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Everybody Will Work in Silicon Valley

By David Ratz

According to two of the leading IT research firms, we are at the beginning of a technology revolution that turns consumers into “digital disruptors” and “everyone [into] a technology company.”

These firms are predicting newer digital technologies and business models will disrupt the legacy businesses we know and love today. A recent example is the closure of 300 Blockbuster retail stores by Dish Network, a byproduct of Netflix’s disruption of the traditional video rental market. Consumers no longer see the value in visiting a video store to rent a movie, when they can stream the same movie on-demand over the Internet to their TV, laptop, tablet or smartphone from anywhere.  

The ability of newer digital technologies to impact existing business models are seen as infinite. Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of research at Gartner, pointed to the future of driverless vehicles and the unknown impact this innovation may have on the insurance industry. He asks in a Sept. 30, 2013 blog post, Everyone is a Technology Company, “Will personal risk profiles for drivers mean anything when you’re not actually driving? What does this mean to your insurance policy? To insurance companies1?”

Forrester analyst James McQuivey, and author of Digital Disruption, says, “In every industry, digital competitors are taking advantage of new platforms, tools, and relationships to undercut competitors, get closer to customers, and disrupt the usual way of doing business.” In his research report, Organizing For Digital Disruption: Where And How To Ignite Disruption, McQuivey writes,
“…digital disruption occurs anytime a company uses digital tools or platforms to deliver better product experiences to customers in less time and for less money.”

The opportunity for companies to jump into the digital game to create products and services that bring them closer to their customers is now. McQuivey writes, “The tools to engage in digital disruption are available to anyone and in some cases are even free2.”   

The development of new digital business models and products will significantly increase the volume of data companies will collect and analyze. We are already seeing the beginning of this trend, with the mass adoption of smartphones, telematics in automobiles, and wearable devices such as Google Glass, smart watches, and personal activity and fitness monitors from Nike, Fitbit and Jawbone.  

To succeed in the new digital era, companies will need data analytic tools to analyze and extract value from existing and new data sources. This is especially true for marketers as they look to examine ever-expanding data sets to help them make informed business decisions.    

How are you preparing your business for the digital era?    

1Sondergaard, P. (2013, Sept. 30). Everyone is a Technology Company. Retrieved from

2McQuivey, J. (2013, Oct. 31). Organizing For Digital Disruption: Where And How to Ignite Disruption. Retrieved from

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