What is the Digital Disruption, a radical change for SMEs

Fabio Parolini

We don’t need revolutions to run in the digital, but go out from the comfortzone by little steps: this is the first signal of change.

#DigitalTalk with Fabio Parolini

#DigitalTalk with Fabio Parolini, (@FParolini) Communication Manager and Digital Strategist and fast writer.

Gabriele: “Digital Disruption is a neologism that is haunting us in these years, but it isn’t a dirty word! This is the change that takes place when the new digital technologies and business models developed with them, influences the value proposition of existing products or services. The fast rise in the use of mobile devices for personal and business use, has increased the potential of the Digital Disruption for many sectors. An example may be Amazon or Sky Online, that have radically changed the entertainment and the comunication, changing the methods of access to contents, and monetization of advertising. Even television, is now forced to adopt a multi-channel to get profits from its products. How can this change affect the Italian SMEs?”

Fabio: “2015. We are now facing a major change. Change where we are the protagonist’s day-by-day. We’re in: we can’t deny or ignore this ‘passage’ that sees every person at the centre. A disruption that doesn’t delete but takes care of the process simplification, methods, streams processed and used so far simplifying users’ lives. The Digital Disruption calls the psychology of our “I” helping/asking to our brain to produce every second new idea, deloping new cheaper products and shower development times. The concept of costumer is changing. Human Resources are getting the best from this changing: is from them that starts new concepts of organization, collaboration, the importance of the employee. From Industrial to Digital Revolution, about 200 years of changes. Two different concepts that brought important changes. The Digital Revolution today is completely changing the agencies’ status quo. There is just one way to ‘live’ and not ‘suffer’ the change: tackle the digital by constantly monitoring the net with great attention by creating networks and engaging with people and contents. Digital and real life are no longer two separate entities: they go together. The SMEs, unlike the giants, have always worked and developed their business with care and attention, cultivating their garden because they came from an education that, until a few years ago, was perfectly in line with the period. Now it’s impossible to tell that “we have always done so” because the risk is to fall and close: what we would call disaster blaming those who govern the country. The commitment is of all! From who govern to the entrepreneur who must take the situation and make it his own thinking about innovation, how to enhance their personal, simplification of processes. So we must change the way of doing business. The SMEs have fear. Fears in line with that we have to fight every day. Fear of investments. Fear of training. Fear of the collaboration. Common fears even to the giants that live this fear with the change of internal organization: it’s no longer allowed to work in Business Unit, in silos : every agency must invest in the creation of a hub to producesinergy between sectors of it. Comunicatio, Collaboration,Sharing: key words of new Marketing model that bring values and invoiced to the agency. With the Digital Disruption, the SMEs must learn to slim work, processes…”

Gabriele: “How can entrepreneurs come to terms with this change? From where to start? You spoke about education, training for businesses. I’m sure that it’s necessary to start here, trying to fill the gap that the agencies have against the digital. Digital Divide, another dirty word? Already a few years this concept is bound to the broadband, but how can we offer powerfull instruments to businesses, if there isn’t a digital culture? In my opinion the Digital Disruption shouldn’t affect just product and services but the entrepreneurs themselves. If there is a thing that shines throught social media, is that the agencies are made of people, and not just of products. Maybe someone forgot this.”

Fabio: “The entrepreneur today must draw what happens since now to his business and analyze, study ‘what he wants to do when he grows up’. An important step that every entrepreneur should do: pay attention. Particular attention because are the goals to give life to this big change. We can see the goal from two different points of view: today and the future. Andrea Angiolini, president of the Digital Commission, says that the future can’t be imagined and nobody knows what could happen from today to two or three years; there is the need to identify the next reasonable step, that should not necessarily be revolutionary… Yes, I mentioned two terms that are important to me when I talk about Digital and the change of Business Strategy: Education and Training. Businesses need to be titled. It is an important step. The businesses, the entrepreneurs, don’t need just notions but someone who accompany them in their first steps, like an adult do with his children when they hold on objects and… move their feet. We can’t think that the first steps are always the best and those which give the stability… because is the experience make you run and became a champion. The Digital has arrived so fast: if we go back of a few years, in the Mobile sector (for example) we started with the phone selling: years-long process… until to the smartphone selling — many years have passed, as opposed, (in a short time) we passed from the smartphone to the Internet of things (the evolution of instruments and so we talk about smart cities, smart building…) starts from the internet of everything (seen as the digital evolution of the all society so…schools, cities, businesses…), to the Wearables Technology fighting and living with Big Data, Analytics, etc… we never stop learning and I like to remember a sentence that daily that contributes to my growth: he who hesitates is lost! There is an educational and mental gap in Italian companies: often we live very well in our habitat that we don’t care about what there is around and we look out just when we are forced: the right behaviour isn’t to close in your office but to live in an open-space because the right attitude to learn, is to collaborate and exchange ideas when a person learns, the most beautiful thing is to “infect” the others. None should feel excluded and even inappropriate in this landscape. You shold open your mind and open your eyes wide! Make themselves available. The Government and the giants are doing big steps with the Collaboration so as to give opportunities to companies and privates to approach to the world of Digital with less effort and maximum efficiency, maximum productivity. I think of the Telecom Italia’s activities, to the education that CISCO is giving in the schools, to the creation of co-working spaces, to the In next work and Google in the platforms of Collaboration and Enterprise Social Network for public and private companies, to the broadband and new mobile contracts…and more who fight putting at the first place the needs of the people: it isn’t enough? We are a “late arrival” Country to the digital and we can’t deny but we are going: soon we will run, paying for this detachment but I’m sure that this is not a race as achieve the ultimate goal of a correct approach. You’re right! The companies’ core has moved from products and services to the people. Why? It’s easy: at the moment when a person feels at home, considered, appreciate… and lives his job not as a ‘commitment and/or obligation’ but as part of his life, then production rises and consequently the productivity, contribute to the increase in sales, the company’s capital. So we have gone from a B2B concept to an H2H: the person at the centre of every change! That’s why we have to keep monitored three major phenomena: The Digital and the real world — working life and private life — travel more and more on the same line and in a parallel way by integrating the ‘life processes’ and purchase with the use of mobile devices; Help the costumer — costumer experience — to increase its ‘experience’ of purchase; Big Data: acquire, manage, monitor, organize, process, interpret the vast amounts of Digital data that each company owns thereby making it all available to the people”.

Gabriele: “If we wanted to sum it all up in a tweet, we could say so: “We don’t need #revolutions to run in the #digital, but go out from the #comfortzone by little steps: this is the first signal of #change”. I believe that in this, we professionals have an obligation to help entrepreneurs to take these first, small steps, possibly trying to be a bit more concrete and less confusing in concepts.”


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Defined by Going Global UK: "LEADING EXPERT IN INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES". Coordinator of the Networking Club of Philip Kotler at the Italian Marketing Foundation. The only Italian who accomplished the MIT Digital Business Strategy Executive Program about Digital Transformation (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Co-founder of Weevo, co-publisher of Il Giornale delle PMI, author of "Strategie web per i mercati esteri", Hoepli 2016 (Digital Strategies for International Markets).

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