EA 874 Blog Topic 7 Evaluating emerging technologies, influential technologies and the future

EA 874 Blog Topic 7 Evaluating emerging technologies, influential technologies and the future 

Dominic Patruno 

 

 

Ways to encourage company innovation 

Companies should rely on the following list of ways to try and bring innovation to their company.  This is not an exhaustive list, but some of these have been successful at some companies. 

Create an innovation incubator (Seiman, M).  This is where companies can stand up department or division that is dedicated to innovation and ideation.  The success comes by allowing anyone to participate in the innovation and ideation programs, but by having a department dedication the formal process of tracking and measuring the innovations programs can be handled by the department and or division, leaving the employees to focus on the innovation part entirely.  

Build a culture of experimentation (McGough, H).  Teams in all groups and departments should be testing ideas to understand what works and what doesn’t.  the idea of fail faster fits right in here.  Companies should accept a certain amount of risk in their experiments, because without knowing what doesn’t work, it is difficult to know what will work.  This is typically a difficult concept for most companies to actively participate and fund things that might not work, but with every iteration, they learn more and can apply that knowledge moving forward in much quicker and pragmatic way. 

Focus on customers (Trajman, O).  valuable innovation is when it can make a direct correlation, back to the customer.  By putting yourself in the shoes of the customer it is easier to identify with them, therefore innovating on the side of the customer.  This is very important, as customers are the life line for business.  No customers, no business.  Therefore, innovation that is customer focus will have a greater return.   

 

 

Emerging Technologies 

The Law Dictionary considers emerging technology to be technologies that substantially alter business and social environments.  These environments include technologies wireless communications, bio technologies, advanced robotics and artificial intelligence.  Emerging technologies be suspect and in turn not really embraced by most.  Eventually these technologies take shape the majority will find benefit in them.  The following are emerging technologies that are currently being developed and introduced into the public for 2017.   

Self-driving trucks are making their way into the emerging technologies list as are autonomous vehicles.  For similar reasons.  Self-driving trucks could save companies millions in labor hours and safety.  People, will become fatigued, but computers will not.  This could let companies round their truck delivery services around the clock with less labor hours and not human fatigue.  Additionally, there could be less accidents and insurance costs.  This, technology is still in its early stages, and must also get approval from the government to operate on public streets. 

Powered exoskeletons; currently people who are handicapped in walking only have the alternative to use wheelchairs.  However, technology in exoskeletons is becoming more affordable and practical.  Paraplegics can now walk up right, which can lead to a healthier and better quality of life.  Another use is for emergency responders, who may use the exoskeleton to augment their strength and lift large amounts of rubble to help search for survivors.  Additionally, the US military could use the exoskeleton to help soldiers walk further without fatigue and carry more supplies. 

High-speed transportation is moving from theory to reality.  With the proof of concept trials of the Hyperloop and computer mock ups of the Evacuated Tube Transport the reality of travel across the globe in minutes vs. hours is coming closer to reality.  Globalization has made international travel a necessity and time is money.  Taking 12-16 hours to fly to Asia, or 4 hours from New York to LA, this is just too long.  Though the first generation of these methods of transportation will be fairly expensive; If those times can be shortened people would be willing to pay.   

 

 

 

 

Innovation Programs 

The company I work for has just introduced an innovation program.  According to the Gartner (Fenn, J, Harris, K.) document I would consider our program to be a level 2 maturity.  We have a program in place and have staff members working on the innovation team, but lack defined processes and at times it seems more of a technology trial and error rather than a formal program.  Typically, technologies will be evaluated and researched, but no formal analysis will be done to see if there are any benefits.  This team is also responsible for what we call our incubation program.   The purpose of this incubation program is to define how technology should be introduced into the organization.  We are yet to define a consistent and repeatable process to do this.  I think that is where the focus needs to be, according to most innovation maturity models, it is important to evolve to a defined process and make sure it is repeatable.  According to Gartner that is the level 3 maturity.  Where I think we need to improve is in the process of how we evaluate the technologies as they align to our strategic objectives, what innovation process we use and how the technologies are then introduced (or not) into the environment.  We are yet to have an end-to-end successful innovation deliverable, that maps to any strategic objective.  

 

 

References 

Dennis, R. September 2014. Top 10 Emerging Technologies that are changing the world.  Retrieved from http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/top-10-emerging-technologies-changing-world/  

Fenn, J, Harris, K.  April 2011.  A Maturity Model for Innovation Management.  Retrieved from https://www.gartner.com/document/1621015?ref=TypeAheadSearch&qid=f7861f7b9bf3860171c6390  

McGough, H.  Lean Start Up Co.  Retrieved from https://leanstartup.co/about/ 

Seiman, M. Digital Remedy.  Retrieved from http://www.digitalremedy.com/about-us/  

Trajman, O. November 2017. 18 Ways to Actively Encourage Company Innovation.  Retrieved from https://smallbiztrends.com/2015/09/encourage-company-innovation.html 

Retrieved from https://thelawdictionary.org/emerging-technologies/  

Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/lists/technologies/2017/  

Dennis, R. September 2014. Top 10 Emerging Technologies that are changing the world.  Retrieved from http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/top-10-emerging-technologies-changing-world/