Here are our top tips for embracing the digital disruption opportunity to deliver a competitive advantage to your enterprise.
Every industry and business has the potential to be disrupted. Start-ups in Australia and around the world are focused on finding ways to take what big established businesses do and do it better, smarter and faster. Which means every business needs to work out how to embrace the opportunity for disruption. The message is: disrupt or be disrupted. So here are five ways you can prepare your business so it’s at the head of this exciting new dynamic.
1. Assess redundant systems and processes
Look at the way you do business now and work out the steps you could change or remove altogether to make your enterprise more productive, efficient and less process-driven. For instance, what are your approval processes like? Are there too many people involved? Could these be rationalised to help the business make better decisions faster?
2. Find out exactly what your customers want
It's never been easier to get close to your customers, especially through social media channels. Use every opportunity to ask your customers what they want and what you're doing that you could be doing better. Then act on their recommendations. If you haven't already, establish social media channels so that your customers can easily tell you what they think. Make sure you give responsibility to an appropriate person in the business for managing your social media presence and put in place guidelines about the right way to use social media and respond to customer queries through this channel.
3. Digitise your business
A key here is ensuring everyone in the business can remotely access your IT system. It's also essential to build a culture so that staff are able to update the CRM system from wherever they are. The idea is to ensure you're constantly building a base of data about the business from which to make decisions. If you need to, consider updating your hardware and smart devices to make it as easy as possible for staff to perform their role.
4. Build relationships with start-ups in your industry
You may see them as competitors, but it's actually a great idea to have a working relationship with a range of different ventures in your industry. You never know when you might be able to build an alliance with a start-up in your sector that will help you be a disruptive force in your industry.
5. Launch a start-up
Give someone or a team in your business responsibility for coming up with a new business model that could challenge the established way of doing business in your sector. Allocate reasonable resources and funds to it. Ensure your start-up regularly reports back so you are aware of its progress. Another idea is to immerse your start-up in an entrepreneurial environment by locating the team in a start-up hub. This is a great way to build an entrepreneurial mindset that can be transferred back to the main business, without compromising your core operations in any way.
The idea is to make disruption an agenda item for management. Because if senior leaders demonstrate support for disruption to the wider business, chances are the organisation will benefit from its potential, rather than be caught off-guard when an upstart challenger with a better offer starts impacting your market.