The first wave of disruption took us from analogue to digital at a predictable pace. The next wave is digital disrupting digital, and it’s happening now. The difference is that, unlike the first wave, this one is moving in less predictable directions and advancing at a nonuniform rate.
This new era is full of promising potential to transform brands, products, and service ecosystems from the silos of today, to the radically interconnected ones of the future. We are seeing the rise of an environment in which unchained exploration is uncovering rich opportunities rooted in the ability to adapt. We lose predictability, but we gain a nearly endless freedom to craft tomorrow’s possibilities.
We’ve identified the convergence of five currents of disruption, which are actively forming five new imperatives for businesses.
The next wave is digital disrupting digital, and it’s happening now. The difference is that, unlike the first wave, this one is moving in less predictable directions and advancing at a nonuniform rate.
Unleash business beyond boundaries
Industry boundaries are changing, new ecosystems are emerging, and formerly well-defined customer journeys are dissolving into pieces ripe for reconception.
A conscious shift in focus toward delivering highly modular, easy-to-integrate products and services is one of the first steps to meeting the new demand. This means replacing isolated, static offerings with adaptable ones that are at home in constantly evolving ecosystems, within which rewarding new partnerships have the opportunity to emerge organically.
In a nonlinear future, designing for continual adaption will be the key differentiator of success.
Engage smarter with extended reality
Businesses are increasingly utilising AR, VR, and AI to enhance products and services. What used to be a defined gap between digital and physical, is now a subtle hem.
Spurred forward by 5G, physical and virtual realities will overlap and interact in real time. As a result, businesses gain the ability to remove distances between people, provide new meaningful experiences, and grow by designing for adaptable XR contexts.
Capture trust in motion
Governments, big business, the media, and the digital heroes of the first wave are all experiencing a marked decline in public trust. Simultaneously, that trust is being reinvested in distributed networks and marketplaces, blockchain, and the decentralised web.
New technologies will continue to propel these shifts, and designing for trust will become the centerpiece requirement. To excel, businesses must resonate with people’s values and provide genuine transparency, accountability, and an ethical approach to privacy.
Compete on enduring meaning, not cursory relevance
Businesses today often take data and hastily react, rather than carefully respond. The result is a dizzying amount of standard interactions with short expiration dates in terms of value. Meaning is the currency of our future, and solutions without any will fall short of fulfilling the desires of a new wave of informed and conscious citizens.
Products and services that do not match the values held by an individual will not organically integrate into their life or offer lasting meaning that is genuine and personal to them. This factor makes it essential to gain insight into the root of what the individual needs, and why they need it. Only after such a discovery process can something of influential meaning be delivered.
Going forward, solutions with meaningful value will be essential. They won’t simply need to respond - they must resonate and support people’s shifting desires, values and lives as individuals, consumers, employees and citizens. It’s imperative to design for meaning as opposed to relevance.
Build sustainability into everything
It’s good business to take responsibility for any potential environmental and health impacts of the products and services we create — from environmental degradation to tech addiction. This means environmentally-sound technologies the entire way: from responsible source materials, to ethical factory processes, to compassion for the consumer experience.
Sustainability is quickly becoming a commercial imperative. It’s time to reimagine current business models in order to onboard them into the new circular economy and turn them into integral, sustainable solutions.
Meet a Manyone
Annelise loves helping companies create and execute digital strategies and new business models, and she has a sixth sense about how transformation is best implemented in big cooperations.