Today’s technological disruptions blur the lines between industries, giving rise to new threats from unforeseen competitors and creating unexpected partnerships. Telecommunications companies are offering financial services. Technology firms are building cars. Retailers are providing health care. Companies need to make big changes to stay in business, according to Rufus Franck, founder of Consultants 500. In fact, only one-third of today’s large companies are expected to survive the next 25 years, he told Forbes.
Business leaders must be willing to shake up their business models and build partnerships across industries to access new customers and remain competitive. Morphing and merging industries doesn’t come without risk, but there are ways to shock-proof your organization so that it can overcome those risks and benefit from opportunities — whether it’s new data insights or a more rewarding experience for customers. “Digitization is a double-edged sword,” said Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research. “Sure, your business can be hurt and you can go away very fast, but on the flip side, you can disrupt the market you’re in very quickly.”
So what does it take to overcome the risks of industry convergence and maximize the opportunities? Planning for and implementing change to corporate culture is a key factor in successful cross-industry convergence, according to Charles King, president and principal analyst at Pund-IT. “Successful disruption typically requires companies to embrace cultural changes,” King said. “Those changes are often more significant and uncomfortable than adopting new processes and technologies.”
Companies today must be able to spot and capitalize on opportunities in new industries to stay competitive. Consideration of partnership opportunities will also require open communication among executives, according to King. “If C-level executives have come to a decision to push forward, they need to be well prepared to explain the business case and consider the potential problems that occur if they ignore the opportunity,” King said.