Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Invasion via Invention

Information Technology has invaded almost every industry. The invasion is actually welcomed because once IT pierced through the hull of the industries; it injects juices, and rejuvenates the industries to move forward with a faster pace. We observed how IT has helped revamp industries in the eighties and nineties during the last century. For examples, Microsoft Office improves office automation, Adobe perfects graphic design and publishing, CAD/CAM excels as aided tools for engineering, accounting software increases efficiency for financial reports preparation and etc., and this is all happening with Moore’s Law working behind the scenes while doubling computing power in every 18 months.

But those were the good years when IT companies came in as friends rather than foes. They knocked on your doors, delivered amazing hardware and software, took your money, and left you without interrupting your business. At that time, IT business meant selling IT products, and it never trespassed between industries to compete with you and grab a piece of your market share.

Information Technology
When the smart IT guys leaned further in, all in the name of producing ‘better stuff’ for you, they get to know more about your operations, your business logic and process. When the Internet technology started to emerge in the late nineties, and provided them with virtual power, the invasions suddenly turned “hostile”. They started having less interest to sell IT products to improve your business. While the old-school bosses are still struggling to comprehend the virtual world phenomena, they have already made your border borderless, crossover to open fire. And we observe a lot of industries losing their grounds to these newcomers.

Here’s an example: Amazon not just posed an impending threat to conventional book retailers like Barnes and Noble, it extended warfare to include publishers, resulting in the recent merger of Penguin and Random House, with eBooks and Kindle. It continued the attack on WalMart for the groceries market, gobbling up everything it saw fit to be sold in its online store.

Here’s another example: Apple created another upheaval paradigm shift by turning cell phones into smart phones, changing the phones that supposedly serves the body parts of ears and mouths into eyes and fingers, thus putting the once dominant Nokia in a hemorrhaging state, and accidentally slaughtering the digital cameras and game consoles market along its way.  Now, think of the wearable IT gadgets, and think of the self-driving car. IT marches into almost every aspect of our life, just name it.

Google's Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass
In general, the bloodshed of IT invasion may be a bad thing for industry players, but it is definitely a good thing to customers. IT invasion brings inventions, new ideas and directions, eliminates the incompetent players, while still refreshing the industries with new bloods.

Imagine a decade ago, we’re just an IT player supplying electronic publishing solution to the newspaper industry to automate their operations.  And now, we are one of the invaders for workforce management and access control industry. We use biometrics algorithm, TCP/IP communications, Windows applications, Web and mobile technology, Cloud services, accomplishing them with other IT knowhow to break through barriers, and turning ourselves as one of the leaders in this industry. No doubt, the competition is becoming fiercer with more newcomers, but the industry is apparently also becoming more interesting and beneficial to the customers.

On top of our products being IT-coated, FingerTec also uses IT to improve business operations. But to unleash the real power of IT, we have to burrow deeper into the industry knowhow, creating something new that the industry agrees with. That’s why we have established FingerTec Academia, to have thorough academic research for the industry we intend to serve. We believe the industry would welcome invasion via invention, seeing its usefulness to them.