Is your business about to get blindsided?

Deloitte have recently released their excellent report into digital disruption entitled “Digital disruption: Short fuse, big bang?” which outlines the industries who will be most at risk from new entrants wielding new digital business models. It is definitely worth reading and you can download the report here.

For those who are after some practical examples of how their business might be affected though, here are some specifics on how technology can disrupt established industries.

1. It presents alternative ways for customers to buy.

Example: Dynamic pricing – prices can alter in response to demand. Airlines mastered this years ago. There is an interesting example of a 24 hour Liquor Store in Windsor Melbourne whose digital shelf prices go up as the night goes on and other sources of alcohol dry up.

Example: Pay as you consume – whether its smart public transport tickets or music streaming services like Spotify, technology means the days of having to sell a product each time a customer wants to use it have gone.

2. It allows products to be consumed in different ways

Example: Mobile and tablet news – newspapers can be consumed on the go without the paper.

Example: Cloud software – most of the software and data doesn’t have to be installed and owned by the user. The software can be paid for on a per use or subscription basis.

3. It breaks down information disparities.

Example: Price comparison sites – whether its insurance, energy suppliers or broadband services, price comparison sites have disrupted many industries with commoditised products

4. It breaks down physical boundaries.

Example: Global online shopping – Australian retail, long protected by the tyranny of distance, has been laid to waste by US and UK online stores who not only have superior products, but better prices.

Example: Local specialists going national – there are numerous examples of local boutique retailers who’ve been able to sell and distribute their product nationally thanks to the internet and modern logistics.

5. It makes some activities more productive.

Example: The ubiquitous handheld device – whether in restaurants, warehouses, delivery vans or Apple Stores it has cut the time and errors of handling customer orders in numerous industries.

6. It facilitates better product personalisation.

Example: Design your own product – my favourite is design your own fixed speed bike.

Example: Parcel tracking – no longer a differentiator but when it came out, it added personalisation to what was very much a bulk commodity business.

7. It allows products to be brought to market faster.

Example: News – an obvious one perhaps, but who needs to wait until the next news paper edition to find out the latest news anymore.