Disruptive Technology: Assessing its Potential

By: Rosemarie Szostak, Ph.D.
Nerac Senior Analyst

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A GPS mounted in a car as an example of Disruptive Technology

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.

Are you keeping an eye on emerging disruptive technology?

What do you know about the following disruptive technologies:

  • Blockchain
  • Cloud computing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Computational chemistry
  • Drones
  • Edge Computing
  • Nanotechnology/Graphene
  • Quantum computing
  • Metaverse
  • Digital Twins
  • Co-bots, Robots
  • Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Extended Reality (VR, AR, MR, XR)
  • Hyper-personalization
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • CRISPR
  • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data
  • 3D printing
  • Chatbots and smart assistants
  • Collaborative commerce
  • AND MORE

Assessing the value of disruptive technology to your business can be a complex process, as it involves analyzing various factors and trends in the technology landscape, your corporate culture for change, and the potential impact a disruptive technology can have on your business, positive or negative.

How Nerac Can Help

If you are unfamiliar with any of the disruptive technologies listed above, let Nerac help. Our analysts can provide a concise background of any individual technology and identify what impact that technology can have on your industrial sector. Nerac can provide case studies where available, identify the pros and cons of such a technology, and recommend potential paths forward in defining the technology’s value and which components of your business would most benefit. As these disruptive technologies infuse businesses, Nerac can keep you updated on advances, lessons learned, and potential paths forward so you are not blindsided. We can identify early adopters and innovators actively pushing the boundaries of these technologies and startups or companies working on cutting-edge solutions, as they often drive further disruptive technologies.

Getting further information on disruptive technology is easy. We can even help you craft the question for better results, just give us a call. We can also set up automated alerts, customized and delivered to your requirements, to keep you updated on where the technology is going in your industry. As expert researchers, we provide the information you need to make critical decisions to keep your business viable and profitable. Nerac is here to provide support and offer solutions tailored to your needs. Contact us here today!

About the Analyst

Rosemarie Szostak, Ph.D.

Rosemarie Szostak, Ph.D., advises companies on technology, patents, innovation and disruptive technology. She has 20 plus years of experience as a thought leader and analyst with broad technical knowledge in chemistry, materials and chemical engineering.

Academic Credentials

  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Chemical Engineering Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California Los Angeles
  • M.S., Chemistry/Physics, Georgetown University

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