Conventional wisdom says that disruption is unexpected, upsetting and unwelcome. But as much as “Predictable Disruption” may seem a contradiction in terms, it is not.
More and more, businesses are investing in digital platforms, connecting with new partners and reimagining industries. New ecosystems are being formed. But these new ecosystems don’t emerge overnight—they start out small and develop slowly. To attract partners and build consumer demand, the companies developing them are vocal about their plans. And this gives those who are watching not just a line of sight into these digital ecosystems, but an opportunity to anticipate the trajectories and impact with a fairly high level of certainty. Smart companies map out ecosystem scenarios—and unveil disruptive opportunities.
In other words, the ecosystems that are emerging across the globe provide the foundation for the next major disruption.
As seen in the case of UberHEALTH, the disruptive nature of these new digital ecosystems is not bound by traditional industry barriers. As every industry becomes digital, an ecosystem forming in one sector can very quickly become the foundation for disruptions in another.
Some 82 percent of the 3,200 IT and business executives we surveyed for Technology Vision 2016 say industry boundaries are being erased, and new paradigms are emerging for every industry. This means that beyond looking at digital ecosystems for the next waves of change, businesses must develop ecosystem strategies to participate in entirely new markets.
The threat of unexpected new competitors seizing the advantage is balanced by the immense opportunities offered by this business model. Unlike previous technology disruptions that were often unpredictable, forward thinking leaders can get ahead of the game, develop their ecosystem strategies, and ride the results into new markets. We believe that strategy teams of the future will use gamification to play out and predict disruptions.
Ecosystem disruptions won’t happen across all industries at the same time. But they will inevitably arrive and those that watch will see them coming.