3 Ways Companies Can Navigate Digital Disruption

By Damani Short

Causes of Digital Disruption – A Global Pandemic

There are plenty of common digital disruption examples likecomplex software & technology, adoption of new tools & processes along with the lack of change management strategy. But, now is the time for bold moves to enable, protect and champion your employees.The global pandemic has triggered a new era of digital disruption. It is also an unprecedented catalyst for digital transformation. Many companies were caught off-guard when it came to their digital capabilities and their impact on employees. Successful digital initiatives that were once “the future” accelerated their speed and transformed overnight into the Business of Now. Reasons “why not” were tossed out the window, putting it off for another day was no longer an option and the fear of change was replaced by something bigger. 

What is Digital Disruption?

Digital disruption is an effect by which new technologies and approaches disrupt existing industries and processes. It is a newly introduced technology that can completely change an existing system and how people interact with them. The term is used to describe both the shift in business models and the shift in customer-supplier relationships. In business terms, these are the technologies that transform how customers interact with a business and buy its products and services. This phenomenon is becoming more common as the world moves toward a more digital era, where everything from cars to coffee is being bought online.

How Does Digital Disruption Impact Business?

There are consequences of ignoring digital disruption that can impact businesses. The growth of a business can be steady or exponential, but it is not guaranteed to continue indefinitely. For any business to survive, it must embrace change. Failing to adapt quickly to new technologies and evolving consumer preferences can have disastrous consequences, especially regarding software management and collaboration within the business, irrespective of its size or sector.

Many people misunderstand ‘disruption’ as negative as it’s something that might be considered as a hurdle in achieving goals or completing tasks. However, in business, it might be a blessing in disguise. The only negative consequence of digital disruption is for those who try to ignore it or try to fight it. Those who choose to embrace it often find it to be benefiting their business in various ways, which ultimately leads to success.

Digital Disruption Requires Bold Moves at the Speed of Transformation

By its very nature, digital transformation can be unclear and slow to be realized because it means change – seismic, far-reaching change. We’ve seen expedited change take place out of necessity through swift decision-making,  a business-centered technology approach and a hyper-focus on users, including employees. The speed of digital transformation has now become a business imperative that determines a company’s success. Technology leaders now have the opportunity to make bold pivots to successfully navigate digital disruption in this new normal, to enable, protect and champion their employees.

The 3 Best Responses to Digital Disruption

Here are three ways companies can successfully navigate disruption to the benefit of their employees:

  1. Fill the Technology Gaps of Working from Home
  2. Bring Cloud Computing Down to Earth
  3. Double-down on your Security Investment

1. Fill the technology gaps created by the digital disruption of working from home

As companies have implemented video conferencing to replace travel or face-to-face meetings, they have had to upgrade networks or build support options. While remote work had already been happening, the forced move to working from home for the majority of the workforce has revealed unresolved issues, such as security gaps and subpar collaboration tools. Companies are building better capabilities for those who continue to work from home. However, technology alone won’t fill the gaps. This disruption has uncovered process, collaboration and relationship-building gaps as well. Make technology decisions by reviewing all the gaps first, then determine how to best support your employees.

2. Bring Cloud Computing Down to Earth

Not so long ago, cloud computing was hot. Putting files “in the cloud” was a shiny buzzword term that executives used with investors, yet no one really knew what operational benefit it would yield. Of course there is the advantage of better digital transformation ROI, but the true value of cloud computing, entailing application migration to fully integrate systems and create new workflows, can be achieved. You are going to have to expect a rocky road as processes are redefined and people re-acclimate. However, greater streamlining and capability for automation have only increased in value, as processes are being disrupted and resources are more constrained. While moving to a cloud infrastructure is not a binary answer for mid- to-small-market companies, it’s important to align this decision to what really pays off for your operating model.

3. Double-down on your Security Investment

Remember flip phones? Well, they grew up, from elevated walkie-talkies to widely adopted, complex computing systems. Like the flip phone, security threats can grow up into something much more significant. But in the case of COVID-19, a new threat materialized overnight: Cyberattackers taking advantage of the fearful and stressful pandemic environment to boost their phishing schemes. Previously, people may have been suspicious of an email asking for their banking information. But these days, people may be less skeptical of an email about COVID-19 outbreak data and more apt to open it, with dangerous consequences to their device and the network. In this situation, increased employee awareness and training and strengthening security software requires an immediate response to protect your company and your people.

The Impact of Digital Disruption

Technology leaders are demonstrating that digital disruption has actually positively impacted their productivity and business continuity, which have been most deeply felt by employees. Swift, decisive moves and a proactive mindset by leadership created those benefits. As we saw after the 2008 economic downturn, companies that looked ahead and made brave changes to favorably position themselves emerged strong and solvent when the economy stabilized. When this current crisis has passed, the economy will move forward again, and it will be more digital than ever. So now is the time to make bold moves to enable, protect and champion your most valuable asset: your employees.   

If you’re looking for guidance in navigating digital disruption, contact Lexico.