Still, a coherent plan for digital transformation is now needed more than ever judging by the research conducted by Dr. Obwegeser and his colleagues from the IMD Cisco center. They had continuously interviewed senior business leaders, and in addition, they looked at disruption occurring across industries in terms of shifts that occur in the top 10 and the top 20 companies, in order to find out how significant the impact of digital disruption can be. The research, in which more than 5,000 executives from different companies globally took part, showed that more than 1/3 of the incumbents will be displaced. The repetitiveness of the survey showed that over three different periods, from the year 2015 to the year in 2017, and 2019, the shift was impressive. In 2015 many responses were not seeing a major or transformative impact on their business. On the other hand, this year the trend shows an increasing number of companies that are experiencing the transformative impact of digital disruption.
The powerful impact came before the radical disruption due to the coronavirus, that is yet to foster the changes.
However, despite the enormous impact of the coronavirus on the economy these days, this cannot be viewed as the digital disruption:
“We see disruption happening right now but that’s disruption through non-digital effects. For example, the reasons why many small businesses and single-person businesses have to go out of business or have dire financial issues is because they are disrupted due to a policy or government issues or in this case a pandemic. Digital disruption stands for the effect of digital technologies and business models on a company’s current value proposition and its resulting market position. Therefore, we cannot put everything in the bucket of digital disruption even though some executives like to do that. We’ll have to understand that sometimes it’s not digital disruption that we’re facing but it’s classic disruption due to other aspects that have been discussed for many many years and centuries”.
Dr. Obweseger sees the current disruption as “a radical push that nobody expected”. He concludes that there will be numerous negative consequences, but also that we can expect an increase in digital capabilities that can bring new possibilities in the future.