Disrupportunity: Why change is different now

Research2 min19 October 2017By Dexus Research

It has been said that the only constant in life is change. Every day we observe businesses around us dealing with the disruptive effects of change. So why are we paying more attention to change than ever before? 

The world in which we live has always evolved and businesses have adapted. In recent decades, we have witnessed significant changes in technology including wireless internet, digital media, smartphones, drones and cashless payments. But there's a whole new set of factors which make the situation different this time. 

One factor is the speed of change. The fact that a single smartphone today has more computing power than all of NASA had when it sent a man to the moon in 1969 illustrates the advances technology has made in a short time. 

It's not only the speed, but the nature of change that is different now. There are three trends making this moment in history different to any other. These trends are connectivity, automation and the millennial generation. 

Automation will change the size and shape of business over the next decade.

There are three trends making this moment in history different to any other

An unprecedented level of connectivity is changing how and where we work. Mobile technology and the Internet of Things are enabling people and devices to connect, anywhere at any time. Cloud technology is enhancing collaboration by providing a wireless way to store and share data. Many businesses are making the shift with the number of Australian businesses using the cloud increasing from one fifth to almost one third, in just one year. 

Intelligent automation is shaking up how businesses operate. A combination of artificial intelligence and automation enables computers and algorithms to manage processes which in turn reduce the labour needed for many service sector roles, generating cost and time efficiencies. PWC[1] estimate that 25% of tasks across every job sector will be automated by 2019, and the percentage will continue to grow. 

Businesses should expect their size and shape to change over the next decade as processes become automated. Some roles will become redundant and new roles will be created. 

The emergence of millennials in the workforce will have a profound impact on the way people work. Millennials have been brought up with digital technology and expect information to be instantly at their fingertips. According to CBRE [2], millennials are already the greatest proportion of the working population at 25% and by 2020 are expected to comprise 35%. Business technology will need to be state of the art to cater for workforce expectations. Leading workplaces of the future will need to connect individuals, create vibrant communities, offer fully cohesive services and provide lifestyle benefits. 

It is these three trends, and the speed with which they are occurring which makes us pay attention. These trends will lead to disruption, but equally create opportunities. We term this dichotomy 'disrupportunity'. 

The ongoing success of businesses will depend on their ability to understand the disruption and be agile enough to respond to the opportunities. 


[1] PWC People, Change and Robots 2016
[2] CBRE Asia Pacific Major Report - Millenials - Shopping The Future of Real Estate 2016

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