Prince Amir Al Saud

Focusing Technology Disruption on Problems of the Developing World

Focusing Technology Disruption on Problems of the Developing World


Disruptive technologies are innovations that help produce new markets as well as value networks. Sooner or later, these will dislocate existing markets and value networks rendering them outmoded within several years. In many instances, the business model is disturbed rather than the technology itself. Experts also describe technology disruption as low-end distraction if competitors enter the market through enhanced business models and compete on costs


On the positive side, low-cost and accessible technologies can establish opportunities for developing nations. These can generate additional jobs and new industries to hasten additional economic progress. Technology disruption also increases competitiveness, educates citizens about problem-solving and actually helps resolve different social issues through innovation. McKinsey Global Institute singled out potential disruptive technologies that can help economies. These include mobile internet; work automation; highly developed robotics; and, Internet of Things.


Enormous Opportunities for Developing Nations

Disruptive technology provides great opportunities and solves problems of emerging economies. On the contrary, it can also be an indication of negative things to come. Technology has a considerable impact on society. Hence, it can disrupt the process of working, communicating and connecting. The fact is technological innovations can work for and against peoples, institutions and countries.


This kind of technology calls for additional activity and visibility. Political and business leaders should have the commitment to guide introspective activities within the value networks for the benefit of societies and organizations. At present, many governments and institutions invest in upcoming technologies for education, collaboration, marketing, engagement, and metrics. Unfortunately, many of them do not have an understanding and clear picture of expectations, complications, overall directions, and long-lasting strategies.

Competing for the future entails a comprehensive assessment of significant technology trends that can impact enterprises, markets or government economic policies. Post-world war Japan adopted technology disruption as its main strategy to embark on a massive economic development. Local companies like Canon, Sony and Toyota began by selling cheap merchandise which was inferior compared to their Western counterparts. Look at Japan’s progressive economy after seven decades.


This strategy allowed Japanese firms to gain control of the lower market segment. After a while, these domestic manufacturers improved their commodities and started to move upward. In the fullness of time, said companies succeeded in pushing their competitors from the West out of the picture. This is what upcoming economies like China and India are doing at the present time.


Disruption Process

This disruption process which propelled business organizations to industry status several decades ago can serve as model for today’s companies and governments. According to experts, hundreds or even thousands of unknown corporate organizations and entrepreneurs are flooding emerging markets with low-cost goods. There is lack or absence of competition from international conglomerates since said markets look unprofitable. As soon as these enterprises establish their presence in local markets, the next goal is to set up a stronger base in developed countries.


Is this “disruptive threat” for real? Inexpensive goods that target non-consumers of current technologies are not strictly disruptive. It has to be inferior (performance or quality) and expensive. This is the same for technology. Disruptive means that performance is good enough and costly. Disruptive needs to match the present technology and become sustainable in the long-term. Cost advantage is not easy to maintain ultimately if the present know-how resorts to aggressive cost-cutting. This is the business model of technology disruption.


Business models are hard to copy. The current technology will find it complicated to replicate the disruptive platform. Cost advantage will be the main weapon of disruptors.


Boom of Disruptive Technologies

Technology disruption must flourish. Otherwise, it may not be capable of avoiding stagnation in the global economy. It is important for institutions (public or private) to espouse and promote an ethos of putting in money on disruptive technologies. If not, there is always the risk of becoming disrupted.  


There must be incentives at the outset since these will be the source of enhanced focus in sustaining innovation. Moreover, incentives must be aligned with steps towards progress. In any organization, there should be groups assigned to build on disruptive proficiency or expertise. In an enterprise, technology innovation must be fixed with incentives from management to maximize profits in the interim. On the other hand, management should be aware of the possibility of giving up market share without having to acknowledge the theory of technology disruption.


Disruption of Technologies is expected to alter the conventional stratified nature of commoditized and homogenous industries. Adjustments will replace combined business platforms during the concluding phases of sustainable technology improvements. Overall, technology disruption can be used to focus on problems being encountered by developing economies. The process may be complicated for some but this is achievable especially at this time when numerous technologies continue to emerge in this modern world.

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