Disruptive innovation is simply the upside of digital transformation. Digital transformation has become the epitome of success for companies wanting to evolve their business models or operations to stay relevant in the digital age. Although it offers the opportunity to join the digital race, it does not offer much clarity about innovation or disruption.
To remain disruptive in the market, it is necessary to keep innovating. This is important as innovations occur very frequently in almost every industry today. However, innovation must entirely transform a product or solution that historically was extremely complicated such that only a few could access it, to be truly disruptive.
Digital transformation initially enables an organization to address the needs of its customers more simply and directly. Through disruptive innovation, however, companies can offer a far better method to users for attaining objectives that render the incumbents incompetent.
UBER and Disruptive Innovation
UBER is an excellent example of how disruptive innovation pays in the long run. When UBER was launched in San Francisco, its customers were already using taxis; hence it did not exactly target non-consumers. Also, Uber was not intended to be a low-end alternative to a complicated, costly, inaccessible service. In contrast, Uber originated in a mainstream market initially (luxury black cars), and then later on appealed to lower-end segments with ride-sharing options. Eventually, the taxi industry was genuinely disrupted simply because UBER offered its customers a considerably greater value, although from a different industry.
Pursuing digital innovation requires consistent effort. Simply consider how Wikipedia disrupted traditional encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Wikipedia has been constantly updating content, which does not require readers to wait and is easily accessible – factors which have and still are helping it win over an established and recognized incumbent.
Why Disruptive Innovation?
Though disruptive innovation is all about strategically allying with customers to introduce them to seek an outside-the-product experience, there are a few key characteristics that can help an organization to have a leading-edge – analyzing the competition, finding alternatives that connect with the downtrodden, ignored or non-customers, making appealing products, services and meticulously selecting the market battles.
When the digital market becomes a surging industry built on the foundations of disruptive innovation, digital disruption is highly imminent and greatly effective. Try leveraging disruptive technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence if necessary but it is crucial to keep in mind that not all innovations are disruptive.