Articles

We’ve been talking about digital transformation for a while now and one of the things we’ve noticed is that many people still underestimate the impact of digital disruption. Most people manage to see the direct impact, but if you want to be ahead of the rest, you need to anticipate the indirect changes in the long term as well. We’ll explain it through an example here.

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Technology has had a tremendous impact on our daily lives so far, but today we are seeing just the first baby steps of how it will fully integrate and blend into our daily lives. Think of what a smartphone is capable of nowadays, just 10 years ago people could only dream of that. Can you imagine what it will be doing for us (and to us) in another 10 years? If only we knew, it would make our jaws drop.

Smartphones aren’t the only devices that are changing our lives though. Upon the Apple watch release, we already wrote a post about industries that are being disrupted by smartwatches. You have probably also noticed Google Glass and you might have heard of things like the Oculus Rift or Drones.

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Most companies focus on high revenues, low costs and big profits. Digital disruptors however, do things differently. They focus on market share and long-term potential, instead of short-term monetization and earnings.

Disruptors and their investors are willing to sacrifice their profits in the short-term, to ensure a long-term global success. And it’s not just the rising startups following this course.

Amazon 20 years

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Change and evolution are nothing new. Humanity is subject to permanent change: every cell, every person, everything around us, every part of the universe is changing and evolving. This has been the case since the big bang and it will go on forever. So why is digital change so scary? Why is it so difficult to manage?

The speed of change

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If you saw the Apple Watch release yesterday or some of the video reviews, you know exactly what this is about. (Here is a video of the 2 hour event, in case you missed it.)

Apple Watch Release

It is of course not the first smartwatch out there, but now that the last of the expected players is going to enter the market, it is time to have a look at what exactly these smartwatches are disrupting.

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We are seeing digital disruption happen in many sectors, yet somehow, a lot of companies still believe that their sector is safe and will continue to be for a long time. “People are still going to need my product or service.” Right, that is what a lot of companies said that have now disappeared, but in the end, the consumer wants to have things that are easy, that add value, that are done well. If you’re not the best provider of that anymore, they will move on sooner or later, no matter how big you are.
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Remember those fat yellow books we used to get for years? The Yellow Pages (Gele/Gouden gids in the Netherlands and Belgium) are close to heart for traditional companies, since they were listed in them by category for decades. During this time, the Yellow Pages were the global market leader in local advertising. Being part of a telephone book however, meant that the vast majority of the information the customer got was irrelevant for them, at the cost of a lot of resources as well.
 
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