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Digital Transformation and Disruptive Technology

Digital Transformation and Disruptive Technology

Change is the new constant, with technological innovations disrupting and driving digital transformation in the workplace. If you want to initiate digital transformation in your organization, or upskill, reskill, or update your tech knowledge, GetSmarter’s online short courses will give you the tools to do so.

Register for a course in digital transformation and disruptive technology

The rise of digital transformation (DT) in today’s workplace results from the growing interest among businesses in the potential of new disruptive technologies. However, not many organizations are reaping the benefits they’d hoped for.1 The reason is simple: no matter how much potential new digital technologies have to improve efficiencies or gain a deeper understanding of customers, in and of themselves they cannot bring about change.1 Digital transformation is the vehicle that introduces disruptive technologies into the workplace and requires an organization-wide change in thinking to succeed.

Despite the fact that DT is a primary concern for most C-level executives, as evidenced by the $1.3 trillion invested in 2018, 70 percent of executives’ DT initiatives were considered failures, wasting a combined $900 billion across the globe.1 In a recent survey of over 1,700 participants from a wide range of industries, company sizes, and levels of expertise, approximately eight in 10 said they’ve implemented DT, however, only 14 percent cited any sustained performance improvements.1

In spite of low immediate returns and high failure rates, when implemented effectively, DT can unlock many benefits, therefore continuing to accelerate the pace of digital innovation and spur global investment,1 which is estimated to reach nearly $2 trillion in coming years.1 Effective DT implementation promises benefits such as greater customer intimacy, streamlined workflows and communication, improved performance, and a greater competitive and financial advantage.1

Organizations that typically achieve full-scale DT go through these stages when implementing disruptive technologies:1

  1. A clear strategy is devised. Before leaders invest in DT, they need to consider which part of the organization’s performance they wish to enhance, and which technologies would be the most beneficial to do so.
  2. Insider insight is utilized. Instead of looking primarily to external consultants to drive change, organizations that successfully deploy disruptive technologies in order to transform digitally tend to defer to their staff’s insights. They use their employees’ feedback to check how feasible a suggested optimization would be.
  3. Customer input is used to design the customer experience. Getting customer input is fundamental when seeking to understand what customers want, and is essential when mapping out the ideal customer experience in order to improve customer satisfaction, which is an important goal of DT.
  4. Employees’ fears are allayed. Employees who believe technology is a threat to their jobs may obstruct any attempts at DT in the hope that leadership abandons the proposed changes. Leaders are more likely to see DT success when they acknowledge these fears and shift employees’ focus to the career opportunities that come with DT, such as new skills and improved expertise.
  5. A start-up culture is adopted. Agile decision-making, quick prototyping, and flat management structures are synonymous with a start-up culture, and suit the inherently uncertain process of DT. When organizations create a company culture where changes are provisional, decisions are made quickly, and departments collaborate with each other, DT is more likely to succeed.

GetSmarter’s flexible digital transformation courses will give you the skills, strategies, and knowledge you need to unlock the full potential of disruptive technologies in the workplace. Choose from a selection of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), financial technology (fintech), cryptocurrency (crypto), blockchain, algorithmic trading (algo trading), the internet of things (IoT), and innovation strategy online courses to update your knowledge, enhance your career, and improve the likelihood of successful DT in your organization.


What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of changing your business or organization by means of digitization. There are various facets to the process of DT, but a key process is translating data into meaningful information to generate insights that can inform strategies for business growth.9 Digital transformation can be focused on business or operational models and technologies,10 but the goal should primarily be customer- or employee-centric, with a focus on improving the end user’s experience, and reaching the customer through technology.11

Emerging trends in DT include the use of AI and ML for quick, scalable, and convenient data analysis to give businesses a competitive advantage, the emergence of even faster WiFi, the rise in importance of tech-adjacent services such as XaaS (the delivery of anything as a service), improved customer experience (CX) and digital privacy, and advances in conversational AI for improved customer interaction.12

DT often brings great benefits, such as better CX, improved data collection and analysis, greater profitability, and a stronger competitive advantage, but it also brings some challenges with it.13 Organizations and leaders need to change their vision, mission, and operational practices to ensure that all tasks and technologies are focused on understanding and responding to shifting customer expectations.14

In order to stay relevant and profitable, organizations must address the skills crisis that is resulting from DT. More than 1 billion people around the world will need to reskill and upskill in the next decade because of the changes in jobs brought about by new technologies.15


Disruptive technology is an umbrella term that refers to new technologies or innovations that significantly change how customers, industries, or organizations operate – often in far superior ways.16 Some examples of technologies that have led to significant disruption include portable data storage devices, cloud computing, cell phones, online shopping, digital news portals, ride-sharing apps, and GPS systems.17

The impact of DT on business and the global economy is significant. The World Economic Forum predicts the creation of 133 million new jobs, and the removal of 75 million jobs in the next few years as a result of innovative technology.18 Automation, robotics, and digitization are changing the way we do business, and organizations and individuals need to adapt to stay relevant or risk falling behind.


When it comes to achieving technical acuity during the process of digitization, every organization will have its own requirements. However, there are some core skills and competencies required for digital transformation in any type of organization. These include:

People skills
The ability to bridge the gap between what technology can offer and what business users need is a key skill in a growing digital economy. Skills such as big-picture perspective and empathy, along with good consultation, marketing, promotion, and presentation skills are required.19

Business skills
A recent survey on skills needed for DT revealed that business skills such as strategy building, project management, business relationship management, user support and training, and risk management are sought-after competencies in those who perform technical roles.20

Tech skills
In-demand technical skills for DT include specialization and innovation in data and AI, engineering, cloud computing, and product development.21

Cross-functional skills
Where tech competence is important, recent studies show that there’s a high demand for professionals with a combination of technical and people skills. With the increased development of new technologies, and changes in how people interact with these technologies, there’s an increased demand for professionals with skills in customer care, marketing, sales, content production, people and culture management, and development.22

Skill-proofing your career is essential as the speed of disruption accelerates, core job functions change, and new jobs emerge.

GetSmarter’s online short courses provide the personal support and flexible learning model you need to earn a certificate from an internationally acclaimed institution, update your skills, and reach your career-development goals.

Learn strategies and skills to design and drive digital transformation in your organization. Refresh and update your AI, blockchain, data analysis, and data science skills to keep abreast of changes in these fields, or increase your career options by gaining in-demand people skills and strategies.

Whatever your interest in digital transformation and disruptive technology, be it to harness its potential for a critical business advantage or to develop and analyze these technologies, GetSmarter has a course that will give you the skills you need to future-proof your career and organization.


1 Deakin, J. et al. (Apr, 2019). ‘Five moves to make during a digital transformation’. Retrieved from McKinsey.
2Tabrizi, B. et al. (Mar, 2019). ‘Digital transformation is not about technology’. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review.
3Tabrizi, B. et al. (Mar, 2019). ‘Digital transformation is not about technology’. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review.
4Deakin, J. et al. (Apr, 2019). ‘Five moves to make during a digital transformation’. Retrieved from McKinsey.
5Daugherty, P. et al. (Feb, 2019). ‘The post-digital era is upon us’. Retrieved from Accenture.
6(Nov, 2018). ‘Worldwide spending on digital transformation will be nearly $2 trillion in 2022 as organizations commit to DX, according to a new IDC spending guide’. Retrieved from IDC.
7Shur, L. (Apr, 2020). ‘What’s powering digital transformation?’. Retrieved from Forbes.
8Tabrizi, B. et al. (Mar, 2019). ‘Digital transformation is not about technology’. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review.
9Miller, J. (Aug, 2018). ‘What is a digital transformation and why should you care?’. Retrieved from Forbes.
10Spink, A. (Mar, 2020). ‘One vision for digital transformation’. Retrieved from TechRadar.
11Shur, L. (Apr, 2020). ‘What’s powering digital transformation?’. Retrieved from Forbes.
12Newman, D. (Jul, 2019). ‘Top 10 digital transformation trends for 2020’. Retrieved from Forbes.
13Mbachu, C. (Nov, 2018). ‘7 business benefits of digital transformation’. Retrieved from Medium.
14Shur, L. (Apr, 2020). ‘What’s powering digital transformation?’. Retrieved from Forbes.
15Zahidi, S. (Jan, 2020). ‘We need a global reskilling revolution – here’s why’. Retrieved from the World Economic Forum.
16Smith, T. (Mar, 2020). ‘Disruptive technology’. Retrieved from Investopedia.
17(Jan, 2020). ‘What is disruptive technology? Examples, startups, & risks’. Retrieved from TechMediaToday.
18(Jan, 2020). ‘Jobs of tomorrow: mapping opportunity in the new economy’. Retrieved from the World Economic Forum.
19Pratt, M. (Nov, 2018). ‘6 soft skills IT needs to succeed in the digital era’. Retrieved from CIO.
20(Jan, 2019). ‘Winter 2019: state of the CIO’. Retrieved from CIO.
21(Jan, 2020). ‘Jobs of tomorrow: mapping opportunity in the new economy’. Retrieved from the World Economic Forum.
22(Jan, 2020). ‘Jobs of tomorrow: mapping opportunity in the new economy’. Retrieved from the World Economic Forum.


Register for a course in digital transformation and disruptive technology

The rise of digital transformation (DT) in today’s workplace results from the growing interest among businesses in the potential of new disruptive technologies. However, not many organizations are reaping the benefits they’d hoped for.1 The reason is simple: no matter how much potential new digital technologies have to improve efficiencies or gain a deeper understanding of customers, in and of themselves they cannot bring about change.1 Digital transformation is the vehicle that introduces disruptive technologies into the workplace and requires an organization-wide change in thinking to succeed.

Despite the fact that DT is a primary concern for most C-level executives, as evidenced by the $1.3 trillion invested in 2018, 70 percent of executives’ DT initiatives were considered failures, wasting a combined $900 billion across the globe.1 In a recent survey of over 1,700 participants from a wide range of industries, company sizes, and levels of expertise, approximately eight in 10 said they’ve implemented DT, however, only 14 percent cited any sustained performance improvements.1

In spite of low immediate returns and high failure rates, when implemented effectively, DT can unlock many benefits, therefore continuing to accelerate the pace of digital innovation and spur global investment,1 which is estimated to reach nearly $2 trillion in coming years.1 Effective DT implementation promises benefits such as greater customer intimacy, streamlined workflows and communication, improved performance, and a greater competitive and financial advantage.1

Organizations that typically achieve full-scale DT go through these stages when implementing disruptive technologies:1

  1. A clear strategy is devised. Before leaders invest in DT, they need to consider which part of the organization’s performance they wish to enhance, and which technologies would be the most beneficial to do so.
  2. Insider insight is utilized. Instead of looking primarily to external consultants to drive change, organizations that successfully deploy disruptive technologies in order to transform digitally tend to defer to their staff’s insights. They use their employees’ feedback to check how feasible a suggested optimization would be.
  3. Customer input is used to design the customer experience. Getting customer input is fundamental when seeking to understand what customers want, and is essential when mapping out the ideal customer experience in order to improve customer satisfaction, which is an important goal of DT.
  4. Employees’ fears are allayed. Employees who believe technology is a threat to their jobs may obstruct any attempts at DT in the hope that leadership abandons the proposed changes. Leaders are more likely to see DT success when they acknowledge these fears and shift employees’ focus to the career opportunities that come with DT, such as new skills and improved expertise.
  5. A start-up culture is adopted. Agile decision-making, quick prototyping, and flat management structures are synonymous with a start-up culture, and suit the inherently uncertain process of DT. When organizations create a company culture where changes are provisional, decisions are made quickly, and departments collaborate with each other, DT is more likely to succeed.

GetSmarter’s flexible digital transformation courses will give you the skills, strategies, and knowledge you need to unlock the full potential of disruptive technologies in the workplace. Choose from a selection of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), financial technology (fintech), cryptocurrency (crypto), blockchain, algorithmic trading (algo trading), the internet of things (IoT), and innovation strategy online courses to update your knowledge, enhance your career, and improve the likelihood of successful DT in your organization.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of changing your business or organization by means of digitization. There are various facets to the process of DT, but a key process is translating data into meaningful information to generate insights that can inform strategies for business growth.9 Digital transformation can be focused on business or operational models and technologies,10 but the goal should primarily be customer- or employee-centric, with a focus on improving the end user’s experience, and reaching the customer through technology.11

Emerging trends in DT include the use of AI and ML for quick, scalable, and convenient data analysis to give businesses a competitive advantage, the emergence of even faster WiFi, the rise in importance of tech-adjacent services such as XaaS (the delivery of anything as a service), improved customer experience (CX) and digital privacy, and advances in conversational AI for improved customer interaction.12

DT often brings great benefits, such as better CX, improved data collection and analysis, greater profitability, and a stronger competitive advantage, but it also brings some challenges with it.13 Organizations and leaders need to change their vision, mission, and operational practices to ensure that all tasks and technologies are focused on understanding and responding to shifting customer expectations.14

In order to stay relevant and profitable, organizations must address the skills crisis that is resulting from DT. More than 1 billion people around the world will need to reskill and upskill in the next decade because of the changes in jobs brought about by new technologies.15

What is disruptive technology?

Disruptive technology is an umbrella term that refers to new technologies or innovations that significantly change how customers, industries, or organizations operate – often in far superior ways.16 Some examples of technologies that have led to significant disruption include portable data storage devices, cloud computing, cell phones, online shopping, digital news portals, ride-sharing apps, and GPS systems.17

The impact of DT on business and the global economy is significant. The World Economic Forum predicts the creation of 133 million new jobs, and the removal of 75 million jobs in the next few years as a result of innovative technology.18 Automation, robotics, and digitization are changing the way we do business, and organizations and individuals need to adapt to stay relevant or risk falling behind.

Key digital transformation skills

When it comes to achieving technical acuity during the process of digitization, every organization will have its own requirements. However, there are some core skills and competencies required for digital transformation in any type of organization. These include:

People skills
The ability to bridge the gap between what technology can offer and what business users need is a key skill in a growing digital economy. Skills such as big-picture perspective and empathy, along with good consultation, marketing, promotion, and presentation skills are required.19

Business skills
A recent survey on skills needed for DT revealed that business skills such as strategy building, project management, business relationship management, user support and training, and risk management are sought-after competencies in those who perform technical roles.20

Tech skills
In-demand technical skills for DT include specialization and innovation in data and AI, engineering, cloud computing, and product development.21

Cross-functional skills
Where tech competence is important, recent studies show that there’s a high demand for professionals with a combination of technical and people skills. With the increased development of new technologies, and changes in how people interact with these technologies, there’s an increased demand for professionals with skills in customer care, marketing, sales, content production, people and culture management, and development.22

Skill-proofing your career is essential as the speed of disruption accelerates, core job functions change, and new jobs emerge.

GetSmarter’s online short courses provide the personal support and flexible learning model you need to earn a certificate from an internationally acclaimed institution, update your skills, and reach your career-development goals.

Learn strategies and skills to design and drive digital transformation in your organization. Refresh and update your AI, blockchain, data analysis, and data science skills to keep abreast of changes in these fields, or increase your career options by gaining in-demand people skills and strategies.

Whatever your interest in digital transformation and disruptive technology, be it to harness its potential for a critical business advantage or to develop and analyze these technologies, GetSmarter has a course that will give you the skills you need to future-proof your career and organization.

Sources

1 Deakin, J. et al. (Apr, 2019). ‘Five moves to make during a digital transformation’. Retrieved from McKinsey.
2Tabrizi, B. et al. (Mar, 2019). ‘Digital transformation is not about technology’. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review.
3Tabrizi, B. et al. (Mar, 2019). ‘Digital transformation is not about technology’. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review.
4Deakin, J. et al. (Apr, 2019). ‘Five moves to make during a digital transformation’. Retrieved from McKinsey.
5Daugherty, P. et al. (Feb, 2019). ‘The post-digital era is upon us’. Retrieved from Accenture.
6(Nov, 2018). ‘Worldwide spending on digital transformation will be nearly $2 trillion in 2022 as organizations commit to DX, according to a new IDC spending guide’. Retrieved from IDC.
7Shur, L. (Apr, 2020). ‘What’s powering digital transformation?’. Retrieved from Forbes.
8Tabrizi, B. et al. (Mar, 2019). ‘Digital transformation is not about technology’. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review.
9Miller, J. (Aug, 2018). ‘What is a digital transformation and why should you care?’. Retrieved from Forbes.
10Spink, A. (Mar, 2020). ‘One vision for digital transformation’. Retrieved from TechRadar.
11Shur, L. (Apr, 2020). ‘What’s powering digital transformation?’. Retrieved from Forbes.
12Newman, D. (Jul, 2019). ‘Top 10 digital transformation trends for 2020’. Retrieved from Forbes.
13Mbachu, C. (Nov, 2018). ‘7 business benefits of digital transformation’. Retrieved from Medium.
14Shur, L. (Apr, 2020). ‘What’s powering digital transformation?’. Retrieved from Forbes.
15Zahidi, S. (Jan, 2020). ‘We need a global reskilling revolution – here’s why’. Retrieved from the World Economic Forum.
16Smith, T. (Mar, 2020). ‘Disruptive technology’. Retrieved from Investopedia.
17(Jan, 2020). ‘What is disruptive technology? Examples, startups, & risks’. Retrieved from TechMediaToday.
18(Jan, 2020). ‘Jobs of tomorrow: mapping opportunity in the new economy’. Retrieved from the World Economic Forum.
19Pratt, M. (Nov, 2018). ‘6 soft skills IT needs to succeed in the digital era’. Retrieved from CIO.
20(Jan, 2019). ‘Winter 2019: state of the CIO’. Retrieved from CIO.
21(Jan, 2020). ‘Jobs of tomorrow: mapping opportunity in the new economy’. Retrieved from the World Economic Forum.
22(Jan, 2020). ‘Jobs of tomorrow: mapping opportunity in the new economy’. Retrieved from the World Economic Forum.

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