Research Library

The Myths and Realities of Digital Disruption - An Executive's Guide Infographic

Contrary to what we often hear, the disruptive impact of information technology is not accelerating.  It actually comes in waves.  This figure depicts our sense of the overall economic disruption caused by the major eras of IT innovation. 

Thus far, the biggest digital disruptions have come from the mainstream web/internet, and this remains true today.  In contrast, although mobility is now vital to just about every business sector, only Apple and Uber have become giant mobility-based disruptors. 

The so-called internet of things (IoT) is proving even less disruptive, at least thus far.  While many of today’s IoT technologies have great potential, they seem unlikely to match the economic impact of the initial internet boom.  This reality is not well understood in the marketplace today. 

But the big waves will come in again soon.  Expect advances in science will make today’s technologies seem primitive, enabling societal shifts much greater than those we have lived through thus far. 


Infographic - The Myths and Realities of Digital Disruption - An Executive's Guide

JPEG (1.5 MB)


David Moschella
Research Fellow
David Moschella, based in the United States, is a Research Fellow for Leading Edge Forum.  David's focus is on industry disruptions, machine intelligence and related business model strategies.  David was previously Global Research Director of the programme. David’s key areas of expertise include globalization, industry restructuring, disruptive technologies, and the co-evolution of business and IT.  He is the author of multiple research reports, including Disrupting the Professions through Machine Learning and Digital Trust, 2016 Study Tour Report: Applying Machine Intelligence, There is Now a Formula for Machine Intelligence Innovation,  Embracing 'the Matrix' and the Machine Intelligence Era and The Myths and Realities of Digital Disruption. An author and columnist, David’s second book, Customer-Driven IT, How Users Are Shaping Technology Industry Growth, was published in 2003 by Harvard Business School Press.  The book predicted the shift from a supplier-driven to today’s customer-led IT environment.  His 1997 book, Waves of Power, assessed global competition within the IT supplier community.  He has written some 200 columns for Computerworld, the IT Industry’s leading publication on Enterprise IT, and has presented at countless industry events all around the world. David previously spent 15 years with International Data Corporation, where he was IDC’s main spokesperson on global IT industry trends and was responsible for its worldwide technology, industry and market forecasts.