The business world is experiencing a wave of digital disruptions that are reshaping what it’s like to launch, lead, and work for companies. Consider this stunning change: In a 2015 survey, fewer than 1 percent of executives believed digital technology would disrupt their industries. Only two years later, more than 75% said digital would have a “major” or “transformative” impact on their industries.

In a fundamental way, virtually all businesses are becoming digital enterprises, regardless of what they produce, because digital systems are essential to how they create value and connect with customers. This digital transformation is affecting every aspect of business, from HR to finance to marketing.

Many companies in the past two or three decades were “born digital,” but many others have learned that digital competency has become key to their survival. Even a business as small as an espresso stand can use social media to expand sales, for example, and it can live or die based on the reviews it gets on Yelp. And in industries that might seem as far from the digital world of cloud computing and mobile apps as it’s possible to get, thousands of companies are turning to digital. Sectors ranging from agriculture to mining to heavy manufacturing increasingly rely on these technologies to improve productivity, manage operations, and market their products.

The Exciting—and Unsettling—Prospect of Digital Transformation

Students need to be ready for this new world of business for two key reasons. First, executives who are scrambling to implement their own digital transformations are looking for employees who are tuned into these concepts and technologies. New graduates aren't necessarily expected to be experts in these fields, naturally, but all business graduates should be aware of the basic concepts, particularly those that are prominent in their chosen career field.

Second, students can’t afford to set their sights on traditional career paths without understanding how those paths are changing—or in some cases, disappearing. Many of today’s jobs are vulnerable to disruption from artificial intelligence and related technologies, and many graduates will be working in jobs we can’t even envision today.

Predicting the eventual impact of a disruption this profound is also challenging. Artificial intelligence (AI) is finally going mainstream as a business tool after many decades of hopes and hype, but its long-term impact is difficult to gauge at this point. Millions of jobs involve tasks and decisions that AI could conceivably do (and is now doing in many cases), but it’s impossible to pin down how disruptive it will be to the job market. AI will redefine many jobs, eliminate some, and create some—and people in most professions should be prepared to learn new skills and adapt as opportunities and expectations change.

Integrating Digital Concepts in the Introduction to Business Course

Of course, the last thing any intro to business instructor wants to hear about is another topic that needs to be covered in a course that already covers so many.

To make it as easy as possible to introduce your students to these vital ideas without adding to your workload, the new Ninth Edition of Business in Action offers a unique approach called Thriving in the Digital Enterprise. Each chapter concludes with a section that explores one aspect of the digital enterprise, from general concepts such as big data and virtual reality to more specialized tools such as marketing analytics. These brief, nontechnical introductions help students understand the basic ideas and be more prepared if one of these topics appears in a job posting or comes up during a job interview.

To learn more about this new edition, please visit explorebia9.info.

 

Image credit: Jeremy Keith


"But the struggle doesn't end with finding available warehouse space. Companies are in need of space that can handle the needs of a large-scale e-commerce model. However, only 11% of warehouse space was built in the last decade, and the remaining space might not be up to snuff for modern day demands."


"Buy online, pick-up in store is often heralded as the future of retail: Customers shopping on their own terms, as efficiently as possible. But it might end up being a bigger lift than expected for retail stores."


"We needed to find a way to turn the page. We set about defining the company culture: who we are and how we show up for one another. Unsurprisingly, since we’re a tech company that makes it easy to conduct surveys, we sent a survey to ask what our employees thought. The result was a list of five employee values: Be accountable. Trust the team. Prioritize health. Listen to customers. Celebrate the journey. These are aspirational, but it was important that they align with how people at SurveyMonkey actually work together. They had to be more than just slogans we painted on the wall."


". . . In my study, many top performers were able to maintain a healthy work-life balance and not burn out on the job. That's because they embraced smarter ways of working, practices that allowed them to extract more value out of every hour on the job. They got more done, yet had more time outside of work to rest and recharge."

Author bio – "Morten T. Hansen is a professor in the school of information at the University of California – Berkeley. His latest book, Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More is out now."


"The first rule of doing work that matters is this: show up. Get to work so you can start making a difference. Of course, this is a no-brainer, so why do we not do it? We get distracted."


"Getting on to every single social media platform (and there are a lot these days!) can distract and disengage your followers," writes Kara Perez (photo, left).

"Social media is free marketing, but only if done well. If you’re creating bad content, or irrelevant content just to have something for a specific platform, you’ll isolate readers."


"As with weekend warriors, when a clash happens in business it can go one of two ways. We can go tribal and think the worst of one another, or we can give each other the benefit of the doubt, presume each other has good intentions and focus on the fix," writes Steve McKee (photo, left) in a SmartBrief.com article.

Author bio – Steve McKee is President of McKee Wallwork & Co. He is the author of When Growth Stalls and Power Branding.


"Tom Peters reflects on a half-century spent studying management."


"Don't wait to start paying off what you owe, because otherwise what you owe will hold you back, Suze Orman, personal finance expert and best-selling author of "Women & Money," tells CNBC Make It. "Debt is bondage," she says. 'You will never, ever, ever have financial freedom if you have debt.'"



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