In Michigan, manufacturing businesses are planning to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies by 2025. While automation may improve efficiency for them, 42% of the labor force is worried about the negative impact it could have on employment. The concern is valid, and to address it strategically, MEDC teamed up with a leading technology knowledge center last year.
So what did they propose? A statewide campaign to help small and medium-sized manufacturers position themselves for the future by using smart technologies. How did they plan to achieve this? An in-depth technology assessment was rolled out to enable them to identify lucrative business improvement opportunities. The result? Businesses could create customized training session plans to bring awareness and integrate technology into their manufacturing facilities.
It is challenging for businesses to keep up with the speed of current innovation. AI, robotics, big data, IoT, nanotechnology – modern technologies are expanding quickly to meet the needs of industry and consumers. How will your company’s technologies fare in 2021 and beyond? Performing an effective technology assessment will enable your organization to stay on top of the latest trends. Furthermore, it will help you determine which technologies you should invest in to achieve long-term success.
Read on to learn how technology assessment studies have benefited global enterprises and helped them overcome their innovation challenges.
What does a technology assessment study entail?
Innovation is a key strategy for companies and governments globally to gain a competitive advantage. And to ensure a sustainable edge, they must continually review and enhance their technology capabilities.
A technology assessment study involves an analysis of a technology product or innovation to gauge its competitive position. So, analyzing the market, technology, competitor, and patent data can yield insights into how it compares with available alternatives. The study enables business decisions around the following:
- Should I invest in this technology product or innovation?
- What improvements can be made to existing technology product/innovation to enhance its value?
- What bundling opportunities align with today’s innovation adoption trends?
- Which technology areas will provide the best commercialization opportunity?
- What will be the potential impact of this technology tool on the business ecosystem?
With a thorough technology assessment, organizations can identify and adopt technology products/solutions that meet their business requirements and can help them stay ahead of the competition. Here’s how.
1. A technology solution provider decodes the future potential of smart connectivity solutions
A global electronics supplier sells 450,000 types of components to customers in over 150 countries. It saw smart connectivity solutions as an opportunity to drive growth. The aim was to understand whether implementing this technology in North America and Western Europe will be feasible. So, how did the company establish a go-to-market strategy and align its business segments in sync with changing consumer preferences?
A thorough technology assessment of smart connectivity solutions enabled the company to:
- Analyze the smart connectivity technology domain and existing integrated solutions
- Dive deep into their current technology needs, focus areas, and also, future technology scope
- Understand existing R&D and key investments in the segment
What was the outcome? With these insights, the company could identify how to transition from its current technology competence to a smart connectivity infrastructure.
Technology environments in an enterprise change with time. Which technology solutions is your business currently using or offering as products? Are you able to maximize your existing technology strategy? Moreover, which gaps do you need to analyze on priority to ensure that your company is not left behind in today’s hyper-competitive market? It is important to address these issues before you can benchmark your business performance on the technology front.
To illustrate, consider the far-reaching effects of the pandemic.
In response to COVID-19, businesses have had to divert budgets to support remote work infrastructure. They introduced software tools for collaboration, online meetings, and virtual private networks. Furthermore, to undergo digital transformations, many businesses have had to make notable changes to their business models. Others had to upgrade technology infrastructure to retain any advantage.
In such a scenario, a technology assessment study can examine the short and long-term consequences of your innovation initiatives. It can help you identify the current position of your business and technology development costs. Plus, you can estimate the risks of implementing new technology as well as analyze its compatibility with your existing business processes.
2. An interactive technology company identifies cross-industry opportunities for wearable AR systems
Today, looking beyond one’s industry is important. Besides, with digital taking the center stage for businesses globally, cross-industry innovation is emerging as a way for them to leverage the best technologies.
So, when a well-established interactive and visual effects technology provider decided to assess the use of wearable AR systems in sectors such as oil and gas, medicine, and real estate, a thorough technology assessment and market research made the most sense. How did the company gain key insights into the potential of wearable AR systems in the service and maintenance functions of these industries?
A comprehensive technology assessment of wearable AR systems helped the company to:
- Uncover problems that the wearable AR technology aims to address
- Identify its advantages over other modern technologies
- Understand current developments in the field of augmented reality
- Analyze not only 7900 AR patents but also relevant head-mounted display technology patents
What was the outcome? This insight-driven process enabled the company to prepare its R&D roadmap to navigate the cross-industry landscape for wearable AR technology.
The idea of adopting innovation from different markets to one’s business area can seem challenging at first. But with predictive intelligence and a well-executed technology trend analysis, companies can identify innovation opportunities that are far off their core areas.
For instance, backed by its technology capabilities, Tesla has recently ventured into the US auto insurance industry. The EV and clean energy leader looks to capture a bit of the growing insurance market where incumbents are looking to use AI, blockchain, and edge computing.
Similarly, UPS, a global leader in the logistics industry, has tapped into the manufacturing space by building 3D printing capabilities. It has introduced an on-demand manufacturing-as-a-service program that employs 3D printers in over 60 retail locations nationwide. Moreover, UPS has emerged as one of the fastest-growing providers of 3D printing services in the US.
3. A device manufacturer identifies promising commercialization routes for thin-film battery technology
Often, disruptive technologies offer benefits to products that customers are not expecting and may therefore be overlooked. This makes it difficult for businesses to understand how the technology will stack up over time.
For instance, there’s a growing demand for miniature electronic devices. As a result of this, a leading battery manufacturer set out to determine potential application areas for its new thin-film battery technology and whether it can be commercialized. So, how did the business uncover market opportunities and the competitive position of its technology against other emerging battery technologies?
With a multi-pronged approach to market, patent, and technology assessment for thin-film battery technology, the company was able to:
- Identify companies that have an R&D or a product pipeline of thin-film batteries
- Evaluate existing market opportunities based on not only industry applications but also technology specifications
- Assess relevant patents filed across geographies in the last 10 years to rule out IP infringement
What was the outcome? The technology provider gained a clear understanding of the opportunities present in the market based on these insight-driven recommendations.
Besides, a technology commercialization analysis can determine whether a technology is economically viable for your business. Thus, by comparing the costs of implementing innovation to the costs of existing technology tools, you can gauge its economic competitiveness.
These are just a few examples of how innovation-driven enterprises around the world are thinking five to ten years ahead to identify technologies that will complement their current offerings. Before deciding to introduce new technology tools in your business, here are a few questions that you must consider addressing.
- What kind of technologies will be at the forefront a decade later?
- Besides, will the approach to adopting new technologies change?
- What will be the next major technological breakthrough?
Certainly, a well-executed technology assessment study can address these questions and help businesses understand the technology landscape and design a strategic roadmap for investment.
Is your business prepared to navigate technological disruption and find a competitive edge? With Netscribes’ technology and innovation research solutions, you can stay prepared for the next wave of technology requirements and the business landscape. To learn more, get in touch with us.