Technological change in business: Valuation and transition impacts

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In Business Valuation Posts

Technological change in business – what will that mean in the context of business value and family business transition planning?

There is little question that ongoing technology change in business and technological advances will exponentially impact capital equipment used in businesses of all types. It will also impact data management and usage as improved analytic tools.

Of particular importance to developed and developing economies and businesses is what will be the answer to the question: How will technological change materially impact individual businesses, business owners and other stakeholders, and employment in both offices and on manufacturing production floors.

Three articles on technological change in business that should be read by business owners and their advisors

The three articles referenced in this discussion post are a mixed bag of thoughts on whether:

  1. business owners and senior executives are as focused on technology as they ought to be, or rather delegate issues around technological change to second or third level management
  2. business owners and senior executives should be directly involved in technological assessment and implementation
  3. advancing technologies will benefit employees by increasing wages, or displace or otherwise harm workers
  4. public policies and market practices favour managers over workers
  5. public policies and market practices favour people who make money on their capital over people who make money from wages

Arguable future impacts of technological change in business

My views, which I have not seen expressed with any frequency, is that in coming years:

  1. business owners need to be closely attuned to technological change in business that may impact their industry and their businesses where those changes may materially affect (1) the going concern viability of their business, (2) the prospective value of their business, and (3) what ought to be transition strategizing and planning for their business
  2. some industries, and within those industries some businesses, will be more impacted by technology advances in capital equipment and data management than others will be
  3. technological changes in business are likely to result in increasing business combinations, making many smaller businesses less competitive than they are today unless they operate in narrow niches
  4. technological change in business will result in higher wages paid to those well-trained people who secure and hold jobs, but there will be fewer workers in manufacturing plants, and in the service and government sectors. I think this because I believe advancing technologies to be Darwinian – that is, I believe advancing technologies favour the intellectually and success-driven individuals in any given society to the detriment of the rest of the population
  5. as populations grow, I see competition among successful individuals increasing, and more and more people in the general population being unable to find what they consider to be interesting work – or for that matter work at all
  6. economic growth, measured by gross domestic product is likely to be negatively impacted if the populations of both developed and developing countries lose consumer spending power, and those populations see further standard of living erosion on Main Street

Not exactly glass half full thoughts, but ones I suggest readers ought to think about and carefully consider.

The three references articles

You might want to read the following three articles relevant to the foregoing discussion:

  1. The future of work in the second machine age is up to us. Source: Washington Center for Equitable Growth – reading time about 3 minutes
  2. Are you ready for 3-D printing? Source: McKinsey – reading time about 3 minutes
  3. The perils of ignoring software development. Source: McKinsey – reading time about 3 minutes