The future is digital according to global futurist and innovation strategist Anders Sorman-Nilsson.
He says we are moving from an “analogue” world to one where anything that can be digitised will be digitised.
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The analogue world is one that emphasises the offline world, personal touch, nine-to-five hours and word of mouth.
In contrast, the digital world is all about online, digital connections, 24/7 operations and “word of mouse”.
“Because of digital disruption, you can go from being good to great to obsolete within a matter of months,” Sorman-Nilsson says.
“Digital disruption is a paradigm shift and it will be your downfall unless you’re connected to its dynamics.”
He points to Kodak, Borders and Blockbuster as examples of businesses which failed to adapt to the digital revolution.
According to Sorman-Nilsson, even the digital disruptors are being disrupted.
That’s what’s happening to music on Apple iTunes which is being displaced by digital music subscription services Spotify and Rdio.
Strategise for success
But Sorman-Nilsson says traditional businesses can survive and even thrive in today’s digital world.
His “number one pro bono client” is his mother’s store, Georg Sorman, in Sweden.
The traditional bricks-and-mortar retailer has been selling men’s clothing for almost 100 years.
But it is now suffering from a classic case of digital disruption driven by the rise of online shopping.
Sorman-Nilsson says his mum, “likes the idea of staying true to history, respecting the past and making historical brand equity connect with hearts and minds in today’s quickly changing business landscape”.
But digital has the capacity to amplify the brand and make the telling of Georg Sorman’s story easier.
Sorman-Nilsson wanted to retain the business’ legacy and history while making sure the legacy and customers didn’t end today.
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