The rules of doing business have changed. Technology has brought about ways to develop new business but is also challenging long-established business models. The concept of the expression ‘digital disruption’ is becoming mainstream. Digital transformation is de rigueur.
Customer expectations have become more demanding. The use of mobile technologies and social media channels have led to the expectation that almost any question will be answered in the moment. Cloud-based technologies have created new opportunities to collaborate. Start-up hubs that are easy to establish are just as quick to close down. The mantra of ‘fail fast and often’ seems contrary to traditional ways of working built around concepts of certainty and safety, however misled. Successful ideas must be scalable, in an instant.
Through the use and adaptation of new technology the barrier of entry to new and innovative businesses has never been lower. New competitors emerge and technologies converge to bring about new opportunities. Look no further than airbnb or Uber if you need convincing. But many unknown companies too are leveraging the benefits of digital technology and innovation.
At the same time, security threats are emerging, including cyber, as technologies don’t respect borders cultures or attitudes. Brought together these new forces require organisations to view themselves differently and enter into a culture of being willing and able to transform.
Embracing the concept of digital is critical in the decision to be innovative. Technology alone is rarely the answer, the willingness to make change often is. Culture and habits are hard to break. How does an organisation work its way through this new, increasingly international, landscape? How does it benchmark present working conditions against a future digital roadmap? As the saying goes, ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”