Digital Disruption Isn’t a Buzzword – It’s a Reality Check

10 mins

Digital disruption is crucial to business survival. Businesses can either embrace this and p...

Digital disruption is crucial to business survival. Businesses can either embrace this and prosper or reject it and flounder. It’s that simple. Some industries were once considered immune from disruption. Not any longer. Healthcare, governmental services, manufacturing and finance are now feeling the pressure to embrace change or stare oblivion in the face, just as tech businesses do. 

2019 alone has been yet another year of momentous innovation. 5G has arrived and with it a radical shake-up of the telecommunications sector. Goldman Sachs, a vocal sceptic of blockchain, launched a crypto investing product. The Internet of Things (IoT) is driving business changes through data insights that improve marketing, increase sales and decrease costs. Artificial intelligence is being increasingly employed to automate processes, changing the way that businesses interact with customers online.

Beyond this we’ve witnessed the rise of virtual and augmented reality and drone technology soar with applications as varied as traffic monitoring, parcel delivery, disaster relief, even aerial mapping of large-scale pockets of agricultural land. 

Digital disruption isn’t a trend, nor is a temporary fad. It continues to shake-up a most every commercial sector. In all probability, technology will shape economies in the years to come. 

The Changing Face of Blue-Chip Companies 

According to an analysis of more than 3,600 blue-chip global companies with revenues of at least $100 million conducted by Accenture, a leading multinational professional services company who provide strategy, consulting, digital technology and operations services, 63% of face high levels of disruption in the coming years. 44% are susceptible to severe disruption. 

This may sound alarming; however, the timing and pace of the disruption is entirely in-keeping with forecast predictions. Moreover, a drastic change to service offerings is preventable by pivoting alignment. 

Successful enterprise is all about investing in core businesses, even as they execute a carefully choreographed transition, one that favours new the opportunities that tech innovation affords. Assets, resources and innovation are balanced to reflect the past, present and future of the business. The ability to achieve this leaves businesses that might have been vulnerable to digital disruption secure as the times are changing – something that makes investors rejoice. 

In all this disruption, with some businesses scrambling to get a foothold in the emerging commercial landscape, the most important piece of the puzzle to solidify market position can be lost – customer experience. 

Embracing a Cultural Change

The days of planning a commercial strategy and executing objectives over a five or ten-year period are gone. The pace that digital technology evolves has forced many businesses to assess their long and short-term strategies. Progression and innovation are paramount. This is clearly apparent in tech industry recruitment. 

To put this into context, cloud computing, big data and AI have only gained significant mainstream traction in the last few years. Voice activated personal assistants, like Amazon’s Echo and Alexa appeared in 2017 and Apple Pay was launched in 2015. 

Consumers have adopted digital lifestyles. Businesses must embrace this new cultural paradigm and change the way that they operate and interact with their customers. Long-term strategies are simply not sustainable. 

Why is this so important? Culture is a key determiner of successful transformation. Evolving technologies, infrastructure and processes simply would not be possible without individual buy in. It’s imperative for business leaders to embrace a cultural change and map out solutions with timelines that complement the evolution of opinion. Consider this: if your business model isn’t as convenient to customers as a competitor, you may find customers gravitate towards them and away from you. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) and especially mobility should be adopted. Business leaders need to filter an ethos of community and convenience, not only across the customer base but, within their organisations in a transparent way. It’s difficult for organisations to undergo digital transformation if their entire culture is rigid. The shift in culture leads to seamless adoption. It may take time, and there could be bumps during the initial stages but in the long-term, it’s the only option. 

Disruption Fails if the Customer Experience is Compromised

Whether working with recruitment agencies in Manchester or buying products from Amazon, no one ever complained that their customer experience was too good. In an age when advanced technologies, such as AI are beginning to become accessible to everyone, not losing the customer service is a key trust differentiator.

Remember that unless you’re Apple, Facebook or Google, getting customers to buy into your brand is still the cornerstone of success – and even these technology behemoths still invest tens of millions, if not more, in delivering exceptional customer service. In today’s consumer-driven environment, organisations fight for that competitive edge and building brand loyalty by optimising customer experiences is an effective way to achieve this. 

Any business considering the affect that digital disruption will have on their customers must first ask themselves are more important question: what effect would it have on your business if you didn’t innovate or evolve to offer customers a better service? 54% of customers stop supporting a company after a single bad experience. Can you afford not to evolve your service offering to cater to the expectations of fickle consumers?

Digital Disruption Isn’t a Buzzword – It’s a Reality Check

If there’s one single takeaway from digital disruption it’s this: don’t just service customers, delight them. This is how you’ll build brand loyalty and thrive regardless of digital disruption. Servicing customers is not the same as customer service. Infuse personalisation, convenience and transparency and you’ll create a culture that will attract customers – and, with a sustained approach, create brand advocates.

As we embark into the 2020’s, digital disruption will only increase. Our insatiable appetite for innovation is clear. Just as people want newer, quicker and more convenient ways to communicate, be entertained and learn so too do they expect businesses to provide them with a level of service that caters to the swift and definitive solutions they’ve grown accustomed to.

Neglect to embrace digital disruption at your peril.

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