Digital disruption is all around us. It’s unlikely that you haven’t heard the term “disruption” referring to new businesses that are taking over large segments of existing market places. But what exactly is this type of disruption and, as the word sounds, is it an entirely bad phenomenon for IT services? Well, that depends on whether you are the disruptor or the disruptee.
A long time ago, someone chipped away at a rock, or cut up a tree, and created a wheel. Disruption! Of course, this was a very good disruption of the then current norms and made it much easier to move large objects…or large animals that were about to become a scrumptious meal. The same goes for the Gutenberg printing press, the cotton gin, Edison’s lightbulb, et cetera.
In today’s world, disruption is all around us, largely in the form of Digital Disruption. Let’s look at a few.
Netflix. Think of what it did to Blockbuster. Viacom bought Blockbuster in 1994 for $8.4 billion. At its peak, in 2004, Blockbuster had more than 9,000 stores and more than 83,000 employees. Today, there is one Blockbuster store in the world…in Alaska. Did Wayne Huizenga, Blockbuster’s founder, see the writing on the wall, or did he just like receiving a very big check? This is a prime example of disruption. Is it good or is it bad? Well, if you are a Netflix shareholder, it’s good. If you own Viacom, not so much.
Uber. Founded in San Francisco in 2009, today there are more Uber drivers in New York City than there are taxicabs. The value of a New York City taxi “medallion”, the license to own a cab, has fallen from well over $1,000,000 to about one quarter of that. In this short time, Uber has become global.
But What About IT Services?
These are extreme cases, but digital disruption, even on a small scale, can help individual businesses gain business advantages over competitors. But digital disruption isn’t just about the rise of specific companies. There have been other events in recent history that were disruptive on a much broader scale. Just in the field of technology and IT services we have seen:
Personal Computers: The transformation in almost everyone’s daily lives have been tremendous. Can you imagine your business functioning today without computers? Think of the increased personnel you would need in almost every department.
Cloud Computing: Since we are a company that specializes in cloud computing and IT services we understand more than most how important an event this has become for many reasons, including the security and capacity it brings to document storage and availability.
Mobile Computing: The advent of mobile computing, still another form of digital disruption, means that when your people are on the road or working from home, both of which have become common, they will have all their digital tools available all the time. It’s a great advantage when you are in a prospect’s office or trying to sell a new idea to a client.
Artificial Intelligence: No, the robots aren’t taking over, but AI can process data faster than humans and can provide analyses and data driven insights much faster than a human being.
Data: Data is being created and stored today at an incredible rate. Those companies that learn how to harness it and use it (think AI) will have an enormous competitive edge regardless of the business they are in.
This barely scratches the surface of digital disruption and how it can benefit those businesses that learn how to use managed IT services to gain footholds in new markets or grow in existing ones. If you would like to learn more, we suggest you give us a call today to learn how Novatech can equip you with the technology to power your business forward. Let’s talk 770.569.4600.