At the #CXOTour event last week, Ray Wang (@rwang0) of Constellation Research got everyone thinking by sharing insights from his new book “Disrupting Digital Business” (HBR Press). Digital threats and opportunities are everywhere. How do you know what to watch for? A simple formula will help you remember, and we’ll discuss it below.
But first, what do we mean by digital disruption?
We mean stories like: Sony, once a leader with their groundbreaking Walkman, never re-gains mojo in Apple’s post iPod era. Or, the amazing Polaroid is a camera most of today’s Millennials have never heard of. Digital innovation swiftly and surprisingly kills some companies and gives birth to others.
How do we avoid becoming digital road kill? Ray’s book is full of insights about how to thrive. In chapter 7, I discovered this gem: “Engagement driven by self-interest creates frictionless value exchange.” It got me thinking about personal encounters with novel digital experiences.
For me, travel was always a negative experience – delays, hassles, long waits, and uncertainty. But over the past two years, it’s become less painful and more manageable. I credit my changing impression to four mobile apps I now use habitually. And I’m not even someone inclined to download apps.
First, there’s the American Taxi app. No more phone calls with “press 1 for next available, 2 for a van…” I simply touch my common endpoints (home or airport) and in less than 30 seconds I have my cab number and ETA. I can even track the taxi as it approaches for pickup.
The United Airlines app, which has my frequent flyer number, often gives me a better seat with more legroom thanks to my status. I used to worry about unexpected flight delays or cancellations, but no more.
Google Now is a big help driving to the airport because it alerts me if traffic is bad and I need to start earlier than usual.
Finally SpotHero, a popular app in Chicago, helps me get the best deals on parking. I used to dread driving into the city and hunting for a spot. Now, I have directions to the garage, their hours, and it’s prepaid. Just scan in and out.
All of these apps offer great functionality and greatly reduce stress during my entire travel experience. So, as Ray observed, I engage with these brands because it’s in my interest and I get value back.
Flipping it around, how can you come up with the next cool idea for your company?
Try this formula: C2 D2 E2: To bring Digital Disruption (D2) to your competitors, spot these signs (C2) and take action (E2):
Competition out of nowhere: Disruption occurs when an unexpected competitor enters your market. Who has proximity to your customers? Even if incidental, could they be a threat?
Connected everywhere: Your products are not isolated; they are part of a connected fabric of devices and networks. How can that connectivity be valuable to your customers?
Experience around your products: Customers use your products in particular situations for a particular purpose. Explore ways to enhance the situation and make it easier to achieve the purpose.
Execution across functions: Your employees are inevitably organized into large, hierarchical teams in order to deliver and support existing products or services. But if you want to discover new ways to serve customers, you must organize into small, cross-functional teams that move quickly to seize the day.
Here at Wipro Digital, we work with global companies and brands in diverse industries to help them innovate and deliver life-changing customer experiences. We often find that the pattern to succeed in this evolving business ecosystem is to embrace rapid changes in competition, adapt products for connectivity, respond with agility by designing new customer experiences, and execute quickly to become the disruptor, not the disrupted.