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The Technology Radar – an Instrument of Technology Intelligence and Innovation Strategy

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This paper analyzes the establishment of a technology intelligence tool of the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories - the Technology Radar. Goals and method are contrasted to approaches discussed in literature. After the presentation of exemplary findings of the Technology Radar, the role of the Technology Radar within the innovation and technology management of the Deutsche Telekom is being discussed. The paper closes with lessons learned, key success factors are being highlighted and recommendations for the introduction of technology intelligence systems are given.
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Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1896128
The Technology Radar - an Instrument of Technology
Intelligence and Innovation Strategy
The Technology Radar - an Instrument of Technology Intelligence and Innovation Strategy
Rohrbeck, R., J. Heuer, and H.M. Arnold
The 3rd IEEE International Conference on Management of Innovation and Technology; 2006; Singapore
pp. 978-983
R. Rohrbeck, J. Heuer, H. Arnold
Deutsche Telekom Laboratories
Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7
10587 Berlin, Germany
This paper analyzes the establishment of a technology
intelligence tool of the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories - the
Technology Radar. Goals and method are contrasted to
approaches discussed in literature. After the presentation of
exemplary findings of the Technology Radar, the role of the
Technology Radar within the innovation and technology
management of the Deutsche Telekom is being discussed. The
paper closes with lessons learned, key success factors are being
highlighted and recommendations for the introduction of
technology intelligence systems are given.
I. INTRODUCTION
Deutsche Telekom Laboratories form part of the central
unit ‘Technology and Innovation’ of the Deutsche Telekom
Group (DTAG). Deutsche Telekom Laboratories research
and develop new information and communication
technologies, allowing the Group to generate new business
and expand its existing operations. A key activity is to foster
the knowledge transfer from research into marketable
products and services. The introduction of a technology
intelligence system proved to be a critical element for
success.
The scope and aims of technology intelligence have been
widely discussed in literature [1-4] as well as in industry. For
us, technology intelligence is the provision of relevant
information on technology and the evaluation of their impact
on the corporation. This information is then on the one hand
used for decision making in R&D and in corporate strategy;
on the other hand it is used to increase the awareness of the
operating units for upcoming opportunities and risks as well
as prepare the receptiveness of the organization for R&D
results. The process consists of gathering, assessing and
communicating technological opportunities and threats.
Although technology intelligence activities are conducted
in most organisations, the methods and the intensity of the
activities remain diverse [5, 6]. At DTAG, technology
intelligence activities are conducted on the division level as
well as on group level. To channel the technology
intelligence effort, the Technology Radar has been
established as a central tool.
II. GOALS
The Technology Radar has replaced a regular newsletter
and sporadic short technology briefings written up by in-
house consulting or central R&D units. The newsletters had
a large group of recipients but were perceived as too generic
and not DTAG specific enough with little difference to
publicly available online technology newsletters. The
technology briefings on the other hand covered single topics
in very high quality both in terms of style and lay-out but left
some gaps in topic coverage as they appeared in a frequency
of several months only. The expectations to technology
intelligence go beyond this, thus a much more complex tool
has evolved with the creation of Deutsche Telekom
Laboratories two years ago. The role of the Technology
Radar in the technology and innovation management of
DTAG is defined by three major contributions which have
been described in literature as well.
Early identification of technologies, technological trends
and technological shocks
As the telecommunication and the information technology
market converge there is both an important rise of new
products and services and the shortening of their
development and life cycles. In consequence, the early
recognition of technologies that have the potential of
changing the product and service landscape is a key
capability of the DTAG for maintaining and fostering its
competitiveness in the market [7].
Raising the attention for the threats and opportunities of
technological development
Once the technological developments have been
identified, the business impact has to be assessed and
brought to the attention of the decision makers within the
DTAG. In addition, new technological developments value
new or different capabilities in the organizations and deflate
existing competencies [7]. Still, even after identifying threats
and opportunities it depends on the design of an effective
dissemination method for the conclusions; which is - as
Vicente [8] observed - not easy to achieve.
Stimulation of innovation
The expectations towards a technology intelligence
method include also facilitating the development of new
products and services. The Technology Radar contributes in
multiple ways.
One is increasing the level of knowledge through
information transfer both through the edited version of the
Technology Radar itself and through the information
exchange in informal networks that are caused by the
Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1896128
generation as well as distribution processes. In that
perspective a central technology intelligence tool should also
help to reduce the “Not-Invented-Here”(NIH)-syndrome first
described by Katz and Allen.
Second, during the interaction with the units of DTAG
during dissemination, the Radar helps to identify potential
overlap on innovation activities within the group.
Third, it identifies white spots within the group and helps
triggering R&D projects and other measures to close these
gaps. Such needs for action from the Technology Radar can
result in R&D projects at Deutsche Telekom Laboratories.
The transfer of results from such an R&D project into the
product development or infrastructure deployment of the
operative division is comparatively easy, as the need for
action was understood early on and supported by the
divisions [9].
III. METHOD
The process of the Technology Radar can be divided into
four stages: Technology identification, selection, assessment
and dissemination of the generated information to the
stakeholder inside the DTAG (see figure 1).
Identification
New technologies or technological trends are identified
through an international scouting network. These scouts can
be internal or external of DTAG and in this case are all part
of the Deutsche Telekom Group. In addition to a strong tie to
the DTAG the scouts have to be both knowledgeable in their
search field and have a vivid social network which they use
to get first hand information on current research projects and
findings.
The main benefit of the scouting method is the reduced
time lag between the initial scientific discovery and
technology identification [10, 11]. This time lag can be up to
18 to 24 months in publication and patent analysis [12-14].
The time advantage is paid for by the comparatively high
cost for the establishment, management and maintenance of
an extensive scouting network. Another disadvantage is the
lack of scalability when using the scouting method. Each
scout has a limited identification and processing capacity
and therefore a desired output increase can only be achieved
by continuous increase of the number of scouts. A means
which, in turn, increases overhead in the management of the
network.
Selection
Out of a long-list of proposed technologies the editor of
the Technology Radar together with an expert group select a
short-list according to the degree of innovation.
For easy identification of the key innovation and its
potential impact, four categories are being used: (a)
technologies that are completely new, (b) state of the art
technologies that have recently made an important leap in
their development, (c) important changes in complementary
technologies and (d) important rise in the awareness of a
technology or its application.
Furthermore technologies that are already being followed-
up in one or more strategic business units of DTAG are
excluded from the short-list.
Fig. 1. Technology Radar method
In literature a variety of other innovation categorization
and selection approaches can be found. An overview has
been composed by Arnold [7].
Assessment
For all short-listed technologies the scouts are requested to
provide a more detailed description, background information
on the development stages and on remaining obstacles in the
development. Also a judgement of the business potential is
carried out including product and service ideas as well as
ideas on business models enabled by the technology.
Based on this information, the technologies are discussed
in an expert panel and rated in the two dimensions ‘market
impact’ and ‘technological realization potential’. These two
dimensions form the technology matrix (see figure 2) which
was derived from technology portfolio approaches [15, 16].
For each dimension, three factors have been defined, each
rated on a three point scale (high, middle, low). The
dimension ‘market impact’ consists of the factors ‘potential
market size’, ‘disruptive potential’ and ‘cost savings’. For
the dimension ‘technological realization complexity’ the
factors ‘complexity’, ‘implementation risk’ and ‘cost’ are
being used. After combining the scores for the different
factors, the technologies can be placed in the technology
matrix. In the matrix, the area in the lower right corner is
defined as low relevance for the DTAG, the middle part as
medium relevance and on the top left corner the technologies
are of the highest relevance to us.
Fig. 2. DTAG Technology Ranking Framework
Technological realization complexity
Potential Market
Size
Disruptive
Potential
Cost Savings
Market impact
Complexity
Implementation Risk
Cost
high low
low
high
1
2
...
Selection Assessment Dissemination
Identification Selection Assessment Dissemination
Identification
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Innovation
Strategy
CTOs and CMOs
of SBUs
R&D and
Product Managers
Anothe ross-impact
analysis which is often preferred for the rating of emerging
technologies [17, 18]. Its advantage is that it works without
data from the market side, which is often difficult to gather
or forecast. The portfolio approach was preferred for the
intuitive usage in the initial rating and the following
discussions within the DTAG in the dissemination phase.
It should be noted that the ratings only represent an
evaluation from an overview point of view in the light of a
complex telecommunications market. Specific aspects may
well show totally different potentials in the face of a
concrete market scenario. They are just one of many inputs
into the formulation of the strategic direction of the
corporation.
Dissemination
As the recipients of the technological information are also
upper and top management, there is a need to present the
findings both on a high aggregation level and with a strong
focus on the business impact.
The highest aggregation level of information is the Radar
Screen (see figure 3). It offers an overview of all covered
technologies and presents at a glance the information on
relevance of the technologies (as assessed through the rating
framework), the development phase of the technologies and
the technological field.
The development phases are divided into ‘basic research’,
‘applied research’, ‘product concept’, ‘market ready’ and
‘market presence’. They are depicted as concentric circles
starting with the outside circle for basic research and moving
inwards up to market presence.
Six technological fields are represented in the radar screen
as segments of the circle. These segments are based on the
classical value chain of the telecommunication industry so it
does not need to be changed with a change in strategy.
The search fields are divided into ‘fixed & mobile
devices’, ‘access network’, ‘core network’, ‘network
services’, ‘end-user services’ and ‘cross-functional’.
Fig. 3. Technology Radar Screen
After the overview of the covered technologies, the reader
can choose between the key message, which is a brief
description of the technology, and the full technology
profile. The key message features an introduction to the
technology and a paragraph on possible innovations, i.e.
products or services enabled by the technology. The
technology profile covers the technology more in detail
including further technological information, research status,
open questions and the business potential including products,
services and business models enabled by the technology.
This structure enables the stakeholder easy access to the
specific information they need and access to background
information for better interaction with other departments.
Currently, the radar screen together with the key
messages, the technology profiles and a number of further
complements are published as a printed document three
times a year. This publication is distributed to the corporate
innovation management as well as to the Chief
Technological Officers (CTO) and to the Chief Marketing
Officers (CMO) on corporate and on business unit level. In
addition, the document is distributed either as printed version
or as an electronic version to more than hundred R&D and
Product Managers inside the DTAG.
There are certain complements added to the descriptions
of the technologies in order to show trends that can be
identified from the single topics. These complements are
findings from two different workshops and two paper
formats.
The ‘Opinion Paper’ is written by an expert from inside
the DTAG. It takes a certain, often extreme position. Also
the development status for certain technologies, applications
and products are given.
An external view is expressed in the ‘Feature Paper’,
which is written by a well recognized expert from the
scientific community in a specific field. The scope of the
field is usually about 15 to 25 separate technologies. One
example of a ‘Feature Paper’ is an update view of the
“Digital Home” with an overview of interdependencies of
technologies, devices and services needed to enable the
connected home of the future.
The ‘Innovation Panel’ is a workshop held together with
other industry leaders. These companies might be direct
peers, suppliers, corporate customers or other big players
that play in important role in a specific technological field or
market segment. In case of the “Digital Home”, the
workshop was held together with companies such as Cisco,
HP and Intel. The exchange on the vision level has been
chosen in favour of exchange on a more detailed level.
The insights gained through the Innovation Panel are
featured in the publication and are also used as input for the
DTAG internal ‘Trend Workshop’. The participants of this
workshop consist of a few technology scouts, R&D
managers from the divisions and managers from the
corporate innovation management. For the knowledge
generation in the workshop, different methods such as
‘scenario building’ [19-21] and ‘technological roadmapping’
[22-24] are used.
r possible rating framework is the c
DTAG Relevance
High
Medium
Low
DTAG Relevance
HighHigh
Medium
Medium
LowLow
The two workshops are an important means to support the
knowledge development within the scouting network as well
as in the corporation. The findings of the workshop are also
featured in the printed document as add-ons.
IV. TECHNOLOGICAL FINDINGS
As described in the dissemination section, the information
an
n do.”
rk for the analysis, the impact of technology
ha
– encompassing specific
co
Trend Workshop: Private Content Goes Public
“As the communication becomes a kind of content
transfer, the consumer becomes a prosumer.
Communities and social software are on the rise. People
always liked to show what they are doing. Now, thanks to
current technological development, they can do it on a global
level nearly for free. Sharing personal content in the web is
becoming common place: your private photo album, your
favourite playlist, your personal views, all in the internet.
More and more people share their experiences and opinions
using “long tail content” concepts like blogs and become
content producers.
V. VALUE CREATED
After almost two years of existence, the Technology Radar
is regarded widely as a success story. This is due to the
appeal to its read is technology
intelligence tool have been ach eved to a large extend.
To
lses in the company in a very direct way that
m
ect to information filtering in a very
lim
B
t of the dissemination format has recently
d knowledge transfer of the Technology Radar know
different formats. This section shows exemplary findings
generated by the approach.
Feature Paper: Virtualization
“You should virtualize away technology, so that you can
really think about what customers want rather than what
technology ca
As a framewo
s been investigated, as well as market and social reaction
to virtualization across the three major ICT infrastructure
areas – (1) delivery – comprising networks and technical
platforms, (2) service
nfigurations, processes and underlying IT, and (3)
utilization – being made up of terminal devices and user
interfaces. These three ‘traditional’ components of value
creation at telcos were complemented with a fourth area –
semantics – an emerging set of technologies and trends.
Opinion Paper: Intelligent User Interfaces
“Intelligent User Interfaces will become for telcos, what
product design is for the manufacturing industry.”
Today different forms of communication are defined more
often by the interface that is used for establishing the
communication than by the underlying transport technology.
For instance, E-Mail and Instant Messaging both use the
Internet for message transport but mainly vary in user
interface. In future NGN dominated worlds, the major
remaining form of differentiation between communication
services will be the user interface. What design is for
manufactured products, intelligent user interfaces will
become for telco services.
ers and that the aims of th
i
p management attention
The dissemination of an overview of summaries on
technology key words in a hardcopy version has proven to
be one of the key success factors. Especially the CTOs and
CMOs have been reported to have the Technology Radar
“sitting on their desks and screening through it frequently”.
Stimulation of innovation
On this top management level, the linkage of R&D
activities to market needs and the linkage between different
business units can be achieved most effectively. In contrast
to the aggregation level provided in an innovation strategy,
the top management gets access to the disaggregated level,
i.e. the project level. The innovation strategy is by and large
concerned with the identification of general direction of the
innovation policy and less in bringing together people and
projects. In the entangled telecommunication product and
service landscape, this contribution of the Technology Radar
appears to close a gap.
In addition, the impulses from the Technology Radar have
lead to the proposal of five new R&D projects at Deutsche
Telekom Laboratories alone. Most of these projects have
already made it through the stage-gate process of corporate
R&D, which has also been facilitated by the attention raised
for these specific issues.
Direct introduction of external views and impulses
Another important aspect is the insertion of external views
and impu
atches the open innovation environment of Deutsche
Telekom Laboratories. The view on technological
developments, which is presented in the Technology Radar,
has often only been subj
ited way. Therefore the view of the scouts or the sources
tapped by them has a very direct communication path to the
top management of DTAG. This can to some extend break
open the internal centric view which characterises large
companies
Fostering the absorbtive capacity
The Technology Radar is furthermore increase the DTAGs
“absorptive capacity” for innovation as it enables the
organization to deal with a large quantity of topics at the
same time [25]. In the quest to foster the ability to identify,
assimilate and apply external know how to commercial
purpose the Technology Radar assists especially in the first
two.
VI. LESSONS LEARNED
est practices
As discussed in the value creation section of this paper,
the appeal of the structure and the dissemination format of
the radar have been key success factors. Especially the radar
screen as the highest aggregation level for the information
has proven to be very powerful. It is a good starting point
both for browsing the Technology Radar as well as for
retrieval of specific information on a technology. This
positive assessmen
be
In the techn ess factors of
the scouting a erage on the
so
rs with the ability to see beyond
hidden opportunities.”
lio
concerning the
ar pinion on
th
e Technology Radar have been
Patton [28], a
dy
ader (R&D or marketing manager) to the
source of informa ustry R&D) and
vice versa. This s : First, the R&D
f e.g.
universities to share their knowledge with the Radar scouts.
raise questions on responsibilities.
Management of Technology: John Wiley &
Management
Communication Patterns of 50 R-and-D Project Groups," R & D
Management, v
[10] M. F. Wolff, "S arch Technology
nt, vol. 35, pp. 10, 1992.
en confirmed by a business unit which requested a
customized edition of the Technology Radar with its own
search fields but in the same structure and aggregation
levels. ology identification, the key succ
ctivities remain the ability to lev
cial networks of the scouts and the selection of the right
person for the job. In this case and as also described by
Norling [26], successful scouts have a “broad technical
interest and are lateral thinke
one product or technology to its
To maximise the output of the scouting network, the
selection of scouts with an extensive social network is the
key. Without this leverage the amount and relevance of
identified technologies will remain limited. A limited
processing capacity, i.e. the writing of technological
descriptions and the interaction with the editors of the
technological information, can be enhanced with the help of
support staff for the scout.
The portfolio approach for technology rating has been
highly successful. There is always the temptation of using a
more complex and automated rating approach. But as
recently shown by Shehabuddeen [27], the higher the degree
of complexity and automation the lower the identification of
the stakeholder with the rating results. The portfo
approach combined with the transparency
guments considered for the ranking allows the reader to
easily adapt the rating to his own perception and o
e underlying criteria.
Another experience confirmed by Shehabuddeen [27] was,
that the rating method is influenced by “the vagueness and
imprecision of language used to describe the criteria against
which a decision is made”. In consequence, it is important to
ensure a clear description of the factors used in the rating
and a common understanding of the meaning of each factor.
Further development steps
Building on what has been achieved, some further
development steps for th
planned.
One of these steps is the introduction of a pull mechanism
for technological information. As claimed by
namic momentum can be gained if information push and
pull mechanisms are combined. For the Technology Radar
this means the introduction of an online dissemination with
interaction functionalities. With this step better
understanding of the information needs of readers and the
facilitation of networking between the readers and authors
and within these two groups should be achieved.
Another goal for the Technology Radar will be enabling
the access for the re
tion (e.g. university, ind
hould yield two benefits
manager interested in starting a project building on
technology covered in the Radar would be in direct contact
to an expert in this field. Second, the possibility for starting
joined R&D projects would foster the motivation o
Conclusion
In practice, establishing and improving of above
mentioned processes and methods and the necessary
information networks require patience. First, because in the
ramp-up phase the outcome is limited and the effort usually
high. Second, especially in large companies, the introduction
of new methods and tools
For example, the approach of ‘short-circuiting’ (i.e. creating
a direct channel for technology impulses to disseminate into
the organization) was a clear deviation from the classical
flow of information and created several challenges alongside
with the benefits detailed above. The processes and results
are a challenge to technological knowledge as well as
journalistic skills of editorship as they need to satisfy high
standards of the technology management field, as well as
publication quality for widespread circulation. The benefits
from the Technology Radar that support the innovation task
of Deutsche Telekom Laboratories are definitely worth the
effort and even with every new edition, additional positive
side effects that originally had not even been expected come
into place.
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... Technology radars substitute regular, occasional technology reviews made by external consultants or from the internal research and development department. A technology radar is a complex tool, and its contribution to innovation management goes beyond technological briefings and analysis of a technology potential [13]. Technology radar results in being above all a strategic instrument because they allow them to discover new promising technologies or trends from their initial stage of life cycle and determine their strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities [13]. ...
... A technology radar is a complex tool, and its contribution to innovation management goes beyond technological briefings and analysis of a technology potential [13]. Technology radar results in being above all a strategic instrument because they allow them to discover new promising technologies or trends from their initial stage of life cycle and determine their strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities [13]. Rohrbeck and Heinrich identify the process of technology radar as a procedure of four steps: (i) technology identification, (ii) selection, (iii) assessment, and (iv) dissemination [13]. ...
... Technology radar results in being above all a strategic instrument because they allow them to discover new promising technologies or trends from their initial stage of life cycle and determine their strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities [13]. Rohrbeck and Heinrich identify the process of technology radar as a procedure of four steps: (i) technology identification, (ii) selection, (iii) assessment, and (iv) dissemination [13]. ...
Chapter
Emerging Industry 4.0 technologies are changing very fast, and in few years, technologies reach a new level of maturity, or new technologies are introduced. This makes it difficult for manufacturing companies to keep track of the fast development and evaluate a future introduction of new technologies related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Therefore this work aims to realize an Industry 4.0 technology radar for industrial organizations based on the Gartner Hype Cycle Curve. This tool aims to analyze new emerging technologies that could affect manufacturing firms, enabling selecting the most suitable ones. The technology evaluation considers three parameters: a technology maturity level, enterprise value, and deployment risk of technologies. The application of such a tool highlights which technologies to include in the company’s future technology strategy. The developed technology radar was applied in a real industrial case study to prove its applicability and limitations.
... Scientific literature breaks the process of technology mapping into phases, or functions, with a general agreement of requiring at least four of these functions: Technology Identification (TI), Technology Selection (TS), Technology Assessment (TA) and Technology Dissemination (TD; Rohrbeck et al. 2006). TI, TS and TA functions have been presented in Stute et al. (2020), in the scouting of 18 enabling technologies (Arasti and Moghaddam 2010;Rohrbeck et al. 2006). ...
... Scientific literature breaks the process of technology mapping into phases, or functions, with a general agreement of requiring at least four of these functions: Technology Identification (TI), Technology Selection (TS), Technology Assessment (TA) and Technology Dissemination (TD; Rohrbeck et al. 2006). TI, TS and TA functions have been presented in Stute et al. (2020), in the scouting of 18 enabling technologies (Arasti and Moghaddam 2010;Rohrbeck et al. 2006). ...
... Technology mapping usually focuses on a sector or an area, being a convenient method for identifying technologies when various firms or industries with different characteristics are considered, as well as multiple products/services for a large number of customers (Khalil 2000). As depicted previously, technology mapping methodology has a four-phase methodological approach for achieving a well-devised Technology Strategy Formulation (Arasti and Moghaddam 2010;Gudanowska 2016;Rohrbeck et al. 2006). This chapter focuses on the fourth and final phase of the methodological route of technology mapping, known as Technology Dissemination (TD); (Rohrbeck et al. 2006). ...
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Driven by the current digital transformation, European companies rely on accurate forecasting of future trends and prediction of most useful technologies in order to maintain their competitive edge. For this purpose, the mapping of enabling technologies to future scenarios becomes a valuable tool for practitioners and researchers alike, especially when considering the disruptive events that surround SCs design, implementation and management. This research sets forth to fill this gap by presenting a technology mapping of enabling technologies based on technology portfolio approach, expert elicitation and literature. The final outcome is the mapping of the enabling technologies to the characteristics of the future European SC scenarios.
... Comparing the methods of the digital tools cluster, the technology radar introduced by Rohrbeck, Heuer, and Arnold (2006) seems to prove a promising approach because, on the one hand, it offers a compressed overview in the form of an easily understandable visualization, and, on the other hand, a technology radar has already been implemented by numerous companies (AutoScout24, 2018;Delivery Hero, 2019;Haufe Group, 2019;Zalando, 2019). ...
Book
This edited book presents research results that are relevant for scientists, practitioners and policymakers who engage in knowledge and technology transfer from different perspectives. Empirical and conceptual chapters present original approaches regarding the current practice and policies behind technology transfer. By providing analyses at the macro, meso and micro-level, the respective chapters demonstrate how technology is moving from various organizational contexts into new institutions and becoming a critical aspect for competitiveness.
... This reflects the imperfect state of knowledge and limitations of the conceptual models used in the situation. Finally, the messages are more persuasive when coming from analysts that have high credibility and when being presented consistently from different sourcesbecause messages can be ambiguous if they are interim, based on assumed scenarios, and still under development [Lichtenthaler, 2007;Rohrbeck et al., 2006;Önkal et al., 2013] and therefore seem inadequate to cover all the situations. ...
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In business or government operations, surprise is rarely a good thing. Although sometimes positive, the effects of unexpected events and developments can take a variety of difficult forms – from being simply inconvenient to disastrous. However, foreseeing the future accurately is a difficult process, especially futures that involve dealing with emerging technologies. Further, unexpected new technology developments can produce significant surprises. The main response to this uncertainty is to establish early warning systems that help anticipate technological surprises. However, many specific internal company early warning efforts set up to anticipate technological surprises are often not effective. Even when successful, early warning alerts can end up not being enough. Not only are responsive actions by managers essential to dealing with potential surprises, but real benefits can occur when a future technology warning is turned into a company advantage through deliberate actions that arise from the warning process. Incorporating the full set of technology intelligence (TI) practices is an important element of creating a business edge by managing and potentially exploiting surprises. This paper provides an overview of technology intelligence (TI) as practiced by many organizations today, from the private, government, and international sectors. The discussion begins with describing TI objectives and process and then presents several elements of how TI operations are conducted, focusing on TI customers, descriptions of TI needs, and how to address them.
... The RDS designers' task is to work together with the technical team members to define requirements and prioritize solutions. This can be done with several tools borrowed from traditional business strategies such as the technology radar (Rohrbeck, Heuer, and Arnold 2006), bullseye scale, and impact-e ort matrices. ...
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The need for large amounts of data permeates almost all fields of research. New technologies related to machine learning (deep learning in particular), cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) add to the increased complexity of data-related work and how researchers deal with that. Those trends are accelerating and result in a widespread need for new frameworks to increase the cost-benefit ratio of research work while driving innovation. Modern developments in the private sector, both in technologies and ways of working, can be readily adopted by research organizations. "Data strategy" is an umbrella term for those advancements. This article presents its research variant, Research Data Strategy (RDS), complete with its different elements, the sequence of execution, and supporting activities. This new methodology aims to build on top of existing research data management practices by providing a framework for ensuring innovative science in data-driven research organizations.
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The increasingly important role played by digital technologies in challenging and overcoming consolidated conceptions of business models makes urgent for CIOs to grasp their value to remain competitive. However, being a savvy adopter is hard, as hasty decisions may easily lead to disappointing results and a waste of money. In order to try to solve this issue, the DEVO Lab developed the HIT Radar, a tool to evaluate the impact, ecosystem, and dynamics of digital technological objects for mid- to large-sized enterprises. In the following chapter, we describe the HIT Radar with particular reference to: Differences and similarities compared to other technology assessment tools Its methodology and the related construction process Its main benefits and limitations
Thesis
Firms are facing an increasingly complex environment and highly complex product and service landscapes that often require multiple organizations to collaborate for innovation and offerings. Research in this dissertation was based on the expectation that corporate foresight activities will increasingly be embedded in interorganizational settings and a) can draw on such settings for the benefit of themselves and b) may contribute to shared visions, trust building and planning in these network organizations. The goal of this dissertation is to contribute to the corporate foresight research field by investigating capabilities, practices, and challenges particularly in the context of interorganizational settings and networked organizations informed by the theoretical perspectives of the relational view and dynamic capabilities. The EIT Digital is a central case of this dissertation, supplemented with insights from three additional cases. Research draws on the rich theoretical understanding of the resource-based view, dynamic capabilities, and particularly the relational view to further the discussion in the field of corporate foresight—defined as foresight in organizations in contrast to foresight with a macro-economical perspective—towards a relational understanding. Further, Rohrbeck’s Maturity Model for the Future Orientation of Firms is used as conceptual frame for corporate foresight in interorganizational settings. The analyses—available as four individual publications complemented by on additional chapter—are designed as exploratory case studies based on multiple data sources including an interview series with 49 persons, two surveys (N=54, n=20), three supplementary interviews, access to key documents and presentations, and observation through participation in meetings and activities of the EIT Digital. This research setting allowed contributing to corporate foresight research and practice by 1) integrating relational constructs primarily drawn from the relational view and dynamic capabilities research into the corporate foresight research stream, 2) exploring and understanding capabilities that are required for corporate foresight in interorganizational and networked organizations, 3) discussing and extending the Maturity Model for network organizations, and 4) to support individual organizations to tie their foresight systems effectively to networked foresight systems.
Chapter
Digitalization is a key driver throughout all drivers of change because its emerging and rapidly changing digital technologies lead to new products, services, and/or business models. Actors working in knowledge and technology transfer constantly have to keep up with the latest technological developments and cope with their enormous implications. To face these challenges, a variety of knowledge and technology transfer methods exist. This chapter provides an overview of these methods and illuminates the technology radar method as a potential digital tool for facilitating knowledge and technology transfer. Following the lean approach by Eric Ries, we document the process of the development of the technology radar. We present a web-based technology radar that is accessible to everyone on nearly any device, which encourages collaborative development. User testing with experts in the field of knowledge and technology transfer delivers insights and feedback for the further development of this digital tool. The results are conclusively discussed and then an outlook on the upcoming version of the technology radar, as well as different forms of usage in terms of knowledge and technology transfer, is provided.
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The first step in making sure that R&F spending is productive is to be sure it is going in the same direction as the overall business strategy. Simple enough to say but not always so simple to do. The corporate strategy process often focuses on financial factors and market share and neglects technology as a key resource to be planned. With competitive success as well as productivity and profitability becoming more directly tied to technology development, it is time to give technology a more important place in the corporate strategy process. Using the example of an actual firm, the key to achieving a sustainable competitive advantage lies in formulating the right technology strategy and integrating into the corporate planning process. The article includes a useful framework for analysis and planning.
Article
The first step in making sure that R&D spending is productive is to be sure it is going in the same direction as the overall business strategy. Simple enough to say but not always so simple to do. Chris Pappas suggests that the corporate strategy process often focuses on financial factors and market share and neglects technology as a key resource to be planned. With competitive success as well as productivity and profitability becoming more directly tied to technology development, it is time to give technology a more important place in the corporate strategy process. Using the example of an actual firm, Pappas shows that the key to achieving a sustainable competitive advantage lies in formulating the right technology strategy and integrating it into the corporate planning process. His article includes a useful framework for analysis and planning.
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Effective systems for managing technology in complex business environments require integrated sets of management tools and processes, underpinned by well-founded conceptual frameworks. Understanding how such systems operate, and how best to implement them, represents an ongoing challenge, especially considering the multidisciplinary and multifunctional nature of technology management. This paper describes the development of a technology and general management tool catalogue, which focuses on the ‘matrix’ class of tools, classified into four generic types. The practical development and application of such tools is discussed, illustrated by two case examples.
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The objective of this research is a study of technology forecasting not only as a discipline but also as an executive responsibility by applying the information processing theory to this task. A protocol analysis from Ericsson and Simon, modified for this study, was used for the analysis of interview data of top executives from the magnetic resonance imaging industry and their superconducting magnet suppliers, when they had to face a specific technological event. The technological event is the breakthrough discovery of ceramic superconducting materials in 1986, and the fast technological progress that followed between 1987 and 1989. This paper illustrates the processes through which senior executives collect information, process it, and develop plans and predictions in the context of “hard” uncertainty. We use cognitive and strategic decision-making research to develop a normative typology of executive decision making in similar contexts.
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Every month, SRI Consulting Business Intelligence (SRIC-BI) professionals assemble more than 100 short abstracts of developments that they perceive to be signals of change, discontinuities, inflection points, outliers, or disruptive developments. The effort is part of a continuous scanning process and Scan program that allows SRIC-BI to gauge the ongoing turbulent confluence of culture, commerce, and technology that defines today's business environment. For more than 25 years, scanning has played an essential role in SRIC-BI's and SRI International's foresight capabilities by providing a systematic means for surveying the broad external environment for change vectors. Traditional monitoring processes in most organizations are largely arbitrary, depending on what concerned individuals or leaders in the organization are reading, thinking about, and sharing informally with each other. But in today's world, arbitrary is insufficient. No foresight function can operate with confidence without a disciplined process for spotting new patterns of change and bringing those issues into the organization for early consideration and action. This article describes the scanning process as SRIC-BI practices it, the importance of open intelligence systems, what benefits the scanning process can provide to organizations, and what problems organizations typically run into when setting up scanning systems.
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Cross-Impact methods are standard tools of the scenario technique. They provide a number of structured processes for the deduction of plausible developments of the future in the form of rough scenarios and are based on expert judgments about systemic interactions. Cross-Impact methods are mostly used for analytical tasks which do not allow the use of theory-based computational models due to their disciplinary heterogeneity and the relevance of “soft” system knowledge, but on the other hand are too complex for a purely argumentative systems analysis. The essentials of a new Cross-Impact approach (Cross-Impact Balance Analysis, CIB) are outlined; it is of high methodological flexibility and is especially suitable for the use in expert discourses due to its transparent analytical logic. Due to its mathematical qualities it is also particularly well suited for the analytical integration of calculable system parts. An application of CIB to a project on the generation of electricity and climate protection is described. For a theoretical foundation of the CIB method relations to systems theory, especially to the theory of dynamic systems, are discussed. This explicates that CIB scenarios correspond to the solutions of slowly time-varying pair-force systems.