A new report released by RMIT Activator reveals the majority of Australian businesses are vulnerable when it comes to responding to disruption in their industry.
The results from the RMIT Activator survey Disruption - Ignore or Embrace? show 73 per cent of businesses recognise they are operating in a disruptive environment, but one-third of those are choosing to ignore the trend, and only 30 per cent are just starting to explore options of how to adapt.
Smaller enterprises consider themselves less susceptible to disruption and are, therefore, the least prepared for change if it occurs.
“One key to being a successful entrepreneur is to recognise where a market can be disrupted and build a sustainable business around such an opportunity,” RMIT Activator Director Renzo Scacco said.
“Knowing how to embrace disruption and navigate the range of opportunities is what we seek to teach our community at the Activator as each individual builds their entrepreneurial mindset."
Papercloud co-founder and RMIT Activator advisory board member Simon Holland was surprised at how many businesses were choosing to ignore disruptive change in their industries.
“If they are not being affected today, they will notice it tomorrow,” he said.
“Businesses need to adopt, embrace and nurture disruption and see how they can be a part of it. It’s about supporting change and getting excited about it rather than being scared.”
Disruption - Ignore or Embrace? is the first survey in the RMIT Activator Enterprise Insights series, which examines key topics related to enterprise and entrepreneurship as seen by the broader business community.
A cross-section of Australian businesses from the primary production, manufacturing, sales and service, and knowledge-based industries were asked about the level of disruption they were seeing in their sector and the economy as a whole.
The survey revealed that many businesses recognised the need to actively address the challenge of new technology, innovation and new entrants, but lacked the motivation to invest time and money into it.
The Insights aim to support and inform the RMIT Activator community as its members work towards launching their start-ups.
Upcoming surveys will address mergers and acquisitions of the future, employability, the resilience and wellbeing of entrepreneurs, social enterprise and future jobs.
RMIT Activator is a dynamic new platform developed to empower RMIT students, staff, alumni and researchers to create ideas launch startups and innovate existing business.
Story: John Fergusson