The Original Disruption
Way back in the day, as far as scientists have it figured out, the dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the earth because of a rather large piece of rock hitting our earth. Or, it could have been because of a gigantic volcanic eruption, who knows, the aftermath is similar in both cases. Luckily, all life on earth was not lost, as small organisms were able to cope with the huge impact and its aftermath better than larger ones. The dinosaurs, especially the non-avian ones, were not able to do anything about the original disruption. Their body size, physique, and behavioral inelasticity made it impossible for them to adapt quickly enough.
Darwin’s Eternal Truth
There is a statement by Charles Darwin that is very true for any living system: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” The very same can be applied to any corporation as well. Usually, the small companies are better adapters than the large ones, but the likes of Google and Apple are an exception to the rule.
40% of Fortune 500 Gone!
John Chambers said at CES2015 that 40% of the current Fortune 500 corporations will not exist in 10 years. Yes, exist. I have also seen much more drastic predictions about how many corporations will be disrupted out of their business, but a prediction by Cisco’s ex-CEO will do fine as a baseline.
Disruption Will Happen!
Now, I’m 100% sure that 100% of the 40% corporations are not planning to be extinct any time soon. I checked around and noticed 0% of the Fortune 500 corporations publishing investor letters about going out of the business. No “Dear customer, we are going to be disrupted out of the business by Nov 30th, thank you for doing business with us” signs can be found on their websites. The Digital Disruption Asteroid will hit many, if not most, of the existing companies hard!
Chief Dinosaur Officer – CDO?
There’s a lot of buzz about Chief Digital Officers (CDO) these days. Multiple corporations have already hired a CDO, and the rest are trying to figure out if or when they should do the same move to enable and secure the Omni-channel and omnipotent customer experience. Then there’s the discussion if CIO’s role will be relevant in the future or not, or if it would evolve into a CDO. I think there’s always need for a strategy-oriented CIO. But let’s stick with the role of a CDO: let’s assume that all of the Fortune 500 corporations (other large and midsize companies as well) hire a CDO and still 40% will go out of business in 10 years. What went wrong? I will tell you: in most cases, the business is not aligned with IT.
Digitalization and IT
Digitalization – in short – means utilizing information technology in a novel or improved way. Our CEO Mika also wrote about this in a holistic fashion. Digital Business means interweaving (the improved) IT and business. This is trivial to corporations that are already Digi-native, such as Amazon. Still, a large number of corporations are still fighting keeping-the-lights-on-IT-battle and figuring out what to do with their legacy systems. Then again, even companies with modern IT landscapes can suffer and get disrupted if they are producing Behavioral Waste. Even if the business strategy is sound, a single CDO cannot hipsterize – putting lipstick on a pig as Mika wrote – the corporation into the digital era if the IT is incapable of executing.
Genome of a Digital Dinosaur: 11 Disruptive Genes
The second part of this blog will be about the Genome of a Digital Dinosaur. I will provide a list of DNA mutated Genes that cause IT disruption. These Digital Dinosaur Genes cause e.g. a medical condition called ‘Cloud Allergy’ and a disorder of not being able to burn Technical Debt kind of fat. And, as this is about dinosaurs and disruption, this list goes to eleven!