Inflection points are the elements that cause a change in a business. It could be an individual event that only affects one company or something much bigger that completely changes an entire industry. Operating models are challenged and as RSM notes, businesses need to adapt to survive or face the real threat of going under. Industry advances and developments can be a common inflection point and at times make certain categories obsolete. If your business relies on any of the following, then creating a plan to adapt in the future is vital.
The days of traditional film cameras seem to be numbered. It’s still possible to find a few in shops and online but with the invention of digital cameras, they soon started to disappear. Now, digital cameras themselves seem to be on their way out, mainly suffering from the inflection point introduced by the rise and improvements of smartphone cameras.
At first camera manufacturers had to adapt to digital but few could have predicted the rise of smartphones or been able to jump on board. Unless they experience something like the retro revival that vinyl and record players are currently having, then it could all be over for digital cameras in the near future.
Wires and Cables
The huge cables that transport electricity isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. However, the wires we use to charge phones and power other devices from irons to headphones could soon be phased out.
Already there has been a big emergence in wireless headphones and chargers, offering a hassle-free alternative. Businesses that produce items which rely on being charged through wires should be looking at ways to develop wireless models, especially as consumer demand for this increases.
Checks are already on their way out and credit cards could soon follow. There has been a rise in the number of people using their mobiles for banking purposes. Visa found that 77% of Europeans use their phones to bank and make everyday payments and this number is only set to grow.
With the emergence of contactless payments, more people are using their phones as credit cards, swiping to make purchases in shops, bars, restaurants and more. This area is likely to develop further, with greater security making more consumers confident in paying this way. Should the £30 limit be raised further then banks and credit card companies will need to think of innovative solutions to avoid being blown away.
A growing demand for items ordered online to be delivered either as soon as possible or during specific time slots has seen the delivery industry revolutionize. There is constant talk of drones being used, drop-offs at consumers’ cars and more to meet the changing demand.
One casualty seems to be the Post Office, in the UK, USA and other countries around the world.
More mail is sent electronically, packages by couriers and further scope for drones and robots that unless the Post Office adapts to the changing industry then it too could soon be gone.
There could be many more industry advancements that see products and services become extinct in the coming decades unless adaptive business models are created in reaction to future inflection points.