6 Industries That Are Most Vulnerable to Digital Disruption

Digital disruption is well upon us. While a survey conducted by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation for the large and midsized private sector companies agreed, to varying degrees, that digital disruption comes with its own set of benefits, it is also true that Digital Disruption is threatening the survival of many businesses and industries.

Futuristic businesses and start-ups are exploring new avenues of re-inventing their business activities and industries all together to compete with and dislodge incumbents. The last decade alone has witnessed some exponential progress in technological disruption – think Airbnb, Paytm, Netflix and Uber. And this disruption is gradually influencing every industry, including banking, healthcare, hospitality, construction, manufacturing, packaging, logistics, and insurance amongst others.

The World Economic Forum sheds light on how business leaders are tackling the changes in this video:

The situation also raises the questions – which industries are most likely to be disrupted? Which sectors must brace themselves to face steep competition from agile startups with innovative business models?

Here is our list of 6 industries most vulnerable to digital disruption:

Media and Entertainment:

Media is surely the most impacted industry by Digital Disruption according to Embee. The displacement of physical media by digital players has been progressive but revolutionary. The merging of mobility, cloud and video is constantly evolving to cater to busy millennials who consume even entertainment on the go. This trend will continue as long as disruptors keep rolling out more content options across a multitude of delivery platforms.

Technology products and services:

Innovation is at the epicenter of the technology industry and it will keep accelerating at an unnerving pace. In the recent past we have seen technologies such as Cloud and Analytics emerge and overhaul businesses who adhere to it, and today we have the Internet of Things, 3D printing, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Blockchain technologies re-shaping businesses. It goes without saying that the technology industry is slated to be highly impacted from the digital disruption and businesses must be agile in execution if they want to drive their own transformation.

Here is a list of disruptive technologies that you should look out for in 2018.

Financial services:

Digital is becoming mainstream for the financial services industry. Tasks once executed manually via human interaction are now being completed entirely on digital interfaces. Almost every type of financial activity – from wealth management to payments to banking and others – is being re-structured by startups with technology playing the role of a transforming agent. Financial Service companies are looking at Blockchain and Fintech to transform their existing business models, advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics are being adhered to create new opportunities of growth and Machine Learning for advancements in automation.

Retail:

The face of Retail has changed. Digital disruption is reshaping the Retail industry in terms of power, consumer behavior and the marketplace as a whole. Unlike previously, the sole power is shifted to the customer who drives key decisions such as what to buy, when to buy, where to buy, how to buy.

Thus to understand consumer preferences better and improve business performance, retailers are adhering to technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Augmented or Virtual Reality. Additionally, while eCommerce and mobile shopping have been underway for many years, retailers are struggling to adopt the right tools to integrate systems and provide a seamless customer experience.

A recent report by Hitachi and Microsoft marked this as the foremost challenge. This is probably because implementing such enterprise level technology solutions need businesses to make a paradigm shift not only in their strategy but also change the organization structure and mindset. Futuristic retailers are using analytics, sensors, location services to provide context-aware experiences that meet customers’ specific needs at any given moment.

Check out Amazon’s vision of a future retail store:

Telecommunications:

Think Reliance Jio, WhatsApp, Skype and Spotify and you will understand how heavily disrupted the telecommunications industry is. However, according to us, the telecom industry has been facing low growth over the last few years and must (and can) look at Digital Disruption as an opportunity to re-establish their businesses, create new offerings and rebuild their market positions. An average home has a range of 5 to 10 connected devices, meaning telecom is now the orchestrator of digital goods in family homes.

Education:

Digital disruption has enabled educational institutes to restructure the learning processes, making it more accessible, affordable and enjoyable to learners. Accenture’s Global Value of Higher Education study has found that 80% university students agreed that digital capabilities are important to decide which university to attend, 70% students want their institution to use more digital tools, both inside and outside the classroom. 81% look for integration of technology into the classroom experience, online access to materials and online availability of classes.

The rapid growth of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is already making it easier for students from all walks of life to continue with their studies. The use of audiovisual assets along with collaborative and team work solutions help learners to proactively participate in projects and be more future-ready.

All in all, digital disruption is here to revolutionize the industries from umpteen angles. How are you planning to keep up with the changes?

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