Remember “There’s an app for that”? The hip friend you consulted before downloading? That was 2010. The new cool are digital disruptors. Uber has become the poster child for digital business and disruption of traditional models ripe for change. In our work at Centric Digital, we frequently hear clients request to be “The Uber of ____” and new businesses describe themselves as the “Uber of something”. But technology is only part of the equation, savvy consumers are seeking out simple, streamlined digital experiences.

In the tidal wave of innovation we have seen from Silicon Valley, the next great wave is upending traditional industries as we know it. GroceriesSmoke Alarms, Peer-to-Peer Payments, and so forth are all being disrupted by the new game changers with a knack for reimagining an industry and infusing technology. The innovators aren’t building new businesses out of spectacular ideas, they are cutting out the middlemen, promising transparency, utilizing technology to drive efficiencies and investing in digital, mobile-centric experiences to interact with customers. Listening is core to the heart of upending. Technology has broken down traditional barriers, but the disruptors who will succeed are the companies who understand and design for the Uber generation.

Digital Disruptors Are Inevitable

Disruption should be on the forefront of any C-level executive’s business plan. Regardless of the level of desire to become the next Uber, it’s a safe bet to assume your business will radically change and Generation Y will quickly jump ship for the disruptor. Disruption is the wave of the future. In case you missed it, NewYork Magazine’s last two issues spotlighted “disruptors”, first Washio “demolishing laundry”, and the new companies driving the Future of Finance. Both articles highlight “disruption”, but more importantly, the businesses were formed by someone seeking a better solution to existing models. It doesn’t take more than a glance across the major news headlines to realize that no business is safe from disruption.

Current traditional businesses need to look ahead in order to retain their customers and maintain growth. Embrace digital and implement sound, tactical digital strategies that are holistic and integrated to the rest of your operation. Mobile first. Think beyond your current competition and envision what a disruptor could change in your industry.