Embracing digital disruption

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Embracing digital disruption

[Blog post] Introducing 'CXO Challenge', a research initiative by iTnews.

How can large Australian organisations, with entrenched business models, survive the era of digital disruption?

That’s the central theme of ‘CXO Challenge’, a research project I’ll be working on for the next 12 months, formally announced earlier this week at an event hosted by the Australian Computer Society in Melbourne.

Specifically, I’ll be studying the strategies and tools business leaders are employing to meet the needs of the digital consumer.

Digital disruption, as defined by a recent Sydney University study, broadly refers to:

“Changes enabled by digital technologies that occur at a pace and magnitude that disrupt established ways of value creation, social interactions, doing business and more generally our thinking.”

This presents to all in the business community both a crisis and an opportunity.

From media to telecoms, financial services to utilities, we’ve seen disruption at work. Consider the impact of online classifieds sites on the revenues of newspapers, of over-the-top messaging on long distance call revenue among telcos, or the advent of the digital camera on the traditional photography industry.

Every industry, to some degree, has had to revisit its value proposition to customers in the wake of digital disruption, and many more are ripe for disruption.  

Over the next 12 months, I plan to profile many of the country's most influential technology and business executives as they navigate this changing landscape. I’ll be complementing these profiles with feature stories on digital disruption in several key industries, and by 2015 produce a final research report.

The key questions I’m looking to answer:

  • How can business leaders ‘disrupt’ from the inside?

  • What are the right structural models for embracing disruption within traditional industries, without putting existing revenues and value propositions at risk?

  • What is core to any large Australian organisation? Where does its value lie for customers?

  • What are the skills required by business executives, and those within their technology function, to embrace digital disruption?

I’d like to thank the Australian Computer Society for recognising the need for this study and encouraging me to pursue it.

You can follow my progress by subscribing to the iTnews newsletter, or on my Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Brett Winterford

One of Australia’s most experienced technology journalists, former iTnews Group Editor Brett Winterford has written about the business of technology for 15 years.

Awarded Business Journalist and Technology Journalist of the year at the 2004 ITjourno awards and Editor of the Year at the 2009 Publishers Australia 'Bell' awards, Winterford has extensive experience in both the business and technology press, writing for such publications as the Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald.

As editor of iTnews Brett has led a team of award-winning journalists; delivered speeches at industry events; authored, commissioned and edited research papers, curated technology conferences [The iTnews Executive Summit and Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit and also shares the judging of the annual Benchmark Awards.

Brett's areas of specialty include enterprise software, cloud computing and IT services.

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