‘Disruption’ is all the rage, but it is missing the point

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Much is made, these days, about ‘disruptive’ technology. The press is full of it and technology vendor CEOs the world over vaunt it in their keynote conference addresses as the direction everyone should be taking. ‘Disrupt or be disrupted’ is the cry.

And up to a point there is a degree of validity to it for any and every company – but only up to a point. Disruption, especially if you are the business doing the disrupting, has a certain caché to it, that machismo and quixotic bravado of the brave CEO tilting at the windmills built by competitors that no longer understand where the marketplace is moving.

That may even be an appropriate image for an IT vendor CEO to adopt, but there has to be a question mark over it when it comes to many of the customers and users.

The last thing most business managers want is to have their own business disrupted – especially to the point where their own customers are not quite sure about what products or services they now offer or the business itself becomes impossible to manage.

This is where the Bloor vision of Freedom comes into play. CIOs need to have the freedom to transition their businesses not just at the rate that suits their plans, but in the unique way that meets their specific business requirements. What technologies make sense for them – cloud? Big data? Mobile devices? The Internet of Things?

Quite probably it will be all of them, but the mix will vary for every business – there are no easy, ‘blanket’ answers.

It is a rare CIO that does not have an appreciation that change and development is necessary as markets change. But it has to be at a pace that makes sense and can be accommodated by the business itself.

The danger here is that a natural, small ‘c’ conservatism may come into play to delay the moment when change should start.

So the first step for any business is being able to observe that point and make the change. The second point, however, is more important. This is realising that change is no longer just inevitable; it is now a continuous process. Those immutable truths of IT – such as no one ever got fired for buying products from company X,Y or Z – are now long gone.

The ‘Mutable Business’ is one that it is permanent transition towards ever more effective, reliable and fast solutions to business problems – both the old ones that can be done better, and the new ones that continually appear.

There is no ‘end goal’. There are only minor ones, those that exist today or at the end of a current project. But the next projects – many already started and underway – will already mark the next stage of the transition of the business.

At this point, most business managers will probably seek some advice, even if it is only from a friend at the local golf club. That’s a start, but for most businesses it is a hit and miss way of approaching the problem. What they will need is actionable insights into a growing range of new developments, insights that give consistent, constructive, objective, and above all trustworthy insights on what transitions make sense, when is the right time to start them, what the pitfalls are and a host of other questions and ideas.

This is where the Bloor’s new Executive Advisory Program is precisely focused. Its target is to provide company CIOs with the information and advice they need to keep their business managers abreast of not only what new developments in technology and services are coming down the road at them, but also what the likely impact – both positive and negative – they are likely to have on their specific business.

For more information see details of our Executive Advisory Program and Bloor’s Vision of Freedom.