Technology is changing every day. Technology management makes products and services possible. People use technology to improve their lives.
Continuous technological innovation gives competitive advantage to firms. Whereas, laggardness in terms of technological improvement leads to businesses going bankrupt and closing down. Nokia & Kodak are the best examples for the same. Therefore, technology is critical to national security and common citizen services as well. These include education, healthcare, natural resources including energy, water and so on.
Do you know what is technology management? What is the technology management framework? What are the activities & tools you need to effectively manage your technology? How can you reap benefits of any technology for your organisation? If not, then don’t worry. Subsequently, I will be explaining everything you need to know about technology management.
What’s in it for me?
- What is Technology Management?
- Technology Management framework
- Activities used in Technology Management
- Tools in Technology Management
What is Technology Management?
Technology management is the process of planning, directing, controlling & coordinating all the efforts to develop & implement technological capabilities of a firm in order to achieve their strategic or operational objectives and gain a sustainable competitive advantage. It is based on the dynamic capabilities theory. Also, it describes a dynamic capability as the ability to reconfigure, redirect, transform. It can also appropriately shape and integrate core competences with external resources. It does so in order to meet the challenges of time and a rapidly changing world of cut-throat competition. Technology Management is not about technological innovations and their management alone. Rather, it is a specific discipline related to all sorts of decision making.
What is the Technology Management Framework?
According to the framework, any firm operates in an organisational & environmental context which includes knowledge flows between the commercial and the technological perspective in the firm. Firstly, any organisation has 3 core business processes, namely; strategy, innovation and operations. After this, comes the set of activities & tools.
Secondly, firms differ in terms of size and scope. However, this framework is applicable to all firms regardless of their size. It can adapt appropriately for every organization. To sum up, this framework assumes technology to be a resource. It does not matter whether the firm is a manufacturing firm or a services firm. As a result, the technology base resides in the heart of this framework. This is essential for developing processes, products & services. Not only this but it also uses technological capabilities developed by Technology Management.
Now, we shall discuss the activities & tools involved in Technology Management in detail.
Activities in Technology Management:
There are two main types of Activities in Technology Management, core activities and supporting activities.
Identification: It comprises of searching, auditing, data collection and intelligence possesses for technologies and markets. Mainly, in this phase we actually try to identify the problem and hence, document our needs. It is necessary for technologies at all stages of development.
Selection: It comprises of choosing the best alternatives for our problem by taking into account various factors. These include company level strategic issues, objectives and finally choosing the right technology by taking the right decision.
Acquisition: This activity defines how the company decides to acquire the technologies valuable to its business. The technology can be developed internally, by some form of collaboration or acquired from external developers.
Exploitation: It includes incremental developments, process improvements and realising the full potential of the acquired technology. Exploitation is vital for using a technology to the fullest of its capacity. Also, in order to reap benefits from the technology, it is important . The final motive is to gain competitive advantage.
Protection: The aim of this activity is to convert the competitive advantage into a sustainable competitive advantage. Protection is not only responsible for shielding the technology but also the intellectual assets of the firm using various tools.
Project Management: It refers to the managerial activities associated to all types of projects such as product development.
Knowledge Management: It is used for managing the enormous repository of knowledge which resides in the organisation & its employees.
Innovation Management: It is a broader management practice, involved in handling various innovations including financial, organisational & technological.
Tools in Technology Management:
There are 4 Technology Management Tools, we will be using to carry out the activities mentioned above.
Patent Analysis: It is often used by managers & IP (intellectual property) strategists. Patent Analysis are used in order to synthesize useful information about companies or sectors in terms of technological competitiveness. They do so by tracing the development trajectory of a particular technology over time.
Portfolio Management: Financial services industry uses it actively. Portfolio Management is used to define investment mix & policy, matching investments to objectives, balancing risk against performance. Recently, it is being used as a dynamic decision process. Also, it includes a constant updating and revising of a company’s active new technology projects.
Roadmapping: Industry leaders & government use it to support strategy, innovation and policy forming. Roadmapping helps by proving an extended look at the future of a chosen field of technology. It does so from the collective knowledge, imagination & educated estimates of the brightest drivers of change in that field.
S-Curve: Also known as growth curves, S-curves have emerged from an analogy with biological life. It illustrates the life cycle of a phenomenon or a new technology in the market. This is useful as it describes the adoption and demand of an innovative technology over time. So, it is useful to take better and data-driven as well as informed decisions.
To conclude, I would like to say you must use all the activities & tools mentioned above are in tandem. Hire a good Technology Manager if required. If you align your efforts as per your technological objectives, your organization will succeed in using the technology effectively. Most importantly, keep in mind the final aim of any technology management practice. That is, to gain a sustainable competitive advantage. If you wish to learn more about technology you can check out my blog on Advanced technologies VS Popular technologies.