Have your seen the 1996 movie Twister, based on tornadoes disrupting the neighborhoods? A group of people were shown trying to perfect the devices called Dorothy which has hundreds of sensors to be released in the center of twister so proper data can be collected to create a more advanced warning system and save people.
Today if we apply the same analogy – digital is disrupting every business, if you stand still and don’t adapt you will becomedigital dinosaur. Everyone wants to get that advance warning of what is coming ahead. Even if your business is doing strong right now, you will never know who will disrupt you tomorrow. We have seen these disruption waves and innovations in technologies – mainframe era, mini computers era, personal computers & client-server era and internet era. Then came the 5thwave of SMAC era comprising Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud technologies.
Gone are the days when we used to wait for vacations to meet our families and friends by travelling to native place or abroad. Today all of us are interacting with each other on social media rather than in person on Facebook, Whastapp, Instagram, Snapchat and so on. Mobile enablement has helped us anytime, anywhere, any device interaction with consumers. We stare at smarphone screen more than 200 times a day. Analytics came in to power the hyper-personalization in each interaction and send relevant offers, communications to customers. The descriptive analytics gave the power to know what is happening to the business right now, while predictive analytics gave the insight of what may happen. Going further prescriptive analytics gave the foresight of what actions to be taken to make things happens.
Cloud gave organizations the ability to quickly scale up at lower cost as the computing requirements grow with secure private clouds. Today we are in the 6thwave of disruption beyond SMAC era – into Digital Transformation, bringing Big Data, Internet of things, APIs, Microservices, Robotics, 3d printing, augmented reality/virtual reality, wearables, drones, beacons and blockchain.
Big Data allows to store all the tons of data generated in the universe to be used further for competitive edge. Internet of Things allows machines, computers, smart devices communicate with each other and help us carry out various tasks remotely. APIs are getting lot of attention as they are easy, lightweight, can be plugged into virtually any system and highly customizable to ensure data flows between disparate systems. Microservices are independently developed & deployable, small, modular services. Robotics is bringing the wave of intelligent automation with help of cognitive computing. 3D printing or additive manufacturing is taking the several industries like medical, military, engineering & manufacturing by storm. Augmented reality / virtual reality is changing the travel, real estate and education. Wearables such as smart watches, health trackers, Google Glass can help real time updates, ensure better health & enable hands-free process optimization in areas like item picking in a warehouse. Drones have come out of military zone and available for common use. Amazon, Dominos are using it for delivery while Insurance & Agriculture are using it for aerial surveys. Beacons are revolutionizing the customer experience with in-store analytics, proximity marketing, indoor navigation and contact less payments. The new kid on the block is blockchain where finance industry is all set to take advantage of this technology.
As products and services are getting more digitized, traditional business processes, business models and even business are getting disrupted. The only way to survive this twister is to get closer to your customers by offering a radically different way of doing business that’s faster, simpler and cheaper.