28 August 2013

Digital Disruption: threat or opportunity?

Digital Disruption refers to a broad range of changes that affect businesses and organisations and are experienced by all of us in our daily lives. Digital Disruption is brought about by the application of and innovation with digital technologies such as smartphones, social media, various other Internet services, as well as the digitisation of traditional media. More and more such services and digital media become integrated into our everyday equipment, such as cars or entertainment systems.

Digital Disruption is often portrayed as an obstacle or threat to established businesses and frequently seen as bringing about unwanted changes to our social lives. Indeed the term ‘disruption’ almost carries with it a negative connotation. For example, the invention of mp3 has fundamentally disrupted the music industry, online delivery threatens traditional retail models, new online delivery modes ask tough questions of incumbent media corporations and the recruiting industry has to cope with job seekers having direct access to information and organisations like never before.

But while these changes present challenges, Digital Disruption at the same time brings with it tremendous opportunities and promises to innovate, invent new services, connect people in new ways or make more informed decisions. For example, today it is easier then ever to connect and communicate with our peers, we can roam the world with amazing new navigational devices, the Internet opens up spaces for crowdfunding of non-mainstream ideas, new technologies allow us to invent new co-working arrangements or augment our experience of the physical world, such as in museums or when travelling.

Problems and questions however remain: While opening new worlds for some, does digital technology exclude others? To what extent will digital change improve or worsen environmental sustainability? What are the implications for labour relations? How do organisations have to adapt in order to be at the better end of these changes? In short, how do we balance opportunities and threats?

Join us on 5 September 2013 at DISRUPT.SYDNEY, a full day event with presentations, talks, hands-on workshops and expert roundtables, hosted by the University of Sydney Business School’s Digital Disruption Research Group at our new CBD campus facility. Learn about disruption and how to capitalise, be challenged in your thinking, and see digital change in a new light.

For more information and registration to this free event visit: http://www.disruptisydney.com 

Author : Associate Professor Kai Riemer
Chair of Discipline of Business Information Systems, University of Sydney Business School
Kai's research covers the areas of Enterprise Social Media, Digital Disruption, Technology Appropriation and Sense-Making, Virtual Work, and the Philosophy of Technology. You can read more at his blog. Also follow Kai on Twitter.

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