24 May The Six Shifts Behind the Digital Transformation of Business
Anyone that has a say in steering a business to success – from the fabled entrepreneur in his or her garage to the CEO of a large multinational – is looking for a niche in their chosen market. They want to design a product or service that is nigh on impossible for other firms to copy, and is desired by a wide swathe of customers eagerly willing to exchange their cash for it.
But entrenched businesses – as the lucky firms that finally find themselves in this position are called – have always and will always face technological disruption and uncertainty, and it’s an understandable and all too predictable response to fight back. In 17th-century France, for example, the button makers’ guild petitioned the government to crack down on cloth buttons made by weavers. Fast forward three centuries, and in 1990s America, movie studios raised copyright concerns that postponed introduction of the DVD player.
Avoiding change, though, is impossible. And these next few decades will be an era of sweeping change. One of the biggest and most disruptive forces behind all this change is digitization, and the faster companies stop resisting and work out ways to take advantage of it, the more likely they are to still be operating 15 or 20 years from now.
This means understanding the trends shaping the digital landscape and understanding how those trends will affect different industries, business models, consumer preferences, and slices of the labor market.