Digital disruption – an opportunity or a threat?

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Digital disruption – an opportunity or a threat?

Digital disruption – an opportunity or a threat? by Mendix

In today’s digital business world, there are no more pre-defined boundaries. Your competition can come from anywhere or anyone, a market change that has put every business on guard. Couple new market threats with heightened customer expectations and it’s no surprise that digital disruption is such a hot topic.

In fact, the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation found that executives believe an average of roughly four of today’s top 10 incumbents in each industry will be displaced by digital disruption in the next five years.


And research revealed by MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) at their Symposium says that board directors estimate that 32% of revenue is at risk over the next five years due to digital disruption.

Enterprises who miss this market transformation will be upended by others. But while the market landscape may appear bleak to many, this threat can just as easily become your next big opportunity. When The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation asked respondents to describe the results of digital disruption, they focused on highly positive factors, including progress, customer value, empowerment, and general quality of life.


Alan D. Wilson, CEO at McCormick, says it best in this quote used in PWC’s 2015 US CEO survey, “It’s not just a small move to one thing or another, it’s a diversification and fragmentation of where the consumer is, and that’s opened up the opportunity for a lot of competitors, as well as opportunities for us, to grow.”

So businesses see the benefits of becoming digital. And they clearly feel the urgency associated with competitive threats. But how can businesses keep pace when research shows that they’re already behind, held back by development practices that aren’t suited for innovation initiatives?

Businesses are overwhelmingly failing to turn their ideas into reality, with 71% saying that they are unable to deliver new digital functionality at the rate of demand. Moreover, 64% of projects that do progress fail to meet business expectations, due to a lack of team alignment and unclear requirements. Delivering the right applications at the right time is essential to business growth and differentiation. Moreover, businesses need to continuously iterate upon their applications, as their digitally savvy audience preferences continue to change.

Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Inc., addressed this point in the PwC survey, saying “Nobody has an enormous lock on the market. The markets are always changing, and it’s a great time to be listening, learning, figuring out what problems are unsolved with customers, because there are always emergent problems. And that’s how you win.”

We’re now living in the age of digital Darwinism (see, where you evolve or you become irrelevant. The pace at which you drive digital innovation will tie directly into your business’ success – and its ROI potential. To succeed, you need a clear plan on how to tackle digital innovation plans, recognizing that what got your business to its current level of success may not be what gets your business to future success.

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