15 May 2017 – The dreaded D-word doesn't have to spell doom - unless one keeps dithering and denying that something needs to be done.
The Business Times posed four questions on disruption - a phenomenon through which new technologies can create economic displacement or opportunities for new economic sectors to emerge - to ﬁve industry leaders:
Michael Leong, director, HOPE Technik
Titus Yong, vice-president, business sales, business group, Singtel,
Chee Teck Lee, chief executive oﬃcer, Moveon Technologies
Oliver Tan, chief executive oﬃcer, ViSenze
Gary Ong, corporate development director, Ascenz
Here are their answers:
What does disruption mean to you?
Gary Ong: For us in the shipping industry, there is no true disruptive technology that hits everyone unprepared. Most of the ongoing changes have long been identiﬁed and seen in advance, hence giving many players the means to prepare for change. The key issue really is timing and investment.
How is your company responding or has responded to disruptive technologies?
Gary: Ascenz has been one of the key players in providing data acquisition and analytical solutions to the shipping industry for the past eight years. Yet it is only recently that shipowners and operators recognise the need for such systems. Is our business revolutionary? Perhaps, but the adoption of new technologies takes time.
Is disruption an over-hyped cliche? If so, how has it lost its meaning?
Gary: "Uberisation" is the sexiest catchphrase today, but the company that popularised the idea of transportation optimisation started in 2009, almost 10 years ago now.
Is their business model "disruptive" to conventional transportation business models? Yes. But did it shock everyone overnight? No, everyone could see it happening. It's just that companies are so steeped in their old ways of doing things that they are not nimble enough to adapt to change.