You can tell when the economy is doing well, because you don’t worry about how you are going to make the next mortgage payment, you worry about the next disruption in the business. It seems that the big concern on the horizon now is digital disruption, a nice piece of alliteration designed to question your qualifications.

“DD,” as I will call it, is a confluence of a lot of amazing new technology that enables us to run our businesses better, faster and cheaper.

In a particular order it includes analytical tools for social, mobile and especially big data, as well as other components that have emerged over the past decade and are deployed in tandem to rapidly improve business life and possibly Personal life too, if you still have one.

Exposing the gap

DD is often described in terms of scarcity – something that you do not have that you should have. Its antecedents go back through the “Generation Gap” of my childhood and the JFK missile gap between the Russians and us in the 1960s (they thought they had more).

Kennedy exploited the difference to benefit the election. We have been creating and exploiting gaps since then. Interestingly, later scholarship showed that the Russians had more missiles than us, but they also had more missiles than nooks. We had more nukes, but our B-52 was accessible. For this much interval.

However, the interval – or “division,” as we now call them, has the amazing potential of quantization. You can determine how big the difference is, or at least you can specify a number, which seems very official. The other side is left stating that there is no difference and trying to prove a negative proposition is one of the hardest things you can try in the logic world.

How Hard Is It? Most times we do not try. In court, the accused often do not have to prove negative (I did not do that!). Instead, it is up to the prosecution to make the case beyond a reasonable doubt or based on evidence. see the difference?

Back to digital interruption. Digital stuff is shaking up your world, and has been doing it for most of your life, so why the worry-provoking thing now? More to the point, we are intentionally launching ourselves on another leg of the Gartner promotional cycle. we need?

Open your eyes and jump

People are publishing books and lecturing about DD, and some are making a lot of money on it. The vendor community may prefer to pay attention to gaps, which provide a certain self-sufficiency for discussion.

Whenever we talk about such gaps, common sense talks about how a product category can be useful can be replaced by thoughtless deliberations of speed and feed. We start trying to push the market forward based on budget and ability to pay, rather than answering difficult questions about utility and necessity.

The other day, I looked at some vendor material that said, “We have an XYZ system so you can do XYZ.” There was no discussion of the business process involved in XYZ, or if your business could do XYZ, it would be better. In the best tradition of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD), it was assumed that you already know the answer.

It is a matter of pure initial market, in which the need is often already assumed in the customer’s mind, when in fact the need has been poorly articulated, the subsequent hype strongly supports the disappointment.

We are advancing the state of the art of the front office so fast and so fast that most businesses will need to rethink their customer engagement strategies or more agile competitors to reduce risk.

The first thing you need to do is check your current processes, not your technology. Ask your customers about current methods and whether they meet customer needs. Ask how you can do better for them and if this or that technical approach matters to them.

The best way I can do this is to build a community of customers and ask them what they think, and plan accordingly. The money, time and effort you invest will reward you later when you buy the right technology for your business.

Nada, maybe more, maybe not. If you can retire an old approach, you can save some, and the new one can take you into a new channel that attracts more customers because it shows how they want to connect with you. If you do your primary research then you will know this.

Not surprising, though, if you can’t prove Roy. No one has ever proved the ROI of installing a phone or computer on every desk. It was just the right thing to do and you knew it.

so be careful. Some analysts, like me, do not say what other business did.

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