Understanding The Threat Of Disruptive Technology And Innovation

Amidst this ongoing pandemic and major geopolitical news, the business landscape continues to thrive and adapt to its surroundings, finding the most optimal opportunities at every step to attain success and turn a profit. However, while so much is happening globally, it has become even more apparent that even the most prominent companies can also be caught off guard, and startups manage to strike a weak point and get their shot at competing with bigger fish. This theory is better known as disruptive technology and innovation, both a blessing and a curse depending on the affected.

What Is Disruptive Technology and Innovation?

Disruptive technology and innovation are defined as a novel idea, design, or technology that revolutionizes and redefines current models. It is capable of superseding traditional and contemporary processes either through greater efficiency, more considerable market value, increased value network, low-cost solutions, and even a combination of the mentioned. Plus, it does not isolate one industry but happens across all manners of business, and whether your firm competes in financial tech or video-on-demand streaming services; there are no exclusions.

Industries Go Through Evolution

Change is inevitable. As big players and small startups alike continue to invest time, effort, and money into research and development, the evolution of an industry cannot be stopped. All it takes is for one major breakthrough and penetrating the mainstream market for market share and value to skyrocket.

Take, for example, the hard disk drive industry, a prominent storage space device for all forms of technology that has seen better days and is slowly losing steam in the modern era. As more people and companies lean toward the faster, efficient, and more reliable solid-state drives, the only conventional reason for owning an HDD would be for mass storage.

This concept of evolution and progress is evident across different industries, from more effective commercial cleaning systems to the adoption of electric cars, disruptive technological change and innovation are unavoidable.

Sustaining Vs. Disrupting

Apart from being replaced, there is also the matter of sustaining innovation and disruptive innovation, and the most affected by these concepts are big-name companies. From a successful firm’s standpoint who has perfected their current product and craft, conventional advice would point toward adding more features and making incremental changes to attract more customers, sustainable innovation.

But, from the perspective of a smaller company that wants to gamble on its chances and risk everything to go big or go home, they’re goals differ drastically. These businesses that go unnoticed put their effort into creating something new and better, a product or service that can displace well-established firms and disrupt the market.

A recent example of this would be AMD’s long trek in taking away the crown from Intel when it was at the brink of bankruptcy. You could also consider when Netflix first started but swiftly took over Blockbuster’s once-revered vast market share.

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What Can You Do?

Admittedly, while disruptive technology and innovation do pose a threat of being superseded to big companies and even to a smaller business with the risk of being left behind, there are ways for you to prepare. Regardless of whether you’re the disruptor or the disrupted, these practices apply to all and should be observed as the business world continues to shift and transform.

#1 Embrace Change

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with adhering to traditional methods that have proven effective and useful over the long-term. Still, as an industry evolves, your business must also learn to embrace change. Previous business models that worked under normal conditions won’t do as well with remote teams, and refraining from the digitization of normal operations is severely limiting your work productivity. So, tap into every opportunity space that will allow your company to level-up its products and services to reduce the risk of being overshadowed by disruptive innovation.

#2 Invest in Research And Development

Research and development are the bread and butter of innovation, and if you plan to combat disruptive technology and innovation, you should also have something up your sleeve. And whether it be to increase efficiency, finding more effective models/processes, or redefining current architecture from the ground-up, your investment in R&D will always be worthwhile. So, don’t skimp out on allocating the budget for the future, or else you run the risk of being left in the past.

#3 Never Underestimate Competition

Last but not least, never underestimate the competition, big or small. Remember, you also started in their position, and they are also capable of landing a breakthrough and penetrating the global market, potentially stealing away your valuable market share. So, don’t let your guard down and respect the strengths of other businesses.

Bottom Line: Don’t Go Soft

Overall, don’t go soft in the face of disruptive technology and innovation. See to it that you’re prepared and capable of overcoming challenges. Because all it takes is for one lucky shot, and you might be stuck on the low-end of the bargain.

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