Strategy

Staying competitive in the digital world: Is it time to disrupt?

Martin Kovacs /

For legacy companies caught up in the ongoing digitisation that is sweeping industry, it can be a matter of quickly taking action or falling by the wayside.

The digital evolution continues to roll on, with traditional business models being upended and new models forged — and the pace of change can be breakneck.

For example, take the arrival of Netflix in the Australian market. While the streaming giant is still a comparatively new entrant here, it has played a significant role in changing how viewers access video content.

While Netflix has grown, free-to-air audiences have fallen. Within a short time, free-to-air networks have found themselves in a position of needing to adapt and keep pace with change or risk losing market share.

But these challenges are not limited to the media or entertainment industries. As reported by Fortune, in taking over as the chief executive of Campbell Soup in 2011, Denise Morrison says she “felt like Rip Van Winkle”.

“The company went to sleep and the world changed,” Morrison reflects.

She says the company knew it needed to disrupt itself, and this in turn led to it creating a personalised diet startup.

“To do a startup company inside a Fortune 500 company is pretty interesting,” she says.

One way or another, action will need to be taken, and it’s not just legacy companies that need to keep pace with change. The disruptors themselves need to consider potential future developments.

Gartner recently forecast five of the top seven digital giants will intentionally self-disrupt to create their next leadership opportunity by 2020.

“Digital giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google disrupted industries by looking to previously unexplored options such as chatbots, conversational UX, and visual and voice search,” Gartner observes.

“However, the giants have grown so large, it is difficult to find new external areas to disrupt, so these enterprises will turn to self-disruption, e.g. potentially disrupting their own revenue bases to create new opportunities.”

NOW READ: Four disruptive trends you can’t afford to ignore

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Martin Kovacs

Martin Kovacs is a journalist with experience covering the IT, consumer electronics, retail, finance and energy sectors.

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