(File pix) Many of the old-school people are having difficulties coping with these disruptive technologies. They have given up ever being able to understand these new technologies.

MUCH has been said and debated about disruptive technologies in the modern world. These new technologies have captured the imagination of the world by storm and is the new rage wherever we go.

In many industries, the old, tried and tested ways of doing things have all but gone out of the window, being replaced with drastically different methods of getting results.

Many of the old-school people are having difficulties coping with these disruptive technologies. They have given up ever being able to understand these new technologies. Some have valiantly tried to keep up.

Continued education and the indomitable will to learn and adapt is the only thing that stands between you and success or failure. What are some of these new disruptive technologies and how have they impacted our lives?


These applications have taken the world by storm and have, in a short span of time, changed the way we travel. They have all but completely wiped out the traditional taxi services.

I cannot remember the last time I stood on the side of a road trying to hail a taxi. Now I just call them from the comfort of my office lobby and only step out when my ride arrives at my doorstep. How wonderful this is for consumers. But what a nightmare for the traditional taxis drivers. Their means of livelihood have been nearly wiped out overnight. They need to re-invent themselves quickly, or go the way of the dinosaurs.


The popularity of fintech has forced banks and financial institutions to re-look how they have traditionally done business. As this phenomenon grows more popular and gather traction all over the world, it will forever change the banking systems and processes.


Traditional real estate transactions were relatively simple to conduct. A willing buyer and willing seller was all you needed. And because these two individuals did not know each other, the estate agent played a pivotal role in bringing them together.

However, with the advent of numerous property portals and advertising avenues, buyers and sellers are finding it easier to connect with each other, therefore negating the need for an estate agent.

Of course, this is easier said than done, and is perhaps mostly applicable only in transactions of smaller and less complicated deals.


In the old days, boy met girl, boy asked girl out, girl accepted, boy fell in love with girl, girl reciprocated the love, they both got married, had kids and lived happily ever after. How did they meet? Well, they mostly met at parties, had mutual friends, were introduced by friends and family, went to the same college or church, or had some aspects of their lives in common.

These days, however, it is getting increasingly normal to meet people online. The popularity of numerous dating apps has ensured that the traditional ways of meeting your other half is fast going the way of the dodo.

Now, with a few clicks of the button, you will be presented with a whole bunch of people who are single and available.


With online marketing gaining traction worldwide, traditional retailers are scratching their heads as they watch their sales figures head south. Shopping centres are filled with people but retailers are still complaining that their sales are reduced. So, what then are all these people doing in the shopping centres?

I have a sneaky suspicion that a huge number of them are window shopping. When they see something they like, they go home, go online and order it, perhaps for much less. The online trader is able to sell his goods cheaper because he does not have to incur costs on storage, display and branding, etc. But the traditional retailer has to incur all these expenses. As such, he has to build these into his selling prices, therefore contributing to higher prices for the same goods.

But most online purchasers are still walking around the shopping centres to get a feel of the actual merchandise before purchasing them online. So what’s going on here?

This is probably why they call them disruptive technologies.


As more and more jobs are able to be done from any location, provided you have access to the Internet, the demand for office space continues to drop.

A traditional office with 50 staff members would require roughly 5,000 sq ft of space.

With modern technology, assuming 20 of these 50 people could work from their laptops wherever they are, this company would have the chance to reduce their space requirement. From 5,000 sq ft to 4,000 sq ft or maybe even less.

Taking this one step further, if they were to move into a co-working space, they could do away with the boardroom, reception and pantry/kitchen, etc.

This company could now realistically reduce their space requirement to 2,000 sq ft. That’s an awful lot of savings which can then be better used in the promotion of the business.

The world, as we know, is changing. We need to adapt to it and change accordingly or be faced with the possibility of being left behind.

Let us all be progressive and forward thinking, and embrace these disruptive technologies rather than fight them.

Happy hunting and may the force be with you.

Siva Shanker is a real estate practitioner who tries to manage the labyrinth of the property market honestly while consistently maintaining a high standard of ethics. He welcomes feedback at siva@miea.com.my.

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