Saturday, September 29, 2012

Embracing Innovation is Answer to Tech Disruption at the WSSA Conference

By Randy Smith,
Mobile Wallet Media
September 29, 2012

The Western States Acquirers Conference had high impact statements and speakers delivered in a small package. Two of the general sessions were "Embracing Change; Staying Relevant in the Changing Payments Landscape" and "Future of Acquiring . . . Will you Wipe Out or Catch the Big One?" The wake-up call to reality is ringing and it is time to answer the call. If you can't beat the join them, might provide the answer.

It seems like the overarching message being delivered here was, don't panic, but do take action now! Attending diverse trade shows in this past year and past 15 years, I've come to hear the words 'Disruption' and 'Innovation' a lot. These two words, in 2012 have lead the pack for trendy words used in business and technology. The words address the issue of change and remaining 'relevant,' also another trendy word in our vocabulary today.

The word Disruption in Silicon Valley and the tech industry represents a method of being innovative by creatively solving problems or providing a solution that could be done in a much better, simpler, quicker or more cost-efficient way. Disruption is innovation and vice-versa. It is only when it is you that is being disrupted that it is viewed with disdain or threat. But this is business and competition and change is always the constant. To stick your head in the sand and think that things will remain the same as they have always been is strategy that will deliver your worst fears to become reality.

Innovation is offense. It is moving the ball forward and the best defense is a great offense. The SR-71 BlackBird was developed in the 1960's by Lockheed Corporation. It can fly as high an altitude as 100,000 feet with 3 times the speed of sound (3.5 Mach). It was in use by USAF for 40 years and was retired in 1998. It actually had no defensive weapons, but relied solely on it's speed, stealth and maneuverability to evade it's enemies. In all it's years of service it was never shot down. But even it was retired after 30+ years in service. Why? It was retired because the next generation of technology was ready to replace it. And now is the time that new innovation is replacing the status quo.

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