Disruption vs interruption

The disruptiveness of technology is a concept the industry loves touting.

Johannesburg, 27 May 2020
Read time 3min 40sec

Experts speak of disruption in glowing and, dare I say, often exaggerated terms. However, an idea the industry hasn't investigated thoroughly enough is that of interruption.

What happens when the entire world comes to a standstill and you, dear reader, have a business or department to run, a product to take to market, and services to render.

Depending on your digitisation or virtualisation strategy, COVID-19 has either caused a ripple or domino effect to your company. The ripple effect denotes a slight but discernible disturbance, while the domino effect is the subsequent falling apart of the business.

Disruptor or the disrupted

The significant difference between disruption and interruption is that without even thinking about it, most people define tech disruption as innovative.

Disruption is a better, faster, more efficient or cost-effective way of conducting business, while one considers interruption as a small, insignificant, procedural inconvenience.

Now the world witnesses the rampant ramifications of a prolonged interruption, one which begs the question: Have we invested enough time and resources in a long-term digitisation strategy to fuel the business continuity if a real-world interruption occurs?

Currently, we see how the overlap of macro-economic forces influences every part of the micro-environment. The economic, legal, political, and, most importantly, technological aspects of society have a heightened influence on the company, the value chain and competitors.

What is noteworthy is how disruptive technology (digitisation, virtualisation, cloud computing, consumption-based) presently acts as a buffer between macro and microeconomics. Companies look to technology as a comprehensive component of their business continuity strategy.

IT is integral. The notion of IT serving only a recovery management function in business continuity is falling away. The applications of an IT-driven continuity model are far-reaching and leverage all elements of the IT machine work, even in survival mode.

Take Axiz Digital, for example. What began in the spring of 2017 is currently a lifeline to many small and medium businesses in the channel.

When Andrew Moodley, CDO at Axiz, and his team of tech geeks went about building the digital twin to their brick and mortar business, they had no idea that there would be a global pandemic that would interrupt business as usual.

In an interview, Moodley ominously said: "There is no reward for being first-mover, but there is also no other choice. Either one is the disruptor or the disrupted."

The platform is part of a long-term platform strategy that sees Africa's most significant distributor move into providing advanced services and scarce IT skills to the market.

Jacques Malherbe, CTO of Axiz, says: “The digital platform is an enabler of Axiz’s servitisation strategy and the driver behind Axiz’s business model innovation. Merging services and product results in an advanced value proposition that can meet our customers’ needs across technology, management, commercial and sustainability dimensions. In an advanced services business model, the customer value is calculated in business outcomes and the relationship with our partners makes a shift-left. This moves Axiz and our partners closer to the end-customer and the partnership provides strategic and digitally infused business value.”

Axiz Digital emerged in the crucible of necessity and now serves as an aid for many businesses. The platform is more than an e-commerce platform, but a gateway to a wide array of products and services for the B2B market. It is the culmination of years of preparing the company to move towards the future and be a market driver for the adoption of new technologies.

Axiz Digital is part of a broader strategy to transcend technology and build ecosystems availing next-generation vendor technologies (cloud, mobility, hyper-converged systems) to the market and driving growth through a service-defined platform. In a 2019 interview, the Axiz CEO, Craig Brunsden, gave the perfect summation of the platform: “Our success depends entirely on our ability to help partners through this transformation, and meet their needs in the emerging digital economy.”