It may not be on the mind of every CEO, CIO or CTO but the rise of disruption is of major concern. Disruption itself has always been a part of business theory under Michael Porter’s five forces and classified as “the threat of new entrants”; but this threat has continued to evolve.
Barriers to entry in various markets have been in place to control competition. However, modern disruption can occur outside these barriers with the “disruptors” changing the very way the market sector operates thereby out manoeuvring and altogether eliminating existing big market players who could not anticipate this risk.
The difficulty in anticipating and mitigating disruptive risk is extreme since they may not actually exist at the moment but can exist in the future. Can your business survive after the disruption has happened? With the evidence of the impact of disruption all around, it should be evident that it is no longer a small issue, since the very survival of the enterprise may depend on it.
When Disruptions Occur
With this being the case, flexibility, speed and adaptability come to mind. However, many enterprises and their internal IT departments cannot offer those characteristics fast enough when disruption occurs, leaving the enterprise at a competitive disadvantage. This is because the “things always work this way” and “resistance to change” mentalities exist within all enterprises. By looking at the governance of enterprise IT (GEIT) and the importance of IT to support the enterprise, it may be wise to consider reinventing your IT.
By reinventing your IT you should consider the possibility of disruption as a major fact and readjust your current work models to offer some best case resistance/adaptability towards this. To take it a step further, you should streamline the enterprise to become the market disruptor itself, thereby giving your enterprise a head start against your current and potential competition.
One consistent view that remains is that security itself is of the uttermost importance and must be considered even though there is no single way to achieve the reinvention of your IT. We are in the age when digitization and connectivity play major roles for consumers. Customer demand and market conditions drive business strategy; however, reinvention can also be found in creating systems that change how business itself is done, to the benefit of customers, thereby driving habits and behaviors surrounding these.
Disruption should be discussed and considered as a new expectation rather than an impossibility. All strategy considers risk, but the question is: how does one prepare for the unforeseen disruptive risk that has not happened yet? Is your enterprise ready?
Ammett Williams CCIE, CGEIT, Telecommunication Team Leader, First Citizens TT
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