Disruption, as such, is something that can be considered a hurdle in achieving your goal or completing your tasks. There can be many examples of disruption, but the easiest one to relate could be some Windows Update that makes you restart your machine when you are middle of completing a report. Or, if the Internet goes down while watching something on YouTube or Netflix, it is a disruption. These are general disruptions and not necessarily a problem for you. Another simple example of disruption is that you are on your way to a meeting, and the car breaks down. It is a disruption. But it is not Digital Disruption.
A Digital Disruption is digital, which threatens your personal and business goals. The above were examples of simple disruptions. They are not digital disruptions. This post aims to give you a clear meaning of Digital Disruption and provides some examples of Digital Disruption. There is an additional section on Digital Disruption vs. Disruptive Technologies as many people mix up both terms.
Digital Disruption – Definition and Meaning
For it to be a digital disruption, it has to meet the following qualities:
- It has to be a disruption – that is, a threat to your personal or business goals in the short or long term
- It has to be something digital – for example, something related to the Internet of Things, some mobile app, a new technology, or anything related to the evergreen digital evolution.
A digital evolution that arises in due course of daily life that threatens to delay, obstruct or destroy your personal or business goals is called a digital disruption.
Examples of Digital Disruptions
The simplest example I can think of right now is the disruption created by cab companies like Uber to private fleets of taxis. The regular taxis relied on hand signals while plying empty on roads or simply waiting for a passenger to turn up at a taxi stand. With Uber coming up with an easy-to-use mobile app to book cabs, regular taxis have been a massive digital disruption.
What is the digital disruption in this case? A digital app has come up to eat into the customer base of regular taxis that still wait at taxi stands or roam on roads to pick up passengers. Instead of waiting for a taxi at the roadside or walking to the nearest taxi stand, the customers now use the Uber mobile app to book a cab that picks them up right from there.
What could be the solution to Uber disruption? The taxi companies have to change their style of functioning. They have to move forward and embrace the technique of Uber or provide even better techniques. Like they did in Mumbai (India), they may unite and come up with a competitor app for booking cabs. If curious, the app for booking normal yellow/black taxis in Bombay is 9211.
There may be better solutions to the digital disruption caused by Uber and Ola. You need to brainstorm on the issue to find it out.
Likewise, another example of digital disruption is how Netflix is eating into the profits of CBS. Until a few years ago, people could watch shows, etc., only on television sets. CBS, NBC, and ABS broadcast these shows to their TV sets. Since there were only these three, they could charge higher advertisement rates and higher subscription rates. With the entry of Netflix and likes, the mode of delivery of videos has changed.
Netflix is a digital disruption to CBS.
You can subscribe to Netflix for a small sum, choose the video you wish to watch, and that’s it. The video will be streamed to your computer, or you can use a dongle to stream it to your television. This practice has hurt CBS, ABS, and NBC badly. They don’t have the monopoly anymore. What’s more, their subscribers are shifting to webcasting companies as the latter offers on-demand video delivery where they can choose the shows they wish to watch. Plenty of other options offered by – for example, Netflix – has not only reduced ABS’ subscriber base, but they also have more competition and hence can’t charge high for advertisements. Thus the revenue has been affected badly.
What is the solution here? To counter the digital disruption caused by the likes of Netflix to ABS, CBS, NBC, etc., the broadcasting companies have to provide similar options to their subscribers so that they stick to them. They’ll have to provide web delivery, video-on-demand, and similar options so that they can compete with the net-based delivery services like Netflix.
These examples of digital disruption should help you understand the meaning of digital disruption in all terms. I’ll come up with another article shortly that tells you what all digital technologies could be digital disruptions to you in the recent future.
Digital Disruption vs. Disruptive Technology
The term Digital Disruption is often confused with Disruptive Technology. Digital disruption is different from the term disruptive technology. The former is just a disruption caused by technological evolution affecting certain business types when digital disruptions vs. disruptive technology. At the same time, the latter is an entirely revolutionary technology that changes the way people work – forever. Thus, the effect of disruptive technology is not just a few entities or a sector but a vast base.
In both the above examples of digital disruption, they affect a particular market segment. The following example of disruptive technology will tell you how it is different and more dangerous than digital disruption.
The most potent example of disruptive technology was the invention of the PC. It was not simply a digital disruption but a disruptive technology that changed – forever – the way people work – across all market sectors.
While Netflix’s example (digital disruption) affects only the entertainment sector, the PC (disruptive technology) changed the style of work in all sectors of the economy. Other examples of disruptive technology are Email (replaced conversation style from paper to electronic) and smartphones (killed traditional phone business). Another example is that while smartphones are digital disruption technology, WhatsApp disrupts phone carriers. These apps provide calling and texting at much lower costs, significantly cutting into their market segment.
In short, digital disruption may be considered an obstacle that can be eliminated by changing a few processes of a business. At the same time, disruptive technology causes people to overhaul their businesses completely or close down.
In a few days, we will look at some of the top technologies that will cause Digital Disruption to your business.
What is causing digital disruption?
The rapid increase in internet speed, affordable data, and social networks caused digital disruption. It not only changed the way we consume data, but with smartphones in every hand, they made it instant. As more and more people connect, even the smaller companies can connect and grow faster than ever.