Disruptive Technologies Can Be a Catalyst to Growth

January 27, 2012

Whenever we hear of a new technology described as disruptive, we assume the worst. We assume it means we need to hand over what we traditionally do to others with a better and cheaper solution. But this is far from the truth when innovation at various levels is applied. The sky isn’t falling, the opportunities are simply changing.

I had the extreme pleasure of attending a recent business roundtable where some NSCA members got together for benchmarking their companies and sharing ideas for business development. These thought leaders allowed me to share my ideas on the types of technology that would disrupt their business. In almost every case, we found that when a disruptive technology was mentioned, one of the companies had already developed a solution that could become a new profit source for their company. Whatever I introduced as a possible negative situation quickly became a positive with this group of business leaders.

For example, mobile devices have become the obvious and most talked about disruptive technology. It’s disruptive because it demystified the human interface to many of the existing systems we provide. As you know, one of my favorite industry sayings is, “there’s margin in the magic.” Well, systems that had a custom user interface often required hardware and programing that seemed like magic to the end-user. We were able to charge a lot of money for it since it was difficult to develop.

Moving forward the new interface devices will be simpler, more intuitive and less money. But the enhanced feature sets, overall system capabilities and the wide acceptance of the technology will create more demand for the solutions we provide allowing for huge potential growth in the scope of work we do.

One of my goals this year is to unveil a series of disruptive technologies by market sector and systems type. I’m going to include with that list what I believe is the barrier to growth and also the opportunity these technologies present to our members. If we understand the technology and the challenges it presents to the way we currently do business, then I believe we can also discover the underlying opportunities better.

I can’t think of a better way to help you grow your business than to share the insight from our industry’s leaders on what technologies will disrupt the norm, what barriers we need to overcome and how to spot the opportunities that will soon emerge. — CW


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