10 February, 2020

The biggest night of Hollywood in 2020 - The 92nd Academy Awards ended just a few hours ago at Dolby Theaters, Los Angeles, California. For the first time in the history of the Academy Awards, Netflix - a streaming service bagged the maximum nominations of 24 and won two awards this year. Laura Dern took the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in Netflix's Marriage Story, and Netflix's American Factory won Best Documentary Feature.

Since the late 1990s, Hollywood has taken an uninterested approach to the idea of live-streaming as a platform for serious film and television drama. But time and technology have changed all that.

In fact, the nominations lists during the awards season this year featured a great many artists funded through streaming networks including Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston headlining Apple TV’s The Morning Show, just to name a few. This would be considered unimaginable even a few years ago, but it is a great example of how digital disruption is upending the world as we know it. Very quickly, digital start-ups are challenging traditional businesses and disrupting industries. 

By 2013 or so, it was clear to business visionaries that every business would be a digital business, making technology a key driver of growth, innovation and disruption, as against the earlier perception of being a mere support function. Today, that vision has taken a solid shape.

From buying a mobile phone to a large TV, ordering food or even groceries, looking for a plumber or handyman, a wave of digital transformation has changed the way people do things. And businesses are seeing the writing on the wall. Leading carmakers are making feverish moves to get on the electric bandwagon as battery technology comes of age and electric cars rapidly become affordable. Whether today’s market leaders will continue to be leaders 15 years from now is something that will be decided by the way these companies pivot today in response to the changing trends in auto. 

Disruption has not left any sector untouched—from the creative arts where streaming services are becoming more important than traditional movie studios, to banking where customer service is increasingly automated.

It is obvious that businesses need to prepare to pivot so they can get on the right side of digital disruption. But most companies are hesitant to take the needed steps. Some are inhibited by their inability to raise or replenish capital, while others are simply fearful of failure. Intensely focused on their core business—their bread and butter—they find it difficult to make the bold moves required to capture new opportunities. The apprehension is understandable, and caution is crucial, yet inaction is not an option. Companies need to pivot to the future, without further delay. 

Digital disruption is now continuous. The next wave of change is already on its way. Surviving and thriving in this age of constant disruption requires business will. But it also requires the right digital technology foundation.

The tides of disruption brought by technology are not something that can be stopped. The question is whether people will take charge of the changes that are coming their way and capitalize on opportunity or let those changes take charge and disrupt their future.