The Digital Disruption Research Group (DDRG) at the University of Sydney is a joint initiative between the Business Information Systems and Work and Organization Studies disciplines, led by Kristine Dery and Kai Riemer. Here is what my colleagues mean by digital disruption, from Kai Riemer's blog, bbr (backed by research).
What is disruptive about digital change?"Our observation is that disruptive change is change that disrupts our understanding of the world.
Digital disruption changes the basis on which we make sense of, give meaning to and understand our business and work-life practices.
An example might illustrate this. The emergence of devices such as the iPad has changed fundamentally not only how we consume data and documents, how we communicate, how we learn and how we perform various business practices but also more fundamentally our understanding of what a computer or phone is, what counts as a workplace, or what an appropriate business meeting looks like. In consequence it has also brought about new professional identities such as that of the modern tech-savvy road warrior manager.
The nature and magnitude of these changes was hardly predictable when the iPad was released (it is worth googling and reading the commentary at the time). Rather, they are the result of continuous social sense-making and adaption processes.
We argue that digital disruption does not simply change markets, or present innovative business ideas (although that is one result).
Digital disruption is not merely the digitisation of an existing business model or the replacement with a digital alternative, such as putting University lecture content online or selling products through online shops. This is a far too limited understanding." (See more on: Kai Riemer's, 7 March 2013, bbr blog)