Online services business Zen Internet hosted an event on transformative technology at Media City, Manchester, on November 19.

The event began with a session from John Lyons, head of cloud and technical services at Zen Internet, in which he explained how businesses need to support innovation and embrace disruption in order to succeed.

His thoughts centred on how information technology is fuelling a wave of disruption across the retail industry and that the right culture within an organisation is required to drive new and innovative approaches.

Businesses such as Uber, AirBnB and Spotify were cited by Lyons as setting the benchmark for disruption across the technology space.

He noted that businesses, both in and outside, the retail space need to think more like technology companies if they are to evolve their product offer in a dynamic manner.

Lyons wrapped up the session by explaining how he believes that the need to innovate is increasingly existential, with huge potential awards available to those who can adopt quickest.

Consumer impact

His thoughts were echoed throughout by the industry experts in attendance and the speakers that followed – including Alex Hamilton, head of research at Retail Week, who outlined some of the major technology shifts impacting consumer behaviour.

Criteo infographic v2

Criteo infographic v2

From mobile, to social and peer-to-peer delivery, Hamilton outlined the way in which consumption patterns are evolving and how retailers are adjusting.

As a case in point, Hamilton explained how consumers are shopping across multiple devices, with 68% of 1000 UK consumers surveyed in May 2015 noting they use multiple devices when purchasing a product online at least half of the time.

Martin O’Donnell, managing director at Zen Internet, wrapped up the session.

He noted how digital transformation affects every business and that organisational change is required if companies are to fully succeed in today’s disruptive landscape.