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Traditional industries, by virtue of requiring minimal technical expertise and educational development, have served as safe havens for a substantial population, especially during the pre-technological period. Globalization has rendered it unavoidable for all companies to adopt technologies in order to stay competitively afloat, thanks to the advent of technology and inventions. Established markets have seen major improvements as a result of time and technical progress, with some shutting shop and some toeing the line. Since different people operate in different geographical locations in the twenty-first century, technology remains the backbone of productivity. Overcoming the barriers of time and space have made it inevitable for industries to adopt different technologies to operate in the ever-changing and competitive markets. This essay explores how technology has disrupted traditional industries.
Key words: Traditional, industries, technology, innovation, globalization
The Disruption of Traditional Industries by Technology
The advent of technology has created a transformation in the development of traditional industries. Traditional industries have shown the potential of employing the bulk of populations; this is because the artistry required requires less or no appropriate educational capacity and technological expertise. As Salkowitz (2008) asserts, technology continues to move forward, and non-compliant individuals often find it difficult entering new areas and careers since technology is part of new sectors. Society is driven forward by each successive generation, and those generations want the world around them to mirror how they live their lives.
At no time in our history has one generation reverted to a previous generation’s way of life, even though the various wars and natural disasters which have occurred (Salkowitz, 2008). In retrospective, the transportation industry operated in a somewhat traditional arrangement in which passengers would come to a bus station and wait for an available bus. With the obvious inconveniences of paying more for luggage which takes up space supposedly meant for other travelers, scientist began exploring the possibility of creating alternative transportation forms which would be available at any moment.
While the manufacturing of new coaches and horse carriages would not completely solve the time gap factor which made it impossible to travel at one’s time of convenience, the e-ticketing platform revolutionized the transportation sector (Scheivachman, 2017). Due to this revolution, travelers were able to plan their trip early in advance and conduct businesses in a timely fashion. Additionally, following the establishment of the internet and website portals by different coach and airline industries, it has become impossible for middle men to operate in the industry. The Uber-revolution has also made collective traveling obsolete in the 21st century. While these advancements are efficient, traveling using these mediums has become considerably costly.
Telegram and Payphone Communication
The telegram and postal communication formats have also undergone extreme changes following the advent of technology. In the agrarian era, communication to some remote areas would only be possible by writing letters and sending them to their recipients through the mail system. These systems would be considered cheap but would take so much time to deliver the messages (Scheivachman, 2017). Receiving speedy and quick responses would not serve as a dependable option. The internet age gave room for additional advancements in the development of smartphones. The smartphones have the capability of using different applications, including Twitter, Whatsapp, Facebook and other well-known interfaces. These advancements have downtrodden on village communicators who would run from different regions and share communication (Scheivachman, 2017). The alternative platforms can support communication between two or more parties in real-time.
Public phones are almost extinct. While the infrastructure that supports their operationalization is still in existence, public phones are no longer needed AS Scheivachman (2017) points out. Consequently, manufacturing plants that developed the pay phones either have had to restructure their production lines as an adaptation to the required phones or go out of business.
Additionally, smartphone platforms are arguably reasonably priced in comparison to pay phones and the telegram system which would be limited to certain geographical areas and require massive financial investment in putting up the infrastructure (Scheivachman, 2017). The Uber industry has incorporated the use of internet and smartphone technologies which make it possible for individuals to order for the closest and nearest available form of transportation and travel according to their budget. Evidently, this technological onslaught against traditional industries bears bitter-sweet results considering that these industries have lost their competitiveness and therefore many have lost their jobs. Consequently, the improvement in technology by industries has made it possible for manufacturers to create more job opportunities and hire more tech-savvy employees.
The Manufacturing Industry
The manufacturing industry has also undergone significant disruption according to Scheivachman (2017). Traditional and herbal medicine manufacturing techniques are unable to provide 21st-century solutions considering that there are new statutes and manufacturing procedures that require certification by health organizational bodies. While these methods remain efficient and the medication is more than able to cure a broad range of diseases, modern technologies are unable to quantify the portions that are a requisite for human beings to take therefore posing serious quantity questions (Scheivachman, 2017).
Traditional and local tourism industries have also undergone severe disruptions concerning interference from the internet and middle men. While local tourism destinations sit as areas that may generate employment and revenue for local communities, many middle men have taken advantage of the internet by showcasing local destinations in various websites and offering tourist packages at even higher rates (Salkowitz, 2008). There is a significant loss in tourist revenue when middle men receive the payments by the tourists and do not remit the levies to the local tour site management bodies. The establishment of websites and phone applications that ease the interaction between tourists and the middle men cut off the involvement of local tourist site management organizations especially in the transaction stage. Eventually, local tourist industries have gone out of business since there are mechanisms that by-pass their presence through the intervention of the internet.
Forecasts suggest that an additional five to ten years show there will be a much shrink in traditional industries, especially in the travel industry. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that between 1990 and 2014, there has been a 46% decline in the number of registered travel agents (Scheivachman, 2017).
Craft Industry (Weaving)
A different analysis of the weaving manufacturing industry exhibits a massive decline in craftsmanship as Salkowitz, R. (2008) observes. During the olden days, many families would share their family values through stories and riddles by the fire place while weaving sweaters and other products. These products would then be used to qualify whether young women were readily skilled to take on the wifely roles. Salkowitz, R. (2008) points out that while this practice was largely done to promote the development of such crafts, the mechanization of the process has downplayed the development of such skills given that such products are now readily available in shops and can be manufactured in a quicker pace in comparison to hand woven products.
Hospitality Industry (Hotels)
The conventional hotel industry has also taken a lot of hurts as time continues to fleet into the technological era (Salkowitz, 2008). With most travelers opting to make their reservations online at their convenience, inns, and hotels which do not embrace online websites and the use of additional technology for marketing are meant to go out of business in a short time. Globalization has made it possible for travelers from anywhere in the globe to visit their preferred holiday destinations and plan their stay. All progressive hotels need to face reality and put systems in place to promote the availability of services on a global scale and promptly.
While it is impossible to wish away the technological wave that influences the way of getting things done, it is evident that traditional industries absorb a substantive number of employees. It is, therefore, important for manufacturers to embrace a digital and technological strategy to deal with the glaring inadequacies and inconveniences that can be outdone by technical infrastructure and processes. As the Uber revolution has paved the way for the transformation of other taxi industry players to embrace technology, traditional products from traditional industries should retain their originality as alternatives by the few individuals who prefer traditionally crafted products.
The 3D technology has also created a shift in the manufacturing arena, making it possible to manufacture vehicle parts that in the past would take more time to build them (Salkowitz, 2008). The car making industry will, therefore, experience a shift in manufacturing car parts by individuals to manufacturing by enhanced technology, therefore, creating the idea that many employed people will be replaced by technology and lose their jobs in the long run.
Salkowitz, R. (2008). Generation blend: managing across the technology age gap. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Scheivachman, A. (2017).Travel Agent Employment Forecast in US Shows Decline Over Next Decade. Skift. Retrieved 11 August 2017, fromhttps://skift.com/2016/01/15/travel-agent-employment-forecast-in-u-s-shows-decline-over-next-decade/
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