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Author  Amanda Casteel

ITSM Consultant and ITIL 4 Managing Professional, Beyond20

May 14, 2021 |

 3 min read

  • Blog
  • Business solutions
  • Digital transformation
  • Service management
  • ITIL

The majority of organizations today are facing the reality of digital disruption.

However, the capability of companies to respond effectively varies greatly. If they aren’t able to handle even small organizational changes (either because the company is dysfunctional, has poor communications or is slow to bring new things to market) they will really struggle right now.

If your organization didn’t recognize digital disruption before, it certainly will now – which is where the need for knowledge contained in ITIL® 4 Digital and IT Strategy comes in.

What is digital disruption and its impact?

McKinsey & Company published a report in August 2020 with the title The Next Normal – The recovery will be digital (digitizing at speed and scale). This indicates very well where businesses find themselves at the moment.

In the “Why Digital Strategies Fail” section of the report, the authors assert that “a surprisingly large number [of CEOs] underestimate the increasing momentum of digitization, the behavioural changes and technology driving it and…the scale of disruption bearing down on them”.

Technology, of course, is very important here. Digital disruption revolves around the maturity of your technology and the capabilities you have to shift the way you do business to both remain competitive and to develop new ways of delivering value. And this goes beyond technology to leadership and how organizations function as a whole.

There are the well-known examples of disruption across various industries: Uber, Netflix and Airbnb. However, there are other, less well-known ones that show how disrupting your own organization helps you to remain relevant and responsive to competitive threats.

For example, Philips Lighting won a 10-year contract with the Washington DC transport authority to supply lighting-as-a-service in car parks, based on energy-efficient LEDs and adaptive controls but with no up-front cost to the city. The financing and service delivery in this instance took a lead from software industry service models – the lighting service is charged on a subscription basis rather than an upfront, one-time payment.

As ITIL 4’s Digital and IT Strategy emphasizes, this type of disruption ensures the business remains relevant and competitive in its marketplace.

Developing a response to digital disruption

Having advanced leadership qualities – in other words, really understanding what’s happening internally and externally to your organization – is essential to a digital disruption response.

This starts with developing a strong vision of what your business is trying to do, where it’s trying to go and making sure that internal activities and managers across the business are aligned to that vision.

In turn, there’s a need for operational efficiency to keep costs down, remain competitive and simultaneously balance that with customer experience.

Also, leaders can be pretty far removed from people working in IT and digital, so connecting them to those who are closest to the customer and customer experience is important.

ITIL 4 Digital and IT Strategy – a guide for business leaders

How often do you meet someone working in an organization that has truly disrupted a market?

If that’s a rare occurrence for you, the guidance provided in the ITIL 4 Digital and IT Strategy module gives leaders a way to create a vision, strategy, tools to rate the organization’s maturity and what the next steps are to make a difference.

The module’s digital positioning assessment and models are especially applicable to managing innovation, which is key to being successful.

It also opens up different best practices you may not be using yet in your organization, offering both theoretical and practical experience. This understanding, combined with tools and learning to apply in your situation, makes it easier to respond to disruption and implement strategy, vision and innovation.

Find out more about ITIL 4 Digital and IT Strategy.