Businesses usually face disruptive changes from time to time. Some of the way processes are carried out, the habits of their customers and, by implication, their markets, may soon become candidates for change. When this is not attended to, the processes, or the business itself may become obsolete.
When operations are carried out in a different way, and production costs are reduced, with negative repercussions on the relevance of the business to contemporary values, managers must make conscious efforts to discern whether these changes can be employed to enhance their current business processes, or if the very existence of their businesses are being threatened.
Some instances which readily come to mind are:-
- Miniaturization and the emergence of the transistor.
- The emergence of the micro computer.
- The mobile revolution.
Once upon a time, radio sets were heavy objects reserved for a corner of the living room. They usually required some time for the electronic valves and tubes to warm up before the booming sound comes out.
Later came up their sibling, the TV with similar properties, only that it produced vision. Gradually with time, the radio sets became portable. Not only can they be carried out in small bags, they are even incorporated in mobile telephone handsets today. This is a far cry from the heavy equipment with long antennae seen on the backs of combat troops in films with themes based on the second world war.
This has affected virtually every aspect of consumer goods which employ some electronics, to the extent that the names of many pioneers of the industry can now only be found in history books.
Manufacturers of mainframe computers were not able to take the best advantage of the oncoming micro computer revolution and they failed because the micro computers eventually became more powerful, and met the needs of most users.
Processes such as film making, sound and music production, photo production, telecommunication transmission, just to mention a few, underwent changes and improvement fueled by technology, and business which could not cope suffered immensely.
In these days of the internet, and rapidly changing technology, a manager must be able to observe these changes and assess its effect on the business being managed. The business may employ the developments to its advantage. For some others, it may imply investing in the new technology and enable it to compete freely without inhibitions or limitations even when it appears it might constitute a conflict of interest.
Whatever the outcome of the competition, the cautious business manager will win.