Technology has helped us make lives easier and hardly anyone would deny this statement. However, they say excess of everything is bad. We have become highly dependent on technology over the years and slowly, we have started to replace man with machine. This might mean quick service for many but workforce is decreasing meaning people are out of jobs. This is not the only dilemma we are facing with excessive use of technology. Where innovative use of technology is helping other businesses reach new heights of success, SMEs are struggling to maintain their position in the market.
According to Clayton Christensen in 1995, disruptive innovation creates a new market and value network that eventually displace the market leading firms, products and services. App-based online transportation network company like Uber has utilised technology to disrupt the way we used to know things. Uber does not only shake up taxi industry, it prompts the leading taxi-booking app in Southeast Asia, GrabTaxi, to restructure to Grab and offer Uber-like services to compete for the market share. Uber also extends the transportation network by providing a centralised service for food delivery (UberEats). Technology captures the denominator of the different industries and nurture new value to the established models.
Innovation is vital for the economy and to gain a competitive edge in the market but is disruptive innovation from such companies going to have a positive impact on the economy in the long run?
He reminded Singaporeans that the economy growth rate is falling and how technology driven businesses have become the new norm. He acknowledged the fact that SMEs are particularly being affected. SPRING and IE are taking active roles in offering assistance such as CDG and MRA to SMEs so they can expand in terms of technology and overseas.
SMEs have to work extra miles to embrace the rapid technology reforms and how they can stay ahead of globalization, with the full support of Singapore government. It is time to find the right business development strategy and do proper planning. Businesses are not only using technology but profit driven marketing as well. This is a crucial time for SMEs and they need to adopt ways to become part of the business expansion.
Disruptive innovation does not have to be a dead end for SMEs. It surely is challenge but like our PM pointed out that progress must be continued because even Uber and GrabCar are going to be disrupted one day.