t need to be changed. For instance, Lidl just cancelled a transformation project after seven years because they weren’t prepared to reassess the processes connected with the software they were changing. It cost them 500 million euro.

While it might have once worked to furnish an office with computers, give employees access to the internet, phones, email, and apps—this is no longer enough for employees to do their best work. Instead, business needs to acknowledge that as technology changes, more efficient models will arise with more productive software, better messengers, faster processes, more innovative ways of doing things. Those companies that are primed and ready to grab the new technology, at least to analyse it and see how it could help their business, will be the companies that come out on the other side.

In addition, smart enterprises will need to focus on the horizon, ready to react when something promising appears, and at the same time, begin to act strategically, looking proactively for improvements that can be added to their operations.

As Bill Gates once said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

Navigate disruption with the right tools

Digital disruption points to a world of exciting possibilities, but it’s imperative that enterprises start planning ahead and putting a strategy in place to handle disruption—something that still seems to be slow to happen. For example, while 87 percent of executives believe digital disruption will disrupt their industry, only 44 percent feel their companies are prepared.

Sapho can help companies modernize their applications and adapt their workflows to not only meet the demands of their customers, but also the demands of employees who have come to expect consumer-like experiences from their systems at work. Sapho uses micro apps, built on top of existing on-premises and SaaS systems, to deliver personalized tasks and information to employees into an employee experience portal, available on any device, intranet, or messenger. In addition, Sapho helps simplify and consolidate complex workflows from multiple systems, helping to improve employee happiness and satisfaction, which in turn, results in productivity gains.

What will the next 10 years bring? No one knows. Disruption by definition, and by nature, is unpredictable. But companies can act now to improve the ways their workers collaborate, communicate, and handle the wide variety of enterprise applications that are being brought in to improve productivity and support effective work.

Topic: Digital workplace

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