Be Ready for these Disruptive Technologies
If you grew up in Americas of 80’s there is a high possibility that you faced low picture quality and resolution and long shutter lag when you did your photograph for university. Quality and resolution are no longer major issues and shutter lag is much less than it used to be, thanks to the digital cameras.
The digital camera is a classic example of both a low-market and a new-market disruptive technology. By being new and relatively inexpensive, digital photography attracted many people to photography, expanding the total number of people using cameras. It also began to displace film and instant photography by providing photographers with an alternative which was cheaper and easier to handle than traditional film format photography.
The concept of disruptive technology was coined by Clayton M. Christensen in the 1995 book The Innovator's Dilemma. Such technologies surprise the market by generating a substantial improvement over existing technology. A disruptive technology or disruptive innovation is an innovation that improves a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically by being lower priced or designed for a different set of consumers.
Disruptive technologies have features that a few fringe (and generally new) customers value. Products based on disruptive technologies are typically cheaper to produce, simpler, smaller, better performing, and, frequently, more convenient to use.
More risk-taking companies may realize the potential of a disruptive technology and try to find ways to incorporate it into their business processes – the “innovators” of the technology adoption lifecycle – but most companies are more risk-averse and will adopt an innovation only after seeing how it performs with a wider audience.
Companies that fail to account for the effects of a new, disruptive technology may find themselves losing market share to companies that have found ways to integrate the technology into the way that they manage labor and capital.
Last year in the 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space at the Consumer Electronics Show we found Big Bang Disruptors namely:
- Transportation – Autonomous Vehicles
- Health and Fitness – The Quantified Self
- Manufacturing – 3D Printing and Robotics
- The Internet of Things
- Augmented Reality
It pays to invest in disruptive technology products
The history of Disruptive technologies is as old as the technologies itself. Christensen in his book goes on to suggest that ‘the refusal by successful and established companies or distributors to fully embrace disruptive technologies can lead to a sudden loss of dominance in their respective fields, if not their total disappearance’.
As also clear from the above graph that going forward these technologies are going to have a huge impact on the economy and sustaining technologies organizations need to constantly re-engineer themselves to remain a treasure trove else they will become oblivious like our dusty Kodak lying above the cupboard.