Five ways startups can prepare for digital disruption and the future of work

The way we work is changing. We are now firmly in the age of the mobile worker, with the number of connected devices expected to grow to 21 billion in the next four years.

New devices, from smart meters to smart cars, will bring with them new roles requiring new skills and qualifications. These new devices, new jobs and new skills will replace many of today’s jobs.

Recent RedEye research conducted with executives at leading enterprise groups across Australia has identified what role startups will play in the Future of Work (FoW), with five key themes becoming apparent.

1. Collaboration

Collaboration is a key trend emerging from research into the FoW, particularly for startups who are looking towards enterprise as potential clients. In that situation, startups will understand that they are one of many solutions working with that particular enterprise.

So the more their solution integrates with the other associated startups, the more value they will provide to their client and the more likely they are to retain that relationship.

This collaborative approach equals less churn and a better overall outcome for both the startups and enterprise.

2. We’re all transitioning

A recent discussion paper released by StartupAUS identified that our economy is in transition, meaning that while we’re concentrating on developing new startups and building a fantastic startup ecosystem, our potential clients in enterprise are also transitioning.

Many industries are being disrupted and the companies are reacting to this, changing up their business processes and learning how to buy from startups.

So while the startup community continues to navigate its way through this disruptive period, it’s critical to remember that our clients are learning too, and we’re all in this transition together.

3. Change management

A leading transition phase identified in the FoW is change-management. This opens up a great opportunity for startups to be able to provide solutions to facilitate this, and help enterprise on their change-management journey.

That might require specific skills, capability or capacity inside the startup to be able to deliver change-management type services, or to have a change-management plan relevant to their product or service.

4. Disrupting ourselves

The FoW is problem-centric not solution-centric, and as startups we need to disrupt ourselves as well. We need to be looking at problems that we can solve or that our potential clients need solving.

Further to this, we need to consider the entire issue, rather than building a solution that may only address one part of the problem – if the client feels there is a more encompassing solution available, they move on.

Therefore, it’s critical that startups continue to innovate and disrupt themselves to remain relevant.

5. Talent

The market for talent is becoming increasingly competitive as more companies adopt innovation and technology that helps them enter the FoW.

Adding diversity into your team is crucial, and in the FoW age diversity in particular, is an important factor.

Our technological future will present a whole range of potential problems that will require people who have experience to solve, and as a result of that, the whole industry will have an opportunity to mature.

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