Yesterday, Gartner distinguished vice president analyst Partha Iyengar hosted a webinar that talked through what disruption is, what you can do to avoid it, and seven disruptive technologies you might not see coming over the next few years.
Disruption in this context is, of course, when a new technology emerges that does something faster, better and often with greater results than the traditional way of doing it.
“If you don’t recognise that preventing disruption is important, and arguably becoming more important, you will face a fairly bleak future,” Iyengar said.
“As industries are transforming quicker, customer behaviour is changing more rapidly - even before the pandemic that was in place and it is accelerated during the pandemic. Disruption is coming at your from multiple directions … more and more of these disruptions are technology-driven and more and more of the response to disruption, what we call future-proofing, is technology-driven.”
Disruption is nothing new. However, as Iyengar pointed out, there have been a couple of cases where disruption has hit modern companies hard: Kodak’s failure to invest early into digital image capture and processing, and BlackBerry being taken down by pane-of-glass phones.
However, he also points to Microsoft as a success story when it pivoted to a cloud-first model and became the disruptor, rather than the disrupted.
The difficulty, Iyengar explained, is that it is so incredibly difficult to know what is going to be The Next Big Thing.
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