5 Reasons Why Digital "Transformation via Disruption" is not Always a Good Idea

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Opinion Post

Undeniably, industries worldwide have always witnessed a high failure rate. Many small businesses succeed while, many more fail. Despite that every year even more enthusiasts take entrepreneurial plunge, which implies that multifarious emotions are attached to every business. Ergo, success and failure matter more than anything in the business world.

In the midst of countless failing companies in the global economy, everyone is looking for the formula of long-term sustenance. Fundamentally, it is 'continual reinvention of business' aka ‘Transformation’.

Millions of failure stories tell us what happens when one fails to acknowledge this. For instance, Friendster happened to be the first ever social network. It should have succeeded, but it didn’t. They even committed the worst mistake of rejecting Google's purchase offer. Eventually, it could not keep up with the innovation and went southward.

Blackberry phones that were just about the first smartphones people used are hard to find today for the same reasons. They could connect people with internet, offered a chat messenger BBM when no one else did. More or less, they had been disruptive pioneers who failed to keep in pace with adversaries and lost the grounds.

On the other hand, Google Glass - being an amazing tech marvel- never witnessed commercial success, because it failed to carve a niche.

The world is full of such high potential disruptions that failed. Those who are impatient to witness a steady transformation that takes time, tend to take the route of high-speed disruption. Although disruption is not necessarily the route of disorder, it is how they go about it.

Digital Disruption & Digital Transformation: A Glimpse 

Digital transformation is the state when digital technologies are woven into all integral business areas with a purpose of bringing a fundamentals shift in operations, customer engagement, company culture, and the very core of the business. The organization takes up challenges of innovation and evolution and walks abreast with changing tech currents.

On the other hand, the influence of newly coming up technologies in affecting business practices is the digital disruption.

The Entrepreneurial Challenge

Entrepreneurial challenge-CIPL


1. Change is difficult and keeping the control is even more challenging.

Many times, mid-senior and senior level management won’t let go of the complacency of operating in comfort zones in order to implement a disruptive plan. The next challenge is to rally the workforce and technology teams towards executing the new innovative practice, develop a resonating environment, envision the same goal and strive to achieve it.

2. Cash crunch, and inadequate power to keep up with ever-changing technology trends.

Implementing the cutting edge technology would require a handsome investment. For start-ups, cash crunch and lack of authoritative power would suppress the digital disruption strategies. While grown organizations often hesitate to let the cash flow towards non-guaranteed disruptive transformation idea in order to remain shoulder to shoulder with the latest industry practices.

3. Talent Gap: Every disruption requires specific talent and skills to succeed.

Tech spectrum keeps evolving round the clock. Therefore, each developer has to stay updated with everything ‘new’ introduced in programming styles, languages, DevOps, Data Science, machine learning, AI, supply chain innovations and the lot.

In an era when recent skills can become obsolete rapidly, a versatile set of contemporary skills is all a product development team would need for breakthrough disruption. While highly skilled professionals choose to join with tech giants, how likely they are to work for your dazzling new idea? Consider yourself lucky if you can build and retain such team!

4. Narrow focus on single aspect

Organizations obsessed with walking hand in hand with digital technology often limit their focus and restrict themselves on specific areas. For instance, a web development company might get too narrowly focused on building the ideal solution that they might miss out of some game-changing moved in marketing or finance.

In brief, an organization must undergo a wholesome transformation instead of disruption in limited verticals.

5. Romanticizing disruption and never making it to the real change.

Many businesses make the mistake of spending a lot of time, efforts and money after ideating, analyzing, planning, deciding and all sort of on-paper activities. Many times, they take up certain revolutionizing activities just because others are doing it.

Having got carried away with the process itself, they barely act when it comes to implementing the same plan. Thus, digital disruption might not just work as expected for those who lack the discipline to take the idea till the end!

All in all, the companies who intend to be a part of digital transformation parade, disrupting one area wouldn’t bring an organization-level difference. In order to disrupt the existing practices, you must overpass your immediate adversaries. For entrepreneurs, ‘Mission Disruption’ might not be a way to go, no matter how tempting it sounds. Then, how should they go about innovating rapidly?

Try the following recourse maybe!

The Way Out: A Smooth Digital Transformation

Exactly that’s the point. Don’t rush into new technologies just for the sake of disrupting. Make those disruptive ideas a part of your overall organizational overhaul plan. Take your time, evaluate your scalability and ready yourself for a gradual all-inclusive transformation. First off,

  • Introspect. Know which areas in your company need a tech makeover.
  • Gather your tech talent and best people to ideate and build a strategy for achieving the set goal.
  • Embrace the latest technologies.
  • Upskill your teams.
  • Bring in automation to increase your efficiency and save time to brainstorm.
  • Replace your existing old-school techniques with more cutting-edge industry practices.
  • Review the process and repeat. Meanwhile, keep an eye on progress and results.
  • Never stop until you transform your business into a high performing organization.

Always keep in mind that, a radical change doesn’t reflect overnight. Be it digital disruption or transformation, a change is the result of consistent efforts.

Bringing it all together…...

Evidently, the imbalance between outside and inside disruption would bring you nothing but chaos that might lead you astray. Inside disruption involves metamorphosis on individual employee level. While outside disruption is the evolution of the marketplace, consumers, business tech and whole lot.

A strong leadership can transform the organization inside out. In the end, the transformation is all about taking your business model to a contemporarily viable version, which is an imperative need for any organization any time. To pull that off, one must ace smooth and consistent transformation.

How do you face disruption in your domain? Let us know in comments.

Topics : Digital Transformation

Reetam Das

Written by Reetam Das

Reetam heads the digital marketing team at Classic Informatics, a global web development company. He is passionate about technology, software products and marketing. He has spent nearly a decade helping businesses across globe deliver uncanny customer & user experiences, market faster and growth-hack effectively. He is an avid reader and a writer and shares insights based on experience that readers can actually put to use.

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