Digital disruption in business: turning a threat into an opportunity

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Every business wants to be successful, but what if you encounter digital disruption? Most of those striving for growth are hindered by it, and executives often see it as a threat to the survival of businesses. 51% of executives see tech-driven disruption over the next five years as posing a high level of risk to their business. The fact is that with the rate and calibre of technological developments in almost every sector represent the potential downfall of even the most established and prosperous companies.

Don’t get left behind

Attempting to avoid digital disruption is practically the nail in the coffin for your business. Not facing up the technological transformation of your market won’t change the fact that it’s happening. Taking that approach will result in you being left behind by your competitors.

Acknowledging change is one thing, but being proactive about it will potentially save your business in the face of digital disruption. Not only that but if you’re smart about it, your business can prosper from it. But how?

Business agility is considered by 90% of organisations to be the most critical element for success. Luckily, SMEs can be much more adaptive than more prominent companies. If and when digital disruption happens, you can more easily adapt your business model.

Keep your ear to the ground

Many well-known businesses have failed because they didn’t account for the possibility that their industry could be completely overhauled. Blockbuster is one of the most widely cited examples; they were once the go-to option to rent films. They probably should have guessed that the emergence of online streaming services in an increasingly digitalised world was more than a blip. However, their lack of foresight and reactivity to the clear signs of an evolving industry meant that they were left well behind the curve and the business couldn’t be sustained, leading to the company declaring bankruptcy in 2010.

The moral of the story is that no matter how successful your business model has been in the past, change is inevitable, and you have to be prepared to innovate when the time comes.

Don’t be afraid of change

When people are afraid of something, their instinct might be to bury their head in the sand and ignore it until it’s too late. If you look at digital disruption not as something to fear, but as an opportunity for your business to get ahead of the curve by adapting, you are more likely to exceed during digital transformation, even if it does take a little extra work and thinking outside of the box.

Be the disruptor

Being ahead of the pack pays off more than lagging behind. 83% of executives who see their business as disruptors of the market reported increased revenue over the last three years, compared with 54% of other companies.

If you see your business as inherently more innovative than others, you could always aim to be parts of the 13.5% of early adopters instead. This means going with your gut about what disruption lies ahead and investing in what you think the future of your industry holds. More risk is involved, but if you have fine-tuned instincts that repeatedly pay off, then what’s better than seeing potential digital disruption than being the disruptor itself? Getting ahead of the curve and looking for opportunities to apply new technologies to your business model could be the way forward.

Despite this, it’s not always easy as an SME to have a big impact on disruption. Aiming to be a part of the early majority will reduce risk to your business.

What can you put into action today?

Blue Ocean Strategy is a proven approach and a systematic way to grow your business and become a disruptor. It lets you know everything about what you need for strategic success. It also argues that cutthroat competition results in nothing but a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. It represents the simultaneous pursuit of high product differentiation and low cost and thereby making competition irrelevant, and is useful when demand exceeds demand.

Our business coaching helps businesses utilise this strategy to grow, even in the face of digital disruption, and grow your profit margins by as much as 46%.

Conclusion

Whether you thrive on innovation and the challenges that digital disruption brings, or it wants to send you running for the hills, it is an unavoidable reality for most businesses. Being adaptable, astute and open to change will work in your favour when faced with a disruptive market. Take digital disruption in your stride, see it as an opportunity for growth, and don’t hide from the inevitable.

If you’d like more information on how to be more innovative or are struggling to acclimatise to digital transformation, KUB is here to help. Get in touch to see how you could be developing a digital strategy to keep you ahead of the competition or enrol in our complimentary course to use the digital marketing funnel to drive sales.