Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

The Digital Disruption Discussion

Posted on 29/04/2015 3:27 PM

There are several pieces to understand when trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle around digital disruption and turning it from a threat to an exciting opportunity for every business.   These pieces include:

  • Digital Disruption
  • Disruptive Innovation
  • Digital Natives vs Immigrants
  • Digital Leadership
  • Digital Masters

Below we provide definition of these pieces to help frame the Novo IT Digital Leadership program that ensures your leadership team is armed and supported to embrace digital disruption, which will be the key to the future success of your business.


What is Digital Disr​uption?

Digital disruption refers to changes enabled by digital technologies that occur at a pace and magnitude that disrupt established ways of value creation, social interactions, doing business and more generally our thinking.[1]

The three dimensions of Digital Disruption presented by the Chief Technology Officer Australia & New Zealand for Cisco Systems, Kevin Bloch:​






What is Disruptive Innovation?

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.

In contrast to disruptive innovation, a sustainin​g innovation does not create new markets or value networks but rather only evolves existing ones with better value, allowing the businesses within the market to compete against each other's sustaining improvements. Sustaining innovations may be either "discontinuous" (i.e. "transformational" or "revolutionary") or "continuous" (i.e. "evolutionary").[2]


What are Digital Natives?

A Digital Native is someone that has been born in the post digital world, after 1980.  Digital natives are characterized as having access to networked digital technologies and the skills to use those technologies. Major parts of their lives and daily activities are mediated by digital technologies: social interaction, friendships, civic activities, and hobbies. A digital native has never known any other way of life. Are your staff and clients Digital Natives?

Conversely a Digital Immigrant is someone that was born prior to 1980 and as Digital Immigrants learn – like all immigrants, some better than others – to adapt to their environment, they always retain, to some degree, their "accent," that is, their foot in the past.[3]


What is Digital Leadership?

We must distinguish between two related but different leadership categories. The most inclusive is "leadership in the digital age", which refers to leadership in any institution or sector embedded in the broader transitions toward a more knowledge intensive society. All leaders whether leaders in health, the arts or in manufacturing must be aware of the new constraints and opportunities Information Communication Technologies provide, and use them effectively. The second, "digital leadership" refers to leadership in the core sectors of the knowledge society – the three 'C's of computing, communications and content (broadcasting and print), and now multi-media. The two styles of leadership are closely linked - many leadership innovations originated in the core ICT sectors and diffused from there, such as the use of website portals to link customers and suppliers.

Digital leaders can be defined functionally by their contributions to the transition toward a knowledge society. These include awareness building, resource mobilization, operational leadership and structural leadership.[4]


What are Digital Masters?

Digital Masters use technology better than their competitors do and gain huge benefits.  The benefits occur not only in visible customer interactions, but also in less visible internal operations.

The advantages are apparent in the financials; Digital Masters are substantially more profitable than their peers.[5]

Digital Masters have the digital maturity not only to build digital innovations, but also to drive enterprise-wide transformation.  Digital maturity is a combination of two separate but related dimensions. The first, digital intensity, is investment in technology-enabled initiatives to change how the company operates – its customer engagements, internal operations, and even business models. Transformation management intensity, is the second dimension and is about creating the leadership capabilities necessary to drive digital transformation in the organization. Transformation intensity consists of the vision to shape a new future, governance and engagement to steer the course, and IT/business relationships to implement technology based change.[6]

About the Author

Stephen Chapman

Stephen is an experienced information and communications technology professional with expertise and thought leadership in cloud computing strategy, I​T strategy and network design. Stephen leads a team of experienced Consultants and cloud/network architects.

As the Director of the Innovation and Strategy at Novo IT, Stephen has helped companies across a variety of industries ensure their investment in IT infrastructure is worthwhile and delivers outstanding business results. Our work at Novo IT ranges from transitioning businesses to cloud computing, through to developing new IT infrastructure to keep our clients competitive with changes in technology.​

Related Insights

​​What is Digital Disruption?

Find out more about the three dimensions of Digital Disruption:

​See o​​ur rela​ted products:

​ ​​​

Contact Our Team
Name *
Company *
Email *
Message *
Captcha verificationEnter the code shown: