Convincing people of the benefits of disruption is one of the biggest hurdles. Humans are creatures of habit—and once we get settled into one way of doing things, it's often hard to dislodge us. (For example, one of the chief reasons AOL was able to survive its own slow transition to the broadband world was because millions of people had been using the service for their email for years.) To do so, there needs to be a recognized or unrecognized pain point of significance.
Even when a company can convince users to make a switch, it faces an even bigger hurdle with gatekeepers, if that disruption should have business implications. Few groups dig their heels in further than corporate IT departments when the suggestion is made to make a dramatic shift in equipment or software.
The reason is simple: Those shifts don't always work well with other critical parts of the company's infrastructure. And any long-term gain likely comes with some pretty severe short-term pain.
"[Companies often] like to follow buzzwords and don't know what that really means for their business," says Wesley D. Radcliffe, an IT employee at Rustybrick, Inc., a small PHP shop in Suffern, NY. "Did they do research and think that this is going to solve a problem or actually promote growth? Far too often is the Dilbert-style [thinking of] 'We have to switch to X because it is so hot right now'."
Look for special coverage of the Wired Business Conference, Tuesday, May 3, on "Power Lunch" at 1pm ET on CNBC. Michelle Caruso-Cabrera will report from the event and will speak with key participants, including some of the tech world's most-watched leaders.