Scenario planning, business model and disruptive technology

Anzère, Switzerland – February 2007

Identifying how insurgents disrupt established markets is a major challenge. In this tutorial, we study techniques for evaluating the disruptive potential of innovative business models. We illustrate these techniques with the case study of Shockfish.

Our analysis is composed of three parts.

First, we present a scenario-based forecasting approach, which could be helpful before defining a strategy of adoption, deployment, and management of business solutions; this forecasting method seems particularly appropriate since the future in a technology landscape, such as mobile computing and ambient intelligence, is so uncertain and the pace of development so fast.

Second, we define a business model ontology, which provides the analyst with a framework for describing the main components of a business model, covering the product innovation, the customer relationship, the infrastructure management, and the financial aspects.

Thirdly, we describe an analytical instrument for detecting disruptive innovations. We apply this instrument to a case study in order to discover the disruptive potential of its business model.

Today’s business environment is characterized by rapid technological change that makes disruptive innovations and new business models possible. However, little analytical tools help in identifying disruptive business models. Therefore we believe there are four reasons why practitioners and academics attending MINEMA could be interested in this tutorial:

  1. It presents a rigorous conceptual framework for defining and describing a business model;
  2. It shows how this framework can be applied to describe and understand a concrete case study, and, in addition, how it can be used for comparing two business models;
  3. It describes an analytical instrument, similar to a multi-criterion decision model, for detecting the potential disruptiveness of a business model;
  4. The analytical tools presented in the tutorial are applied to an attractive case study that is a likely potential to disrupt the mobile computing market.


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