Is Your Company on the Verge of Being Disrupted by B2B Online Platforms?

Angeline Rast
20 September 2019

The challenge of the status quo

In 1975, a Kodak engineer invented the digital camera. The company, which had a clear competitive advantage in film photography, had the next technology wave in its hands that would shape the future of its own industry. But the power of the status quo and the stability of the familiar became high hurdles for Kodak to overcome.

By 1981, Kodak had undertaken a study to determine the impact of digital technology on the future of film photography and the results showed that there would be a slow transition from film to digital. There would be a technological disruption to their business but there was time for them to develop a roadmap to respond to these new developments.

Unfortunately, the resistance to change was too great and the move to digital so strong in the marketplace that the ultimate result was a filing for bankruptcy protection in 2012. At its peak, Kodak employed 145,000 people, but today employs around 8,000 after recovering from near bankruptcy and is slowly rebuilding.

The status quo challenge proved to be too great for Kodak to overcome, and the same challenge is facing many companies today.

B2B online platforms as a disruptive technology

Currently the banking sector is facing a technological disruption that is bound to change the way the financial sector does business over time. A Citi report shows that in 2015 US banks lost 1.1% of their $850 billion revenue to financial technology companies. That figure is expected to rise to 17% by 2023.

Online trading platforms are becoming a disruptive technology to many businesses and sectors of the economy. The idea of efficient B2B transactions and the immediacy of accessibility to suppliers and consumers is shifting trade to the online environment.

Overcoming resistance to change

Large organizations, with tens of thousands of employees and a long history of business models and strategic directions have a great resistance to disruptive change. Management teams have tried and tested approaches to making decisions and executives have worked their way up through the ranks. These organizations tend to value stability, corporate momentum and predictability.

Entrepreneurs are applying themselves innovatively to the online B2B platform space, with a view to capturing a piece of the market. They are not looking to take the place of companies that have failed, but to disrupt the successful organizations in their sector who are too secure in their past performance to take note of the shifts in the marketplace.

However, organizations that are forward thinking, open to change and willing to explore online trading platforms can give themselves an edge over their competitors by creating a space for themselves in the growing marketplace of the future.

B2B online traders currently find suppliers and consumers reluctant to sign up and embrace this new technology, but the signs are there that momentum is shifting and there is an opportunity for today’s businesses to learn from the mistakes of others and respond early to the online trading disruption.

Using this ebook, you can become an agent of change, successfully forging a path for your organization into the digital future. 

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