Is digital disruption at the front of your mind?

Disruption introduces uncertainty, ambiguity and instability, an array of factors which are all reflective of our current economic climate. Disruption itself is also ambiguous, with its shifting and evolving nature. This uncertainty can be deemed negative with the ‘unknown’ impacting business confidence…however; it can have a positive impact too.

Digital is a major player in the game of disruption – with the possibility of artificial intelligence and automation to transform our working and day-to-day lives – along with the Internet of Things to transform our relationship with everyday items and consumer goods. The question is, could this create more opportunities within business, or cause more disruption than good?

In order for businesses to overcome these challenges, there is the need to optimise these digital opportunities and use them to increase productivity and competitive advantage – especially as the UK is currently facing one of its most major economic challenges, with productivity being at its lowest since 2007. So, although the UK aimed to adopt digital early on, why is it we are still performing poorly in terms of productivity? Is it that we are not reaping the benefits and opportunities digital can bring, or is that the changes and uncertainty digital brings are, in fact, disrupting our productivity?

Digital is not only affecting the customer, but also consultancies themselves, ultimately leading to the need for a revolutionary transformation of the nature of consulting. With the use of automation of analytics to cloud-based software, this digital transformation and its far reaching effects has the ability to transform everyday working lives and the solutions that consultancies offer. Although digital is not the overall answer to the UK’s productivity challenge, and some may say it is a contributor and the reason for the disruption, there is no doubt over the opportunities and benefits it can bring.

Tied in with the Management Consultancy Association’s (MCA) ‘Year of Disruption’, it will be interesting to see how digital and disruption have both negative and positive effects on the working world as we progress throughout the year. Consultancies will need to explore how their approach and skills can be transferred to align with the new digital developments. Whilst the services offered will need to be reviewed in order to meet the changing climate, with consultants expanding their skill sets they will have the ability to deliver more focused coaching in line with the upcoming changes. These steps will ensure that, as consultants, we provide stability and continue to help our clients benefit from the evolving picture of digital disruption.