What It All Means

ASSA ABLOY made a presentation during the recent ASIS International convention in Chicago. Their presentation began by outlining several factors which were linked together under the title, “Disruptive Technologies.” Disruptive Technologies is often referred to as disruptive innovations. As the speaker mentioned each new innovation, he then outlined various security products made by ASSA ABLOY which could meet the challenge that these new innovations present.

A year 2000 ASSA ABLOY chart on the internet shows that electronic locking products amounted to 20 percent of security product sales and mechanical lock products amounted to 66 percent of product sales. Ten years later, a year 2010 ASSA ABLOY chart shows that electronic locking products amounted to a larger 36 percent of security product market share while mechanical lock products had decreased to 42 percent of security market share.

The facts speak for themselves. In a 10-year period electronic lock product sales have increased by 16 percent. If this continues, by 2020 over half of all security products sold will contain some form of electronics.

Disruptive innovations can be found everywhere. Try to find a pay phone today. Cell phones have displaced pay phones. Try to find a typewriter. Computer word processors have taken over.

In the very short term, disruptive innovations may have a negative impact. The same ASSA ABLOY internet report predicts a disappearance of keys as logical access expands. At the same time there is a prediction that the cloud (wireless) will become more popular and new electronic products will appear at an increased rate.

Ivan’s Locksmith Shop, Opelousas, LA, just sent in a large box of Locksmith Ledgers from the 1950s. The cover of the May, 1956 issue shows an Indian totem pole. A paragraph on the cover states, “A totem pole represents the history of a vanished tribe or family. It is the remaining symbol of a group that vanished because it could not keep up with the progress of the world. In clinging to its old traditions and set ways of doing things, it passed into history. The lock and key industry can learn by this example. If it refuses to modernize, if it fails to respond to new techniques in servicing and selling, it will face extinction or absorption into some other industry. Let us prevent it by turning our thoughts and efforts forward.”

The future belongs to those who will seize the opportunity to learn about and profit from every new disruptive innovation that comes our way.