“After studying more than thirty successful attackers, I believe that the simple answer is that they broke the rules of the game in their industry. The common element in all the successful attacks is strategic innovation. Significant shifts in market share and fortunes occur not because companies try to play the game better than the competition but because they change the rules of the game.”

– Constantinos Markides

All of us, without much thought, can think of technology revolutions or inventions that over the ages has changed mankind’s environment for the better. The industrial revolution took us into an era of modern production, cellphones now offer us instantaneous communication not even possible a decade ago and GPS systems allow us to navigate easily to our point of destination (just do not use an old map or you may end up in a river).

Currently the world is in need of some game-changing technology that will alleviate the energy crisis we are currently experiencing. Japan has foregone nuclear power generation for gas, Europe is trying to wean itself from Russian gas supplies by sourcing elsewhere and South Africa is facing increasing energy prices and a power grid that is creaking at the seams. These technologies could either be a simple solution that reduces energy consumption or an alternative form of energy generation. Innovation over the years has put these technologies into the public domain and currently there are some very smart engineers tinkering on ideas in their garage that we do not even know of.

A case in point is that of a technology called Voltage Power Optimisation (VPO). Invented in 1993 at a time in Japan when electricity prices were four times those of Europe by two tinkering engineers, the VPO technology is a simple and reliable way of reducing energy consumption in commercial and industrial applications. Voltage optimisation is essentially an install-and-forget technology that reduces the voltage down to 220V from in some cases 240V as supplied from the grid. The beneficial effect is not only a 9% or more saving in a facilities electricity bill, but also has a beneficial effect on the maintenance costs over time on electrical equipment. The Japanese simplicity and quality of solid state design makes this product an essential part of any operation’s arsenal and with installations currently only in the hundreds of thousands and not millions worldwide, has the potential to significantly affect power demand.

A survey of any facility will identify numerous opportunities for technologies that can be utilised to reduce the power consumption at any site. Typically lighting, heating, cooling, refrigeration are all consumers of energy and a combination of technologies are available that can increase energy efficiency. Combine this with the fact that these technologies are not only resulting in energy savings, but also reduce maintenance costs and any business owner/CEO must stay up to date on the potential for his business.

Even though game changing technologies are being invented as this article is read, there are many existing that is easy to implement that we have been educated on through the media. Some are easy to implement such as changing a light bulb to LED /CFL, whilst others are incorporated in the design of the facility such as energy efficient air conditioning. Thus if your eyes are not open to these, you might find yourself left behind on the battlefield.