Scouting New Technologies for Big Companies

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Technically, technology scouting is well defined as the aspect of technology management that involves the discovery and identification of new technology and inventions. It is regarded as the channels or ports through which these new technologies are acquired for use. Technology scouting gives a practicing company an edge over other companies. This is because the company discovers the newest technology, inventions or information related to the two, and puts them into use before others find out. As many say, the more the producers, the lower the value.

How Does Technology Scouting Work?

The ideology behind this is pretty straightforward. It involves creating a team of capable professionals to survey the technological surroundings, research on newly founded inventions and report the findings back to the company. The information scouted can be assessed and treated in three different ways by the company, these ways include:

·         Evaluation of the risks and benefits a new technology will cause

·         Conduction of researches in order to create its own new technology too; or

·         Acquire the new technology before others, this may be by buying the patent rights or even buying the firm with the discovery as a whole.

In either of these scenarios, the scouting company will still have to reach out to the source of the technology and make interactions. The outcome of these interactions often determines what the scouting company does.

How Should Big Companies Scout For New Technology

Usually, at the beginning of each term, companies assign delegates or members of their scouting teams to trade-fairs, science exhibitions and technology markets. Any staff lucky to be on this team is expected to take notes, track technological shifts, sniff for ongoing inventions, identify work-in-progress and take a detailed report to the company for decision-making. However, many companies do many things wrong in scouting. Hence, from research, we have identified 5 areas companies should work on to successfully scout for new technology. They are:

  • Connectivity to the business: This involves relating scouted information to all members of the company. The scouting team should not be aloof to the company. This is in order to keep the company connected with all employees. Hence, showing it is purely about communication.

  • Identification of areas to be scouted: This area requires a company to know what kind of technology to scout for. An IT firm should not scout for car-related technologies.

  • Time to do it: New technologies often emerge at the beginning of a year, hence, it is not advisable to scout around in the thick of the year. However, certain industries discover new technology with seasons, companies should therefore know when to look.

  • Adequate staffing: This area solicits for the sufficient presence of qualified and dedicated staff on the scouting team. The team should be made of experts in order for excellent discoveries to be made.

  • Adequate funding: This is an obvious area. Companies should provide scouting teams with enough resources for operations. Team members should be able to travel whenever necessary and scouting conditions should be ideal.

An important area for companies to improve is their ability to react to new technological changes. A company should not only scout for new technologies, it should also be interested in how to put the technology to good use.