If you think things are moving quickly today, well, they’re only going to get faster and more disruptive. Klaus Schwab, in his book, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” writes, “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.” Against the backdrop of today’s technology landscape, it’s hard to take the other side of this argument.
From established market leaders, to fast-growth startups, the impact of digital disruption is being felt at all levels of the business world. But what do we mean when we talk about digital disruption? Simply put, digital disruption is the change being wrought by the inexorable march of long-term trends: Moore’s law is driving more powerful computing, faster networking, and cheaper storage. The effect of these changes is cumulative, with each successive innovation building upon the last. The pace of change accelerates over time. A short list of what’s impacting business today would start with the above and add cloud computing, big data, mobility, open-source software, in-memory computing, and the API economy.
Whether you’re a multinational organization or a cool startup with a great idea, these innovations have radically changed the playing field for businesses. Forrester’s James McQuivey describes this transformation: “The force of digital disruption doesn’t just reduce barriers, it obliterates them. This allows the disruptor to take new ideas . . . and rapidly pursue target customers at almost no cost and in the space of a few days, rather than years.”