Management of technology and innovation (MTI) is a subject about challenges that every firm faces in the current century. The beckon of transformations in the business environment comprises of new technologies and innovations that compel industries and firms to discover competition approaches that give an advantage over perceived industry rivals. New products emerge in markets on a daily basis as firms develop new processes to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. In order to meet these upcoming changes, businesses have to find ways of managing technology and innovation. The strategic goals have to be initiated and implemented.
Relationship between Technology Management and Business Strategies of a firm
Management of Technology (MOT) is an industrial action that is focused on the process of managing technology development, achievement, and dispersal in industrial or government organizations. It also encompasses the introduction and use of technology in production, manufacturing processes, and other business processes. MOT connects engineering, science together with management disciplines to arrange, develop, and execute technological potentials. This is done to figure out and complete the strategic and operational objectives of the company.
Management of technology plays a critical role in identifying and evaluating technological alternatives available for a business firm. This forms the interior function of a company that operates in an innovative industry. The process requires diligence and comprehensive analysis from technical, legal and commercial points of view. The technical part of the assessment is designed to identify the likelihood of success of the new technology to be implemented and the extent of its application. Legal evaluation, on the other hand, checks the intellectual property rights of the new application and the lack of restrictions in its development process. MOT extends to explore the commercial opportunities available in the implementation of the new technology, along with available markets and expected profit margins.
Management of Technology (MOT) also involves the management of research and development, commonly referred to as technology management. This plays a significant role in the project feasibility test. In the current trends of technological advancement, businesses are expanding in order to meet new market demands. This involves the start of new projects and strategies that need viable testing before approval. Proper management of technology in the field of research and development offers such desired solutions to business firms.
Management of technology helps firms to integrate technology into their operations. For example, the incorporation of management automation tools can help link all other proportions in a business firm. The integration of appropriate technology facilitates the execution of processes within a firm. This can be achieved through the computerization of manual tasks and integration between management systems. This makes it easier to report the information needed at various stages of business strategy development. Integration of technology in business also helps in dealing with the increasing demand for the flow of information within an organization.
MOT helps a business firm to implement fresh technologies in a product and processes. For example, financial services firms can be made compliant with programs that are both effective and efficient. Incorporated technology and system of management can help exploit already existing resources and expand the breadth and intensity of coverage.
Technology Forecast and Technology Innovation Chains
The given definition of the technological forecast as a prediction of the future characteristics of useful machines, products, processes, procedures or techniques has a lot of inferences. The statement gives a wider use of technological forecasting ranging from predicting product development or competitor’s technical potentials to the formation of scenarios for predicting the impact of prospect technologies. The statement further illustrates that a forecast is developed using techniques. The techniques are implemented with the purpose of deriving the necessary information and, thus, providing a conclusion on the data set.
Technology forecast contributes vastly towards decision making. It is thus essentially related to chain technology innovations. The development of a technology forecast and chain innovation can be divided into four stages. The first stage involves outlining the problem and defining the projected outcome of the forecast. This information is needed in technological innovation. Forecasting, therefore, aids and guides technological innovation. This process also contributes towards a better understanding of the nature and model of technology. This process enhances understanding of the working of technology and the tasks designed to be accomplished in a firm.
The second stage of forecasting involves collecting and scrutinizing the data using various methods. Once the data has been analyzed, chain technological innovations can now proceed by performing the research and development on innovation to be carried out. This is extended further by conducting profile innovation and activities which largely depend on the information given during technology forecasting. This stage is finalized by examining the workability of the potential applications proposed by the forecasters.
The third stage entails interpreting the results and assembling the forecast from available information. This represents the forecaster’s probable innovation pathways. It brings together both experts to check the empirical results. The alternative innovation pathways are laid out, while exploring the innovation contents, taking into account the proposal of information forecasted.
The last step in chain technology innovation involves synthesizing and reporting what has been revealed in the alternative pathways. Technology forecasting and technology chain innovation can easily be used interchangeably due to the close relationship between the two concepts.
Technology diffusion is a measure of how extensively technology stretches throughout an organization. Technology diffusion also involves the distribution of technical information and knowledge and further acceptance of new technologies and methods by users. Organizations that have computers and information systems situated in most sections are considered to have high technology diffusion.
Technological diffusion advances organizational development and strategic transformation, as well as technology operation. Firms that have effectively adopted and used technological diffusion have experienced a greater change. This is clear at the macro level, where organizational barriers and obstacles are evident. Introduction of technological diffusion challenges firms to endorse organizational change and calculated rethinking within the firm.
Effective diffusion technology enhances trust and close connections between diverse team players. This ensures that a long-term relationship is developed between companies. The closeness witnessed among the players, such as industry groups, results in improved policies and programs of a firm or business.
International technology diffusion has gained a lot of the world’s significance in international trade. Market transaction data that are linked to technological diffusion clearly explains the trend. For example, the total value of payments in the world is done through technological diffusion and equals fourteen percent of world merchandise trade. In fact, some countries are now known to trade their exports via technological diffusion. Effective deployment of technology diffusion has seen several industries increase their industrial competitiveness, productivity, and reliability. This is conducted based on technical abilities and skills that are distributed among the workers. Most operations that would rather waste time are mechanized.
Technical diffusion also enhances economic development due to the improved market stability brought about by the flow of information about new technologies in the firm. It helps in maximizing economic and social returns from investing in research and development. This, in turn, leads to business growth. Business flexibility, industrial and technological competitiveness, quality, maintenance of high-paying jobs coupled with job creation and support of further rounds of innovation are some of the benefits acquired by an organization that chose to implement technological diffusion.
Role of Venture Capital in Promoting Technology Development
Venture capital is financial resources geared towards the provision of equity investment for a time period in small or medium businesses. These small businesses have high growth potentials and high returns which can also attract high risks. In summary, venture capital is a high-risk, high-rewarding investment in aid of business formation and growth.
Venture capital stimulates the creation and expansion of small and medium-sized businesses. These small businesses play a leading role in the development of new opportunities and the use of technology. The financial support offered to such businesses and emphasis on small enterprises promotes the development of technology. Business and technology incubators and export processing zones can help firms acquire and diffuse technology throughout the country when supported by venture capital.
Financial institutions can foster technological innovation by unlocking the financial capital of small and medium-sized businesses. The venture capitals offered to them do no finance but push the businesses to multinational levels leading to the expansion of the technology development in a country. Venture capital financing is quite different from other financing and traditional areas of investment. The capital fills a space left by other funding institutions. It seeks to fund high potential and innovative ventures in society. It demands proficiency, approaches, and systems that are unique to businesses. Such ventures are highly promoted by innovative ideas and are technologically development-oriented.
Venture Capital Fund in India
Venture capital in India is not as old as that of the United States of America. In the early years, when venture capital was commencing in India, it was solely supported by financial institutions. Such financial institutions included banks like the Industrial Bank of India. The financing of venture capital in India has now taken a different direction with several organizations now in place. An example of such funds in India is Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund.
Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund plays a role in promoting development in rural and semi-urban areas of India. It is a plan-linked investment in support of micro equity funds. The micro fund is geared towards promoting sustainable economic development. This is done by encouraging free enterprise among the smaller income community of India. The fund’s mission is to finance micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that show potential and are focused on driving changes in the underserved regions in India.
Activities of Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund are widespread. The main activity of the fund is to finance projects which are commercially viable, environment-friendly and socially conscious. Funding is in the range of US$50,000 to US$500,000. They also offer operational and strategic support to the small and medium-sized businesses. They play a role in connecting the countryside entrepreneurs with normal markets. The organization does fundraising at certain periods to solicit financing to fund venture capital.
The Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund has several achievements. Over the last decade, Aavishkaar has deployed a combined capital of US$ 29 million in 32 companies in several regions in India. Those funded included microfinance institutions, innovative businesses with a goal to reach rural and underserved populations. These institutions and businesses were operating in different sectors of the economy like agriculture, dairy, healthcare, water, and sanitation. The sectors of technology for development, energy, and handicrafts are also included.
In a summary highlighted from the report of the funding, 198,000 people were able to access the clean and safe environment through portable toilet cabins. 358,000 others accessed affordable and reliable healthcare facilities. A number of people benefited when dairy farmers witnessed increased income from transparent and efficient milk collection processes. Drinking water has been made clean and portable to the community, along with a supply of energy-saving stove.
Systematic Approach to Acquisition of Technology information
Though technology information may abound, it is always desirable to have a systematic approach to acquiring technological information. This is highly significant as it will enable the organization to strengthen its technology base, access the viability of the technology and financial ability of the company or firm. In the case of technology, information is planned, developed and managed properly, it can bring greater efficiency in the operation of the organization, thus, improving working environments and enhancing better decision making.
Acquisition of technology is a process that comprises of various procedures. The initial procedure involves a search for technology. The availability of technologies can be established from a number of information sources directly or indirectly. The sources include linked firms and knowledge pools among other significant sources. The knowledge pools comprise patents, trade fairs, and roadshows, exhibitions and trade associations.
Several countries have a department of technologies or ministry concerned with technology. The departments organize trade fairs that show commercialized technologies or the latest developments in science and technology. These initiatives aim at encouraging technological innovations and implementation in business operations to improve productivity and competitiveness.
Technological information is also available from state universities, government, and private research organizations. These institutions offer full-grown technologies based on the research they have conducted. Businesses can benefit from such technology breakthroughs. There are several ways in which organizations and companies can acquire technological information from these state universities and research institutions. These include participation in training programs on certain technologies developed by the institutions. They can acquire techno-leads, reference materials for various technologies and inventions, publications and offering non-charged consultancy services to the institutions. Technology information sources based at institutions may be involved in the processes within a company and require financial investment in the institutions.
In addition to the above methods, the technology section of various governments offers technological information through the research and development programs facilitated by the departments of research and innovation teams. This facilitates access to reliable technological information for local and interior regions.
The Internet is another highly significant source of technological information. Through the Internet, a considerable amount of information about technology can be acquired. It enhances technology exchange activities and contracts among large companies, small businesses, institutions of research and development and their funding. The Internet provides updates on the current technologies available for production and processing. It further offers on-line dissemination of relevant information on technology and consultancy services to businesses. Lastly, technological information can be acquired via a set of connections with research and educational institutions, business information centers and firms that have the financial ability to access foreign or local technologies. In fact, some technologies can be acquired directly through these brokers in the field of technology. The method gives a challenge of dependency on another company or institution in terms of acquiring information on technology.
Management of technology and innovation is a crucial undertaking in organizations, businesses, government offices, and institutions. When properly implemented and embraced, technology and innovation increase the productivity and efficiency of services offered by such firms.