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Digital or Die: Eight Digital Disruption Facts That Business Leaders Can't Afford to Ignore

05/11/2015 10:03 GMT | Updated 04/11/2016 09:12 GMT

Digital disruption is not just some fashionable buzz-phrase that will soon be yesterday's news. It's a seismic upheaval that's only just begun, and it has massive implications. Innovative digital technologies are not only disrupting business operations in ways that have not previously been seen, they are fundamentally changing the way we do business.

It's no longer enough to simply incorporate a vague 'digital' strategy. Business leaders and CIOs must act at lightning speed to recognize and drive the latest digital technologies and trends if they are to survive. Here are 8 reasons why:

  1. Most of us are among the disrupted rather than the disruptors - Only 7% of companies surveyed by Gartner in 2014 felt they were truly digital and of the remainder, only 83% felt they would be digital by 2017.
  2. Disruption could cost you a third of your business - According to MIT's Center for Information Systems, by 2020, 32% of revenue will be at risk due to digital disruption. That could stick a real spanner in your growth projections for the next few years.
  3. Huge opportunity or existential threat - the choice is yours. Digital disruption means companies can no longer be complacent. They can either seize the opportunity - like game-changers Netflix or Instagram - or see their business disappear - like Kodak or Blockbuster.
  4. Speed is the key to survival - What all digital businesses have in common is that they can rapidly turn new technology into growth opportunities and react quickly to emergent threats. Take for example Google versus the advertising industry, Amazon versus retail, Uber versus licensed taxis and so on.
  5. Your employees are way ahead of you - As empowered users and even entire lines of business fail to get what they need from IT quickly enough, they are acquiring solutions elsewhere, bypassing IT altogether and leading to Shadow IT. In fact, according to Gartner, Shadow IT is set to grow to 50% by 2017
  6. IT budgets aren't increasing fast enough to keep up - The main reason behind this is waste. In the US, around 34% of software goes unused - up to259 per employee, which adds up to a combined total of30 billion. If that waste were being reclaimed, companies would be able to invest more in innovation.
  7. It's costing you money - A survey by Genpact revealed that only 31% of execs think their investment in digital technologies has met or exceeded expectations. That leaves 69% who need to get more from the technology they have in place.
  8. It's only going to get worse - The pace of digital change is not only showing no sign of slowing down - it's speeding up. For companies who haven't yet risen to the digital challenge, every week spent being inactive is a week that sees them slip further behind their competitors.

Want to learn more about how digital disruption affects you? Watch 1E's COO Nick Milne-Home discussing exactly what you need to know.