WHY THE CURRENT TECHNOLOGY SCOUTING PROCESS IS NOT THE BEST ONE
The technology scouting process is the most important aspect of innovation growth. As such, it is important to ensure that your technology scouting approach and methodologies are highly effective. Conventional technology scouting processes adopted by a vast majority of companies have multiple shortcomings. Speaking to innovation unit heads of various companies and observing their technology scouting processes, we identified challenges they face. Let’s dig a bit deeper into why the current scouting process is not the best one.
Business Department Defines Goals
One of the biggest problems with current technology scouting processes is that the business departments usually define the goals for the innovation units. And when this happens we see that most companies fail to align their particular business requirements with prospective matching solutions. In a corporate set up when the innovation department is asked to toe the line of the business department, innovation takes the backseat and the focus shifts to brand building. This negatively impacts the innovation department's ability to find disruptive and new solutions. Non-alignment of goals is a serious issue. A better approach would be to engage the department heads of various units.
The current technology scouting process has many redundant phases. The repetitive processes eat into the budget and also makes the entire process highly time-consuming. Most businesses over-focus on technology and not as much on their business requirements. Once they have the technologies shortlisted to find a matching solution, they realize it’s not aligned with the company’s requirements. And then, they repeat the whole process with different technologies. A better way to find matching solutions would be to identify all technologies that could fit the company even when there are not specific momentary requirements. The technology scouting approach should consider many different novel solutions from different fields and sources including existing customers. The technology scouting process should not be structured in a way that the innovation department has to fit the product to the company’s requirements but it should be the other way round where company requirements are prioritized.
Most businesses have a very narrow and limited technology scouting ecosystem. Usually when a requirement arises unit heads start scouting technologies and consulting experts in their areas of expertise. They don’t have a proper innovation-focused ecosystem to leverage. The current processes of technology scouting involve relying on conventional sources. This leads to limited options and also slows down the technology scouting process. Innovation units must develop and leverage the right ecosystem.
Involve Other Business Units
The current technology scouting processes adopted by companies have minimum participation of other departments. Apart from the management and the innovation department, others are not involved. Typically, the goals are set by the business department and the innovation department acts upon those goals. Other stakeholders are not considered or have negligible participation in the technology scouting process. A better approach would be to involve heads of different units in the entire technology scouting, assessment and adoption process. It is because other units are the ones who will be dealing with these novel solutions. Therefore, businesses must consider their ideas and inputs to make the entire technology scouting and adoption process smoother. Limiting their involvement means compromising the efficiency of the process.
Optimizing innovation growth is impossible without making your technology scouting process efficient and innovative. Once you overcome the challenges with the current technology scouting processes, you can accelerate your entire innovation development process.
Get the Mastering Technology Scouting Guide
Innovation runs fast. Every year thousands of new solutions come to light. Nevertheless, it is acceptable to spend months in finding a unique technology solution matching a company's needs and even years in achieving the adoption of the technology. But with the large pool of technologies available on the market, why does it need such an enormous amount of time to find matching solutions? Download the Mastering Technology Scouting Guide - and we will show you how to boost your innovation process.