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Why Companies should have Contingency Plans for Unanticipated Game-Changers in Technology

This topic came to mind as I was ruminating on the future of semiconductor technology. Being involved in the verification phase of IC development, one could not help but wonder if silicon would remain the preponderating backbone of mobile/small-scale electronic devices. What if a material with properties that transcend GaN and SiC arrived in the playing field? What would happen to the plethora of entrenched protocols and procedures, IP building blocks, or - in a more drastic case - standard measurement methodologies that many engineers and technicians have grown accustomed to?


Expenses involved in migration would certainly imbalance the finances of any company, perhaps dealing a fatal blow to smaller enterprises (fabless ones maybe?). Having to throw away a fossilized habit or routine is, from common sense, never a walk in the park. There are accompanying challenges that must be overcome to make a smooth transition toward recovery.


Thus, why not cogitate on mitigation measures that address such potential risks/hazards? In the event that a game-changing innovation paves its way in the market, having a predefined set of rules/procedures/protocols to follow and implement could save valuable time.


And time is everything.


Imagine (on the rare event that such a unique case would occur) a company having the upper hand against competitors because it made transitions early, immediately applying necessary adjustments to its product life-cycle management. Production is ahead and opportunities for improvements are discovered earlier, while competitors are still struggling to figure out which process they should keep and throw out, or even what to commit to its customers!


But what else would the contingency plan contain, aside from process particulars? Ain't that gonna cause more bad than good for a company's financial statement considering probability? In some cases, the impact wouldn't be that big of a deal and the savings not that significant compared to necessitating expenses.


Well, not all preventive measures are pecuniary, no? There can be an allocated budget at the least. Management can prepare a list of actions that have been premeditated upon - a list that would certainly differ given the uniqueness of structure and situation. In my opinion, even time spent considering one's next course of action - which could have been scheduled at an earlier time - can save $$$ and is worth taking into consideration.


Do you agree? Is the company you're currently employed in equipped with such a plan?





Note:All views expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated.

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