Non-disruptive innovation: Creating value without displacement

May 15, 2023

By their very nature, disruptive innovations grab the headlines. They shake up industries and markets, leaving previously successful incumbents to stumble. There are countless examples of disruptive innovation that have been so transformative they have displaced industries, companies or jobs. Ride-sharing services, digital cameras, news websites, video streaming, artificial intelligence, air travel. While innovative and value-adding, they disrupted their respective markets or industries so profoundly that asset obsolescence and social pain ensued.

At the other end of the market-creating spectrum is non-disruptive innovation, or non-disruptive creation as it’s coined by The Harvard Business Review. It is the unsung hero of progress adding value without leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. These solutions create new industries, new jobs, and profitable growth without social harm. They foster economic growth in a way that enables business and society to thrive together.

Quickly rising in importance, these solutions innovate without invading, destroying, or displacing existing industries. CIM’s PEAK Platform, as an award-winning building analytics software helping to run large buildings at peak performance, is one such example in the world of property operations.

How PEAK aligns to the principles of non-disruptive innovation

There are a few core characteristics that define the concept of non-disruptive innovation. We’ve laid out how each of these applies to the PEAK Platform.

“There’s no win-lose situation”

Disruption imposes a clear trade-off between winners and losers, with the disruptor's success coming at the direct expense of existing players and markets. In some instances, disruptions have driven such cataclysmic shifts in consumer behaviour that existing industries and their incumbent stakeholders are completely wiped out. Non-disruptive innovations do not.

While PEAK is driving a change in behaviour, its implementation across property portfolios does not create any inherent losers. Facilities Managers are empowered to work smarter, contractors’ workflow becomes simpler and more collaborative, tenants thrive in more comfortable conditions, owners benefit from improved asset performance, BMS companies remain unimpacted, consultants’ data pool is augmented, and society benefits from a more sustainable built environment.

This produces a positive-sum outcome, with a number of winners and no evident losers. Contrastingly, disruption creates a win-lose outcome characterised by both winners (the disruptor and consumers) and losers (disrupted organisations and their employees).

To illustrate the point in the context of PEAK, we needn’t look further than the positive levels of engagement and feedback amongst our diverse user base. BMS, mechanical and other contractors are major proponents of the platform, embracing it as a tool to support rather than hinder their day-to-day. This is evidenced by a highly favourable NPS of 34 and glowing ratings captured on independent review site Capterra. From 44 reviews on the site, many of which were submitted by field technicians, engineers and contractors, PEAK has an industry-leading rating of 4.7 out 5 stars.

A Building Services Engineer wrote that PEAK offers: “increased proactive identification of faults on the HVAC system” while in another review, an Automation Engineer added that, “I have found since actively using PEAK I have been more efficient and task saturation has been reduced.”

“It doesn’t impose painful adjustment costs on society”

At the macro level, the win-lose approach triggers painful adjustment costs for society, often hidden by the excitement and hype that surrounds the disruption. Job losses, social pain and asset obsolescence are the most common adjustment costs associated with disruption. 

The PEAK Platform, on the other hand, as a non-disruptive creation, can be embedded with minimal negative adjustment costs. Deploying PEAK does not trigger job losses or infrastructure obsolescence, as its purpose is to enable and empower the management of buildings. In fact, the platform’s FDD capability acts as an mechanism for upskilling, leveraged as such by both technical and non-technical users. Equally, the platform does not impose painful cost pressure or additional administration for building owners, thanks to the quick payback period and seamless onboarding process.

Ultimately, the platform’s value does not come at the expense of other individuals, markets or industries. It successfully disentangles market creation from market destruction - another core tenet of non-disruptive innovation.

Given the intuitive interface and seamless integration process, the platform’s users are not burdened with distracting adjustment costs. One Facilities Manager in Ireland explained on Capterra, “onboarding was really simple and set up took minimal time”. Once onboarded, users don’t find the platform a noisy distraction, with less than 1 in 13 alerts muted.

“It can occur with either new or existing technology, without replacing the latter.”

Non-disruptive creations often exist as applications or combinations of existing solutions. Generally, where the innovation introduces new technology, its implementation will not negatively impact an existing one.

The PEAK Platform is a technology-driven innovation which relies simultaneously on both new and existing technology. First, by augmenting the capability of a Building Management System (BMS) with added functionality and drawing upon the data managed by this system, it non-disruptively leverages existing technology.

Second, the platform introduces its own highly advanced technical backend, integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning. PEAK’s proprietary Rules Engine contains thousands of advanced FDD template algorithms, monitoring billions of data points. This technology is backed by a market-leading team of engineers with mechanical, mechatronic, and building service expertise.

In this way, the platform successfully combines an existing tech stack with new expert-driven inputs, without upending the former.

We often hear from users that the platform works well alongside existing infrastructure. For example, it often picks up on items that the BMS misses. A Senior FM in Australia said, “Being able to cross check the BMS using external software is great. It shows us the issues we have that the BMS doesn't see.” Similarly, an Engineering Manager in the UK added, “We have learned about issues related to our facilities which we never knew we had! As a manager of the facility, I have far more visibility and awareness than I would have with the BMS alone.”

In a recent video case study, LaSalle’s Managing Director of Asset Management, Emily Wills, expressed how the technology was readily embedded into the on-site workflow without hesitation,

“There’s always a little bit of uncertainty when you bring a new platform on, ‘How is this going to affect me?’ Am I going to have someone else telling me what to do?’ That goes away very quickly. What we’ve found is that there hasn’t been an issue at all with any of the teams, they’ve all seen it as a positive and they’ve taken it on board. They’ve recognised very quickly that this is actually a tool they can use, rather than another reporting item to go through.”


Non-disruptive innovation offers a unique opportunity to create value without displacement. The PEAK Platform exemplifies this by empowering stakeholders, minimising societal costs, and leveraging both new and existing technologies in harmony. As we continue to innovate and develop solutions for the future, it is crucial that we consider the impacts of our creations and strive to promote positive-sum outcomes. It's time to shift our focus towards innovations that enable us to thrive together, rather than at the expense of others.

Discover how PEAK can non-disruptively add value to your property or portfolio. Request a callback today.

David Walsh
May 15, 2023