We could discuss Elon Musk's innovations for days. And while he's been changing the technology game for years now in auto, aerospace, and battery tech, there is an abundance of other industries being disrupted daily. We just don't normally hear about them because they aren't as sexy.
The era of digital transformation is here and it has no plans of leaving. The reality is that the "less sexy" industries are just as primed and ready for disruption as all the rest. The more traditional industries, however, often hit roadblocks on the journey of transformation because of the old adage, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. While in theory this idea makes sense, if what we are doing works, what's the point in spending even more money? It's simple--growth, profit, and competitive advantage.
A good example of successfully disrupting an industry is my first business, Pinpoint Technologies, which sold software to ambulance companies. Not a very sexy business, and certainly not high growth.
However, we were successful at disrupting specifically for that reason--we entered a market where nobody else was playing and lucky enough for us, it worked. And it can work for you too, if you make the changes needed to embrace the technology available to us.
Look to the past.
The reason Apple comes out with an Apple Watch and other companies follow suit is because they don't want to fall too far behind the top dog. This could be why we no longer hear about the BlackBerrys of the world. Once extremely successful, these companies could no longer resonate with their audiences because they weren't producing the latest and greatest in technology. And aside from that one friend still using their Blackberry from 2007, it's no longer relevant.
How does this translate to industries we don't normally hear about? Take the manufacturing industry for example. While some of us might associate manufacturing with automation, it's not always the case.
Many manufacturing companies don't have the necessary data to inform what should and shouldn't be automated and more importantly, may not have the funds to automate to begin with. However, there are companies out there that are using technology to drive innovation in the manufacturing workforce and are steadily guiding the industry to a more positive technological future.
It seen daunting as a company to challenge the status quo of your industry, but it's a necessary step to disrupt your respective sectors. Here are a few pieces of advice to break out of your bubble and embrace disruption:
Start by embracing the thought of digital transformation. It's not something that could happen, it is happening.
Dropping everything at the first sign of trouble isn't the way to go and really isn't in your entrepreneurial spirit to begin with! Work with your team--revise your business plan and strategize to get you to that innovative idea.
Focus on one step of the process at time. Look at the bigger picture and take the time to identify what your company needs to do to be successful in your industry and how you can differentiate your product or company as a whole.
Stay current with industry trends. If it makes the most sense to incorporate AI into your product, do it. But don't force it. Think about what you need to stay ahead of the competition and go from there.
Stay relevant or bust.
At the end of the day, a tech strategy is a must to stay relevant in any industry. Ask any bookkeeper who was edged out of their job because they weren't up to date with their tech skills. Their failure to keep up pushed them into a standstill in their careers.
The same goes for businesses today. Learn, innovate, grow, sustain, and you'll remain. Cheesy, but it works.
Going back to my Elon Musk musings from earlier. Have you noticed that almost every car company is on a mission to create an all-electric fleet? They have to stay relevant in a day and age when Tesla reigns king in the car of the future. Your company can be the banking, real estate, healthcare, or retail company of the future if you embrace and innovate with the advancements in technology before it's too late.