Why the Technology Landscape is Your Window into the Future

Looking to forecast technology trends, identify new use cases, or quantify the commercial scope of a technology? Find out how the data-driven technology landscape gives you a peek into the future and a competitive advantage!

As supply chains are hit in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, economies globally face a shortage of products, particularly those manufactured in China. In response, companies are moving manufacturing out of China either closer to home or to other countries in Southeast Asia. Unlike the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not a once-in-a-century event. The history of innovation is marked with events that have long-term implications on the technology landscape of one or more industries. Any company that has stayed relevant for decades, or aims to do so, places a strong emphasis on long-term planning.

Besides geopolitics, emerging technology trends also play a crucial role in shaping the long-term future of any industry. In an age where technology trends become obsolete within years, not decades, planning for the long term is incredibly challenging. This is where technology landscape assessment comes in. The technology landscape process identifies emerging technologies that are relevant to an organization’s long-term innovation goals. As a crucial component of innovation intelligence, it allows companies to find disruptive, emerging technology trends. Therefore, it is a starting point of a long-term and interactive matching process between external technologies and internal requirements for strategic purposes. This matching is supported by technology road mapping. Technology road mapping is a flexible planning technique to enable strategic planning by matching short-term and long-term goals with specific technology solutions.

Technology Landscaping Reveals the Long-Term Horizon

Technology landscaping is often confused with technology scouting. The latter optimizes an organization’s short-term goals and drives acquisitions or partnerships that bring emerging technologies to an organization. On the contrary, technology landscaping looks at technologies that are critical for the long-term goals and survival of a company. As short-term moves often underlie any long-term strategy, technology landscaping usually includes scouting for technologies that will provide a competitive edge.

As a vital tool of the innovation intelligence skill set, companies employ technology landscaping to devise their competitive strategy and manage the fuzzy front-end of innovation. It also enables companies to survive in turbulent environments — think of the COVID and manufacturing example stated earlier. Moreover, it allows holistic planning to include non-financial goals, such as the transition to sustainability, something that many industries are warming up to.

Why is it important to identify and understand emerging technologies early? Technological advances create enormous economic benefits that lead to significant changes in the business environment. For instance, artificial intelligence and robotics are changing the way businesses operate by augmenting or replacing workers in specific tasks. Advances in these technologies are enabling machines to perform not only physical but also cognitive tasks. Significant progress in any one of these technologies or the emergence of others with similar impacts have profound effects on the way businesses operate.

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By providing a detailed overview of emerging technologies, a technology landscape essentially allows you to scope and compare technology trends. The Trend Analysis Map is an example by StartUs Insights.

 

7 Benefits of Technology Landscape Assessment

Like any major technological shift, such developments pose a threat to established companies. This happens because large companies, unlike startups that are lean and fast-moving, move at a slow, bureaucratic pace. For such companies, technology landscaping is often the fastest method to adopt emerging technology trends as compared to internal innovation. Even for more agile companies, it provides fresh perspectives and accelerates their innovation process.

When done effectively, technology landscaping unlocks technological superiority, creating a distinguishable competitive advantage for your company. A technological edge sets the stage for major advances in products or services. Moreover, it allows companies to capture emerging markets early. The process doesn’t just enable long-term goals; many immediate benefits precede long-term success. These are the benefits of a technology landscaping process that contribute to a competitive edge:

  1. Identify Disruptive Technologies: Allows companies to identify key indicators of the extent of the impact of particular technology developments
  2. Forecast Trends: Tracks and forecasts technological and economic changes of particular relevance to the future of the industry and organization
  3. Add Understanding: Explains the degree of technology diffusion between startups and companies in an industry
  4. Be Prepared: Assesses the economic impact of technology development and deployment before they occur
  5. Open New Markets: Monitors the impact of technology trends on adjacent industries, which often are potential markets
  6. Stay Ahead of Competitors: Provides focused competitor research that tracks their R&D investments
  7. Gives a Perspective: Quantifies the scope of commercialization of emerging technologies

Identify Technology Trends of the Future

Dozens, if not hundreds, of technology trends die out each year only to be replaced by new ones. However, billions of data points from multiple sources, make it difficult to identify the emerging technologies that will survive and have a long-term impact on your business. To identify them efficiently, you need a data-driven solution that speeds up technology landscape assessment. A systemic data-driven Trend Intelligence approach analyzes all emerging technologies and their adoption in the industry. Depending on your long-term innovation goals, we customize the deliverables of our technology landscaping services. These deliverables include, among others:

  • Trend Analysis Map: A detailed classification of emerging technology trends and their subtrends
  • Trend Analysis Report: Quantitative insights into top-ranked technology trends as well as exemplary startups driving these innovations

To discover how StartUs Insights identifies the most relevant technologies impacting your company and industry in the long term, get in touch today and take a peek at the future.

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