The digital vortex and the fight against market competitors

First things, first what is the digital vortex?

It sounds very space-age and futuristic but in truth the digital vortex is a concept that is driven by where we are heading in the future.

Thanks to the rise of the machines and the streams of information that feed the big data monster, disruption is upon us and it’s changing the way we operate in business and beyond. Technology is everywhere and it’s not going away, if anything it’s growing stronger and stronger with cutting edge emerging technology such as 3D printing and A.I poised to create more disruption.

The digital vortex ‘swallows companies whole’ if they cannot adapt to changes in the market place. It’s been reported that in 5 years’ time 40% of companies will be displaced in the market due to digitalisation.

What does this mean for market competitors?

It’s important to focus on one word here – opportunity.

Disruption can create an opportunity and open up a world of possibility. Embracing new technology can improve your business but the window doesn’t stay open for long. An opportunity for you is also an opportunity for someone else in your market – be it a direct competitor or new kid on the block.

Let’s look at an example…

Netflix is a ‘go-to’ example here. The company transformed from an online DVD rental service into an on-demand streaming service reaching almost 33.3 million subscribers (2015). Companies in the home-entertainment retail space suddenly lost control of the industry, Blockbuster failed to spot the opportunity and unfortunately closed its doors in 2013. HMV also took a hit (Amazon arguably played a role in this one too) as the chain shut 66 stores in 2014.

Netflix also has the ability to make powerful use of user data to keep in tune with how their consumers tick. The company spotted a trend for series binging and cue a flood of productions launching on Netflix and fresh challenges for the businesses in the TV and film industry. The streaming giant also operates on a multi device business model to ensure they fully cover the needs of their users, therefore forcing the TV companies to replicate or lose even more viewers.

The disruptive business

To quote a recent Forbes article “either you digitally disrupt your fastest-moving competitors or you’ll be completely disrupted by them.”

It’s becomingly increasingly dangerous to plod along with paper and pen or rely on slow, clunky IT infrastructure. When looking at this from a competitive angle, this is more than just adopting technology to be fast, agile and efficient. This is about keeping up with the pace and innovating enough to not let a competitor you throw out of position in the market. The new technology is powerful and is not to be under estimated. A radical change in your industry can be difficult to claw back from.

Industries in all verticals are transforming and we’re seeing companies like Air BnB and Uber challenge big companies who previously dominated the market. The trick is integrating business with technology on all angles, looking at infrastructure, emerging technology and the digital skills in the workforce – innovation is key.

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