To remain competitive in markets being disrupted by technology innovation, established organizations will need to evolve their approach to systems architecture. In this article, Daniel Calugar an experienced investor and tech enthusiast will share why systems innovation, and those systems architects who design it, can be a competitive differentiator in the digital economy.
Think about what Netflix has done to the video rental store, DVD-by-mail, and even the movie theatre business models. Or, think about what Uber has done to the taxi industry. These are prime examples of industries that were disrupted, even decimated, by technology innovation.
Ask yourself what Blockbuster Video and Yellow Cab did wrong. Not just these companies, but these entire industries. Why were they so unaware of the danger they faced until it was too late? Largely these industries were disrupted because they failed to evolve their technology systems. These companies lacked the vision to see how emerging technologies could be applied to their enterprises. There was no reason that Blockbuster couldn’t have been the pioneer in the at-home on-demand video space. If cab companies had adopted smartphone apps that allowed their customers to call a cab and pay with the app, Uber might not have ever gotten a foothold.
Any industry is vulnerable to disruption. As technology systems become capable of doing more, innovators will look for ways to apply cutting-edge technology to existing needs. Established organizations have the inside track if they will evolve their systems to incorporate innovative technologies. Established organizations with their finger on their customers’ pulse and one eye watching emerging technologies can block outside disruption by adapting themselves.
For the consumer, disruption is a good thing. If it weren’t, it wouldn’t gain traction. If customers didn’t value the ability to order anything they need from their computer or phone and have it arrive as soon as the next day, Amazon would not be the world’s second-largest retailer. But it is more than just a fancy new User Interface (UI). It’s more than just doing the same-old-thing faster. Innovative systems architecture is about all of those things and more. It is about finding ways to gather more data and then find a practical use for it.
Evolving a systems architecture is about introducing a technology whose application significantly affects the way a market or industry functions. It is about the latest hardware and software systems used to create new solutions with unparalleled usability, scalability, flexibility, and more.
Innovation is not a one-and-done proposition. It must be an ongoing process, or else you may have set yourself up to be the next flip phone. If any phone manufacturer had rested on their laurels and decided that their customers didn’t need smartphones because they had computers and tablets, they would have gone the way of the dodo bird. Companies like Apple continue to drive innovation because they understand their very existence depends on it.
Technology innovation is more strategically important than ever before because disruptive innovation has proven it can provide unimaginable profits. Some of the world’s best and brightest minds are always looking for ways to disrupt unsuspecting industries. Established companies can beat them to the punch by never accepting that things just are the way they are – because maybe things can and should be different.