Digital disruptions in the 21st century


The era of technology and digital media has catapulted our society and the world into a new dimension. The activities that were once considered tedious and tiresome are now being completed with machines. Gone are the days when humans fretted about what route to choose when traveling to a new destination within a city or in another city. Google Maps has eased for us the decision to take the fastest route. Similarly, desktop publishing software has brought comfort in the lives of writers, editors, designers, and decision-makers. These are just a few examples of how technology has been helping humans.
In this regard, the concept of digital disruption is the most significant. A digital disruption, in its simplest definition, is the modification that transpires when new and unique digital technologies alter the business models of companies. They change how goods and services are sold, bought, and used.
In a broader context, digital innovation leads to a digital disruption to occur. Elements such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and big data facilitate digital innovation to enter our lives.
When digital innovation shifts organizations’ focus from one business model to the other, it also alters the mechanism and processes involved in how products and services are offered, sold, promoted, and utilized. Some of the common examples of digital disruption include the arrival of the digital camera. It overshadowed the industry offering film photography and replaced it with a camera running on a battery and storing hundreds of images on an SD card. Companies such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon disrupted the media industry while applications such as Google Drive and WeTransfer disrupted how we store, manage, and transfer data. Moreover, ride-hailing services such as Careem and Uber have disrupted how we used public transport.
Organizations from any sector must pursue a digital media strategy. This can be done to promote itself through social media or to connect with customers through Android and iOS applications. Furthermore, companies need to embrace digital innovation and digital disruption to gain a competitive edge. The customers of a company automatically accept this shift and adhere to the new strategy that it follows. For instance, a bakery offering bakery items through an online application will be a welcome step by its customers. They will order and receive the products at their doorsteps and will pay the money once the products are received or pay the money online.
The need of the hour is for business executives and decision-makers to accept that digital disruption is real. If they do not follow it then some other company in the industry will pursue it to gain a competitive advantage. Moreover, a digital innovation strategy and a digital disruption model must be a part of the company’s mission statement or it must be followed at some part of the operational strategy. Companies can also follow initiatives that can result in disruption. They must evaluate their data including consumer insights and market trends to plan how best to use technology to facilitate their target market. A session of brainstorming among the employees must be held to generate ideas to help the company use technology and digital media for its advantage.
The secret behind digital disruption is for the companies to evaluate their current market position, understand the needs of their customers, determine the direction of their suppliers and retailers (if any), foresee changes in the market trend and identify the best possible ways to use technology when offering products and services.
Digital disruptions, however, can occur at several levels. They can occur at the individual level through mobile connectivity or at workplaces in the form of managing data. Workplace social media disseminates information clearly and effectively while the digitization of content enhances digital communication in industries that meritoriously share it with the target audience. Social media is also an example of digital disruption that blends content based on text, images, and videos that distributes news, information, entertainment, and stories to people.
The digital disruption is not a one-time process. It will keep occurring among industries to facilitate stakeholders involved including customers, clients, suppliers, and retailers among others. Digital disruption is the future and it is happening now.