Digital Disruption

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What Does Digital Disruption Mean?

Digital disruption is a rather broad way to describe various changes that affect technology markets and other related markets. Definitions differ a bit – for instance, TechTarget defines digital disruption as “the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services” and specifically distinguishes those phenomena from other changes involving any competition among digital technologies, while Gartner describes digital disruption as “an effect that changes the fundamental expectations and behaviors in a culture, market, industry or process that is caused by, or expressed through, digital capabilities, channels or assets.”

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Techopedia Explains Digital Disruption

On a more general level, digital disruption happens when advances in technology change our markets and our societies. One of the best examples is the rise of electronic reading which, for a while, seemed to threaten the traditional practice of reading off of a printed age. From the mighty struggle that traditional newspapers have put up to secure their continued existence, to wars between companies offering new e-readers and the sellers of physical print books, you can see all of these effects playing out in a massive pattern of digital disruption that alters markets forever. Another example is changes in the advertising world that center on digital channels like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and other streaming video services. Streaming video has changed markets and consumer trends in so many ways that it is hard to enumerate them.

Looking at digital disruption gives humans a better understanding of technological trends and what will happen to markets. For example, IT professionals may spend a lot of time brainstorming about phenomena like the internet of things and bring your own device trends in order to understand how digital disruption will work in the years to come.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.