Under the Radar : MANAGING THE DYNAMICS OF TECHNOLOGY OBSOLESCENCE IN THE NIGERIAN AVIATION INDUSTRY

Background

Obsolescence can be described as a virus: that metabolically inert, but infectious agent that replicate only within the cells of the living hosts. It targets soft assets not just computer software  and microprocessors attached to automated electronic systems as you are readily aware but human knowledge, human skill, human attitude, human intelligence, human capacity and capabilities, values, life style, fashion, policies specifications, parameters, standards, rules, regulations, production processes, organizational processes, management strategies, theories, concepts etc.  The list goes on and on.

Obsolescence extends beyond micro-electronics components, devices and systems that make equipment.  It attacks hard assets such as equipment, devices, systems, mechanical parts, facilities, infrastructure and other factors of production and make fall apart and discarded. It obliterates their usefulness and/or functionalities. Like gems, obsolescence is everywhere and attacks everything humans have devised and invented to decorate and enhance daily living. In fact stock market grave yard is littered with dead companies whose products or technology were rendered obsolete.

However, if you feign ignorance and exhibits lack of knowledge, as many still do today, of the contemporary obsolescenceissues, you could be excused. Perhaps you have not taken time to consider its relevance in the scheme of things around you. If you lack recognition of the need for, and an ability to evaluate the dynamics of technological obsolescence in your career or professional calling, you could be pardoned partially. Perhaps you belong to the old schools of thought that tenaciously hold-on to the concept: that the economic life of a product is equal to the physical life expectancy of that product and that if the product is working perfectly well why discard it.

But if you claim you have not experienced the impact of technological obsolescence you will be deceiving yourself and you will continue to be vulnerable to the socio-economic consequences it causes in people, processes and products. You could just be pushing your business or life or careeror occupation to the brink of collapse and extinction.

In reality technology is dynamic not static and the rate of change of technology can rarely be accurately forecasted. Things are happening so fast that technology has put expiring date on everything. Beyond that date you only blame yourself for whatsoever consequences that befall you.