At a recent conference I attend in Dallas the major theme was “Disruptors”. They defined disruptors as companies or processes that have a significant impact on a market by either changing the way business is done or reinventing the business, think Uber or Airbnb. Both of these companies have added a new dimension on how business is done in their respective markets and paradoxically Uber owns no cars and Airbnb owns no hotels. So now that the term “Disruptor” has become and “in” term for companies wanting to define themselves as innovative we should take a closer look the difference between disrupt, transitional or simple change.
In the retail point of sale world offering a hosted system is simply a change of where data is stored. A Saas model is transitional because you are offering a new pricing model that bills monthly for the software and all services for a long as a retailer use the software. The “Disruptor” in the point of sale market place is coming. That will be when companies not only offer their core solution as a Saas model but also a full complement of add on solutions such as Open to Buy, CRM, BI reporting and Warehouse management to name few. The disruptive aspect of this model will be when the add on software is also on a monthly subscription with cost determined by usage.
This is a quote from Jay Samit’s book Disrupt You! “Businesses whether they sell dog food or software- don’t sell products; they sell solutions”. Uber and Airbnb are both selling a service which disrupted the existing business model. Thinking ahead digital printing is looming as the next big disruptor to manufacturing but will it also be a disruptor to retail? I can envision Amazon in the near future selling certain categories of consumer products and delivery them to a digital printer. Can digital services be as disruptive to specific traditional retail segments as it was to book stores and music stores?
This may sound crazy but worth pondering!