Disruptive Technology in Today’s Business

outsourcing-multiple-pics

In life, sometimes it is the simple things that count, despite modern technology. In the next few months, I will be able to see 3-4 of my books published. Traditionally, it takes most large publishing houses 12-18 months before their books are published. As an independent publisher, I learned that the speed of products to the market place is a good way to beat a large competitor.

In fact, my success relates to a simple website called Elance.com, a freelance website that allow customers to solicit work from a variety of outsourcing services, which include programmers, designers, office support, translators, marketers, researchers and many other disciplines.

Elance.com allows a business to post a job opening and invites freelance workers who believe they have the requisite skills for the job to make a bid. The company charges a $10 fee to each business to post a job and also takes a small portion of what gets paid to contractors. Through this website, I have found some of the most talented individuals from across the world. For these services, it is a buyer’s market. Some people would argue that it is all about buying cheap labor for profitability.

In this scenario, developed countries appear to be exploiting underdeveloped countries. This is not always true. I have paid more in the past for the best talent. With that said, potential employers see a website that attracts over 500,000 talented freelancers. For the freelancer, there is an opportunity to bid on 48,000 jobs, worth $480K.[1] Therefore, a differentiating strategy can defeat a low-cost strategy on a global playing field.

Technology must be a management tool that is used strategically. Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, provides a framework for understanding the interrelationship between technology changes and a business success. Christensen demonstrates how successful companies have been overtaken by small disruptive technologies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGzXWO_anLI

The cell phone, undermining the profitability of the established communication networks such as AT&T, further showcases the impacts of disruptive technology. Sadly, more executives are unwilling to think strategically due to the wrath of their investors and financial pundits.

For example, Amazon’s revenue grew in 2012, but the details were lacking. Amazon.com’s revenue rose to 17.4 billion (35% increase) in the fourth quarter. However, it fell short of Wall Street predictions. According to VentureBeat, Amazon sold as many as 6 million Kindle Fires and its older tablet prototype.

Given this reality, the Fire would move ahead of Android tablets from Samsung and Motorola, making it only second to Apple’s iPad. Analysts were concerned that the $199 Fire would not make a profit. Additionally, Amazon.com is spending capital on clouding technology.

Maximizing profits on Fire as an industry leading tablet is a near-term strategy. However, CEO Jeff Bezos appears to have disappointed Wall Street with a long-term perspective instead of sacrificing shareholders with profits in the near term.

Innovators take note of disruptive change as positive turbulence in the market. John Gamble and Arthur Thompson, authors of Essentials of Strategic Management, explain, “Understanding the nature of competitively important resources allows managers to identify resources or capabilities that should be further developed to play an important role in the company’s future strategies.” Therefore, organizations which do not understand the importance of making sustainable growth by being more efficient will not be successful over the long-term.

Please discuss application of this topic in your organization and industry.

© 2014 by Daryl D. Green

 

[1] Elance.com

Technology Relevancy

Components of Technology

We can’t survive without technology.  Are we too dependent on it?  When the computer network is down in our office, it’s a pretty wasted day because we are paperless.  Yet, you won’t find many modern organizations that can operate when their technology malfunctions. 

This week we will focus on technology relevancy as part of the three practical applications (i.e. value modeling, technology relevancy, and human factor buy-in) in socio-technical systems.  

Organizations must understand that technology needs to be relevant as it relates to benefiting the whole socio-technical system.  Technology relates to the combination of skills and equipment that managers use in the design, production, and distribution of goods and services.[1]   

Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, argue the significance of technology forces on organizations:  “Technological forces can have profound implications for managers and organizations. Technological change can make established products obsolete….”  The graveyard of many businesses is littered with numerous failed opportunities of senior executives to understand market shifts and technology opportunities.   

As an engineer myself, we are taught to use theory in order to build, design, and operate technical systems, whether mechanical, digital, or otherwise. Sometimes this creates a technical superiority over the other components of this socio-technical system. 

Organizations should obtain input from employees to ensure that the organization has not only the best technology for its operations but the right technology.[2]  This sharing of information can only come with mutual trust of leaders and followers.  Gary Yukl, author of Leadership in Organizations, notes, “Empowerment is more feasible when there is a high level of mutual trust…Leaders can affect the psychological employment of followers in many ways, and participative leadership and delegation are only two of the relevant behaviors .”[3] 

There have been numerous cases where organizations have purchased new technology to solve a problem or to become more efficient when a simple conversation with impacted employees would have produced better results at a lower cost. Therefore, organizations should invest their time in identifying the relevant technologies for their socio-technical system in a participatory manner.    

Discuss the concept of technology relevancy for today’s organizations. 

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green                                    


[1] Jones, G.  & George, J. (2009). Contemporary Management

[2] “Leading others while supporting organizational values” by Daryl D. Green

[3]Leadership in Organizations by Gary Yukl

 

 

Disruptive Technology in Our Future

 

In life, sometimes it is the simple things that count despite modern technology.  In the next few months, I will be able to see 3-4 of my books published.  Traditionally, it takes most large publishing houses 12-18 months before their books are published. 

As an independent publisher, I learned that the speed of products to the market place is a good way to beat a large competitor.  In fact, my success relates to a simple website called Elance.com, a freelance website that allow customers to solicit work from a variety of outsourcing services which include programmers, designers, office support, translators, marketers, researchers and many other disciplines. 

Elance.com allows a business to post a job opening and invites freelance workers who believe they have the requisite skills for the job to make a bid. The company charges a $10 fee to each business to post a job and also takes a small portion of what gets paid to contractors. 

 Through this website, I have found some of the most talented individuals from across the world. For these services, it is a buyer’s market.  Some people would argue that it is all about buying cheap labor for profitability.  

In this scenario, developed countries appear to be exploiting underdeveloped countries.  This is not always true.  I have paid more in the past for the best talent.  With that said, potential employers see a website that attracts over 500,000 talented freelancers.  For the freelancer, there is an opportunity to bid on 48,000 jobs, worth $480K. Therefore, a differentiate strategy can defeat a low cost  strategy on a global playing field.  

Technology must be a management tool that is used strategically.  Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, provides a framework for understanding the interrelationship between technology changes and a business success. Christensen demonstrates how successful companies have been overtaken by small disruptive technologies. 

The cell phone, undermining the profitability of the established communication networks such as AT&T, further showcases the impacts of disruptive technology.  Sadly, more executives are unwilling to think strategically due to the wrath of their investors and financial pundits.  

For example, Amazon’s revenue grew in 2012 but the details were lacking.  Amazon.com’s revenue rose to 17.4 billion (35% increase) in the fourth quarter.  However, it fell short of Wall Street predictions. 

According to VentureBeat, Amazon sold as many as 6 million Kindle Fires and its older tablet prototype . Given this reality, the Fire would move ahead of Android tablets from Sansung and Motorola, making it only second to Apple’s iPad. Analysts were concerned that the $199 Fire would make a profit.  Additionally, Amazon.com is spending capital on clouding technology.  

Maximizing profits on Fire as an industry leading tablet is a near- term strategy. However, CEO Jeff Bezos appears to have disappointed Wall Street with a long-term perspective instead of sacrificing shareholders with profits in the near term. 

Innovators take note of disruptive change as positive turbulence in the market.  John Gamble and Arthur Thompson, authors of Essentials of Strategic Management, explain, “Understanding the nature of competitively important resources allows managers to identify resources or capabilities that should be further developed to play an important role in the company’s future strategies.” Therefore, organizations which do not understand the importance of making sustainable growth by being more efficient will not be successful over the long-term. 

 Discuss your professional and personal experiences with disruptive technology.

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green