By: Rosemarie Szostak, Ph.D.
Nerac Senior Analyst
The technology landscape is dynamic, challenging companies to determine which technology they should embrace now, later, or never.
A disruptive technology significantly changes how people interact with and use existing technologies, creates a new market or industry, or transforms business.
Bringing disruptive technology into an organization can be long and often frustrating. Many companies do not attempt to do so until the technology has proved itself, or they are forced to keep up with competitors.
GPS was first conceived in 1958 and became commercially available in the 1980s. It took over 35 years for GPS to become a household necessity. Today, 85% of the world’s population has a smartphone with a GPS app. Many industries have also embraced this technology, finding its value in the logistics and transportation of their products, saving them time and money.
Amazon, founded in 1994 as an online bookseller, has embraced disruptive technologies since the introduction of the World Wide Web. In today’s digital age, Amazon has groomed customers to expect fast, seamless, and convenient service experiences by becoming an early adopter of emerging disruptive technologies, such as mobile apps, online platforms, chatbots, and artificial intelligence. Other consumer-oriented companies are forced to play catch-up.
Wearable health monitors are revolutionizing the healthcare industry. Individuals could always take their blood pressure (BP) and write it down in their BP log, but now they can do it digitally, monitoring their BP and O2 saturation, heart rate, EKG, blood sugar, and even sleep quality. This data is saved on personal digital devices and can be downloaded and sent to their physicians. Digital health monitoring is changing the dynamics of the medical industry.
However, adopting disruptive technologies can have a downside. Remember the dot-com meltdown in 2000-2002? Etoys.com was one of them. The company was established as an all-online toy store. They were highly successful, indicating the value of online shopping even though only 26% of US households had Internet access at that time. The company’s downfall came from being so enamored of its digital prowess that it forgot the fundamentals of operating a seasonal business. The savvy company needs to understand that disruptive technologies can significantly advance their business, but basic math is still basic math.
What do you know about the following disruptive technologies: