Disruption by Design

Control your destiny in the face of digital disruption

DbD_hero@4xDigital, analytics, and innovation fuels all levels of the organization, allowing a company to react quicker, and launch faster.

Digital disruption is reshaping our world, yet many businesses are struggling to respond with appropriate vigour. While most Canadian companies are pursuing digital initiatives, few are embracing disruption as competitive advantage. Disruption isn’t just for digital businesses, it affects every business today. In all cases, the key to success is taking action, rather than hoping this “digital thing” blows over. Disruption and exponential change are the new normal, and they’re here to stay.

Strategy in the digital age

In a world moving at unprecedented speed, uncertainty is a certainty and holding out for the perfect strategy is a losing strategy. That’s why five-year planning has become outdated. While long-term vision is more important than ever, processes must be nimble and insight-driven, not rigid once-a-year activities.

Preparedness and flexibility are more important than prediction. Effective strategy needs to be like a guided missile. First, build an agile organization capable of making strategic adjustments on the fly. Then plan and launch, tweaking details as things change.

924xOrganizations need to adapt to digital market environments and adopt digital technologies into core operations to see long-term success.

Enter disruption by design

Its structured approach allows you to maximize your strategy development by unifying your use of innovation, analytics and digital. In some situations, companies may deliberately disrupt their own business. In others, the course of action may be less dramatic, if no less crucial.

When we talk about digital, it’s not just about technology. It’s about pivoting businesses to thrive in an increasingly digital world. Plenty of organizations “pretend” to be digital. As new data streams form from always-on channels, new teams are required to deal with them. But working within legacy organizations and process slows reaction speeds. Success becomes isolated, and without a plan to scale, real business value is out of reach.

“Being digital” is what it takes to disrupt markets, and inspire both customers and employees. It requires a holistic plan, new skills and capabilities, and a plan to foster your people and processes. To compete effectively, companies must adopt the culture and capabilities that enable businesses to excel. According to a Deloitte study, leading digital companies share 23 unique traits, identified as Digital DNA. These attributes – such as the ability to democratize Information, fail fast, and learn faster – must be part of any company’s DNA if it wants to succeed in the long term.

Today, companies must operate at speed and take action despite uncertainty, including those in traditional industries. They need to meet rising expectations set by the world’s best businesses, and view data as a source of competitive advantage, applying derived insights to improve their business.

Analytical alchemy

Today, insight is as valuable as gold. The ability to turn raw data into valuable insights enables ideas that accelerate business, and digital data is rapidly becoming the primary source of competitive advantage. Analytics is the built-in intelligence enabling businesses to move in the right direction, make smart adjustments on the fly, and hit the target with impact. Businesses that collect and analyze the right data can outperform the competition and gain an edge in the marketplace.

Today’s alchemists are a blend of the right mix of talent: purple teams that blend “red” technical and analytical skills (such as software development and information design) and “blue” business and leadership skills (like change management and design thinking).

Analytics is not only a core strategy input, but a capability that must be built into business practices. This enables companies to become insight-driven organizations that make smarter decisions at every step, whether it’s long-term strategic visioning, designing products, or building customer relationships.

85@4xInsights from analytics or qualitiative/quantitative data on customer behaviour are helping to drive the bottom line for organizations regardless of category.

Innovation requires a disciplined approach

Edison observed that “genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” The same principle applies today. Although most people think of digital innovation as a flash of inspiration followed by instant success, it is actually the result of hard work and discipline – with a little bit of luck to grease the wheels.

Properly structured, innovation helps organizations create value through new experiences. It also boosts performance and profitability, harnessing the power of exponential technologies such as robotic process automation and artificial intelligence.

It starts by identifying customer and stakeholder needs. Armed with insights from digital data and advanced analytics, organizations can discover hidden opportunities and develop breakthrough ideas to capitalize on them.

Innovation is not only about developing new products. Deloitte’s innovation practice identified 10 different types of innovation crucial to business success, including channel innovation. A design philosophy revolving around a deep understanding of human needs and behaviour applies to every step of the innovation process, from solution development to user experience and user interface design.

Innovation is not a one-time activity. It’s an ongoing process, driven by an adaptive culture, a wealth of data and breakthrough insights from advanced analytics. Those key elements can help a company find its next great innovation…and the next…and the next.

Take control of your digital destiny

Success requires the courage to take action, even if the business is currently successful. It also requires organizations to become agile to get innovations to market quickly, demonstrate real value early, and adapt to feedback and experience.

Winning innovations stem from a disciplined, structured approach that combines insights from data and analytics with human-centred design to deliver products people don’t just use, but love.

To achieve these objectives, leaders need to inspire and be inspired. They’ll need the passion to drive change, the wisdom to know what they don’t know, and the humility to seek help from others who have been there before.

The key to success is to just get started. Pick an area that seems ripe for digital disruption, and then start disrupting it – by design.


Produced by Deloitte