Digital disruption has been the defining feature of the past decade – and it’s clear that this will only continue. Three quarters of business leaders believe that their sector will fundamentally change by 2021.
Digital disruption is not a negative force, but it is an unstoppable one, and for businesses to succeed in 2017 and beyond they will need to adapt their strategy accordingly. But rather than technology alone, ideas and relationships – ultimately the principle of co-creation – will determine who thrives with digital.
Co-creation means businesses working with technology experts to bring together previously unconnected areas of expertise, creating new digital solutions then delivering them at speed and scale. 2017 will see co-creation become more widespread, as organisations embrace the advantages this approach brings.
Further shift away from long-established verticals
Importantly, the opportunity to be grasped in digital disruption means entirely new concepts are emerging called, ‘digital arenas’. These represent a shift away from long-established verticals such as retail, finance and manufacturing, towards far reaching, emerging markets.
Start-ups and challengers are driving this charge, as they can use digital quickly to offer services that supersede traditional markets; think of how Amazon has moved from initially acting as an online bookseller to being a leading music and media streaming service and Internet of Things innovator. This shift will only continue in 2017.
Agility will be key to matching digital change of pace
Digital disruption has created a wholly new pace of digital change. Digitally native companies – like Amazon and Uber – aren’t hindered by legacy technology and can turn a sector upside down by quickly using digital technologies.
As a result, businesses must be able to move quickly keep up with changing markets; 71% of the business leaders we surveyed said that digital disruption means organisations need to innovate faster to remain relevant.
For all organisations, agility is key to harnessing the possibilities that digital brings. In 2017, successful businesses will embrace the need to act with speed and implement strategies that allow them to do so – and here again collaboration is key.
Duncan Tait is director and corporate executive officer, SEVP and head of EMEIA and Americas for Fujitsu.