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Digital Disruption – A new meaning

over 4 years ago by Neil Pickstone

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I was with a senior executive from Gartner the other day and we were talking about the effect of Digital on a Business. Although I often have debates with Management Consultants most of the time they come across as being rather dull, un-inspiring and very opinionated, this particular individual however said something that caught my attention and made me think (for a change) he said ‘Digital is Disruptive’

I’d never thought of digital as disruptive, my view was that digital enabled, it encouraged sales, it introduced savings by removing manual processes, it helped with customer service and customer engagement but disruptive, no surely not.

Then he explained what he meant in more detail, when a company changes it’s website it disrupts the normal usage, when it introduces new customer service systems it’s disruptive to the customers, when it replaces existing processes it’s disruptive to the organisation.

There are many examples of changes to digital that have ruined otherwise great ideas or businesses, I remember the introduction of the child support agency a great idea that was designed to help parenting and the care of children but I also remember the problems when the system crashed or couldn’t do what was intended. Only last week the BBc announced that one of it’s projects to digitise it’s broadcast assets was under review and that was potentially be canned. Both are examples of good ideas that have been disruptive but the disruption goes further.

Volcanic’s website for example needs work, it needs updating it needs change, to do this we will have to disrupt our normal daily activity, developers will need to be used, testers will need engaging and the business team will need to spend some time specifying the work – all of which is disruptive and may not even have the benefits expected.

I agree Digital is disruptive but if you can cope, it can have a benefit, it can enable but it costs more than just the actual cost, its the hidden costs in terms of disruption to the business that you really need to consider.

To find out how Volcanic can disrupt your business give us a call and we’ll try to be gentle?

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