Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

3 things that can drive disruptive business

January 17, 2019

You’ve no doubt heard the word ‘disruption’ used in conversations about business more times than you care to remember these past few years.

But why has it become such a holy grail for tech entrepreneurs?

At a recent roundtable event we hosted in London with The Guardian, MarketInvoice CEO and co-founder Anul Stocker suggested it comes from a “desire to solve a problem, rather than a desire to be ‘disruptive’.”

Moneybox founder Ben Stanway echoed this sentiment. “I didn’t really go into it thinking I wanted to be disruptive,” he said. “There was a group of people who weren’t being served and we wanted to serve those needs.”

It seems ‘disruption’, then, is simply another type of problem-solving. But in this case the opportunities lie in spotting and solving problems in ways that nobody else has thought of.

And at the risk of uttering names that appears all-too-often in articles on this topic, you only have to look as far as the likes of Airbnb, Uber, Amazon or Netflix to see how rewarding disruptive thinking can be.

But such thinking doesn’t only come from having brilliant minds under your roof.

As a small-to-medium business (SMB), there are three ways you can use technology to increase your chances of becoming a disruptive brand…

  1. Getting connected

Your network is the unsung hero that can fuel your ambition. Having one that’s easy to deploy, operate, manage and scale can be key to quickly making the most of any new opportunities.

You also need a network that is always reliable. Otherwise you may spend more time fighting IT battles than solving real-world problems that could elevate your business.

And when being disruptive so often relies on being the quickest to move, the last thing you want is poor technology slowing you down.

  1. Staying secure

When a young and hungry entrepreneur starts their first business, cybersecurity is unlikely to be the first thing that springs into their mind (unless it happens to be a cybersecurity start-up).

But far from being just a functional must-have, security can actually be the difference between success and failure for an up-and-coming brand, particularly as most disruptive business models are heavily data-driven.

Imagine if Netflix or Uber had suffered a significant hack in the early days. They likely would have lost a lot of the early loyalty and momentum that drove them to success, and perhaps a competitor might have overtaken them.

Keeping your SMB secure gives you the freedom to explore disruptive ways of doing things without the fear of losing everything you’ve worked for.

  1. Making work easy

Whether it’s a fledgling start-up or a multinational conglomerate, a business is nothing without its people. And those people are only as good as the tools they have to work with.

Your employees will be more productive if you empower them to work in the way that suits them best. They’ll make better business decisions, enjoy their jobs more and ultimately get better results.

And when staff can meet and work anywhere, with anyone, you’ll have access to unlimited talent wherever your company happens to be based.

But most importantly: increased flexibility means people will be less hindered and better able to spot opportunities that could lead to disruptive innovation.

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