How to Evaluate Emerging Technology

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Determining whether new and emerging technology could be valuable can be a challenging endeavor. The varied nature of studies, along with the nuances of the technology itself, may include using data from surveys, focus groups, experiments, case studies and other resources for information. Often, little guidance is available from the technology community due to the sheer vastness of the arena and the speed at which developments take place. To help choose among the many alternatives when you assess an evolving technological development, an approach could include using case studies and experiments that engage outside public sources for the best type of unbiased evaluation.

  • Demonstrate the commercial potential of emerging technology in order to determine the feasibility of further development for any given technology. Reza Bandarian, in "The Evaluation of Commercial Potential of a New Technology at the Early Stage of Development with Fuzzy Logic" study, defines commercialization as converting or moving technology into a profit making position.

    According to the International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, the comprehensive Strategic Technology Evaluation Program (STEP) is a method plan model designed to link and coordinate existing agencies and services to assist in early evaluation of new environmental technologies.

    The STEP process can be helpful in determining what opportunities may exist for the commercialization of a particular technology. According to the Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, any new technology being considered to reach the market should be able to thrive and prosper in an evolving and unpredictable business environment.

  • Use the STEP model to determine a technology's commercial potential. This is a necessary prerequisite in defining what could be a successful commercialization strategy. The STEP can help determine the commercial potential of a certain candidate technology during the early stages of development. This strategy is useful to avoid spending unnecessary time and effort on a project.

  • Include a number of characteristics which are broken into certain categories based on STEP, for every new technology. For example, according to Microsoft, building an enterprise application integration solution could include such tasks as helping to understand the functional quality requirements for some integrated applications. It can also include creating the initial architectural blueprint and selecting suitable integration applications to fulfill the application requirements for integrated applications. Another component can be validating that the combination of architecture and integration technology used to build the enterprise-wide application are likely to be successful before a major implementation investment is made.

  • Ensure that the STEP approach described is continuously modified so as to evaluate the commercial potential of many emerging types of technologies. STEP is a framework that can be modified to fit different situations as may be found appropriate. According to Inder Science, versions of the STEP model have been tested on well over 100 emerging technologies as well as varied benchmarked market opportunity analyses. The STEP model presents technology screening, terminology and training of evaluator structural enhancements. Potential uses can include screening, prediction and evaluation factors that may affect technology's commercial potential.

Tips & Warnings

  • Engage proven approaches to assist with evaluating technological applications.
  • Utilize focus groups and forums before implementing service based integration technologies.
  • Technology is complex, and products can be diverse with numerous features and interfaces.
  • Technology's low-level details are sometimes found to have serious effects on product.

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