How to Thrive in a Digital Age

Digital methodologies, tools and platforms are removing barriers to growth in every industry across all departments. How can you make the most of these changes and come out on top?

Keeping pace with innovation

Managing change in a digital world

Digital methodologies, tools and platforms are removing barriers to growth in every industry across all departments. If you're not already making the most of the benefits that digital technology has to offer - it's time to reconsider.

Generally, as business matures its willingness to experiment with these new ways of working give way to standardisation. And understandably focus turns to doing more of what works and generating consistent revenue to support growth. 

As new digital pioneers hit the scene, they' bring with them new disruptive business models. At first, it can be very difficult to separate true innovation from the hype.

Your established organisation has to adopt a pattern of constant research, evaluation and action in order to survive. It easy to ignore first signs of change and feel secure as your cashflow continues to grow and your core business is unaffected. But your business will ultimately suffer in the long run if you are unable to adapt and evolve at scale.

It's not all doom and gloom though, organisations with forethought and the courage to make bold moves, before it’s too late, can emerge as market leaders. I caught up with Adam Pattenden this week to get some advice on how to stay ahead of digital disruption...

Adam Pattenden, Digital Strategist

Meet Adam Pattenden, Digital Strategist at Deep Blue Sky.

Adam, can you tell us a bit about your role at Deep Blue Sky?

As a digital strategist at Deep Blue Sky I help our clients to identify, scope and manage the implementation of digital solutions that help businesses save money and promote growth.

What impact do you think digital disruption is having on businesses and interactions today?

Before widespread access to digital tools and platforms, few people had access to the capital required to bring an idea to market. Now, with greater access to low cost digital tools, more businesses are able to rapidly develop ideas and bring them to market at a fraction of the cost. 

Teamed with an increasing number of customers who digitally interact, consume and engage with businesses in a new way; these changes will completely alter business to customer interactions across the globe. 

To give some context to this, consider an established organisation like Netflix, who in 2011 disrupted their own business model by moving away from the market norm and launching an online streaming service. Just two years after that decisive transformation, the causal effect saw Blockbuster, a key competitor, announce that they would be closing all remaining physical stores by the end of the year.

By listening to their customers, and reacting to consumer access to low cost digital tools Netflix were able to maximise their market share. Just one example of a business embracing digital and adopting a lean mindset to become a digital disruptor.

That’s a great example, but what can SMEs do to avoid the pain if they’re not natural disruptors like Netflix?

Here’s the five things you can do to avoid the pain of digital disruption and stay ahead of the curve:

  • First embrace digital - it’s happening whether you’re comfortable with it or not so accept the only constant is change.
  • Secondly, adopt a lean mentality: speed is everything, a small team with large outreach and great communication can make all the difference.
  • Thirdly, begin rapid prototyping: build quickly, test often and learn from a trusted community of users. 
  • Fourthly, get community buy in: no matter the size of your team, a loyal group of online advocates can raise awareness, test betas and help your brand grow.
  • Finally, integrate digital: by embedding digital into the core of your business you’ll be able to react quickly to market changes, optimise resources and retain talent. 

A good starter for ten, thanks Adam! So, how do business leaders learn more about each of these steps and how robust digital architecture is the pain reliever for digital disruption?

To learn more about each of these steps and how robust digital architecture can enable your business to make smarter, faster data-driven decisions that maximise growth and customer engagement - download our free Digital Disruption report today. 

Download our FREE Digital Disruption for SMEs report now

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