We live and work in an increasingly knowledge-intensive age. Today and tomorrow’s managers need to understand how technology and innovation are essential for delivering value to organizations and the marketplace. Innovation and Technology management is a set of management disciplines that allows organizations to manage their technological fundamentals to develop competitive advantage.
“All innovation begins with creative ideas . . . we define innovation as the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization. In this view, creativity by individuals and teams is a starting point for innovation; the first is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the second. ”
Innovation management is the discipline of managing processes in innovation. It can be used to develop both product and organizational innovation. Innovation management includes a set of tools that allow managers and engineers to cooperate with a common understanding of goals and processes. The focus of innovation management is to allow the organization to respond to an external or internal opportunity, and use its creative efforts to introduce new ideas, processes or products.
Technology management can be defined as the integrated planning, design, optimization, operation and control of technological products, processes and services, a better definition would be the management of the use of technology for human advantage. The role of the technology management function in an organization is to understand the value of certain technology for the organization. Continuous development of technology is valuable as long as there is a value for the customer and therefore the technology management function in an organization should be able to argue when to invest on technology development and when to withdraw.
Typical concepts used in technology management are technology strategy (a logic or role of technology in organization), technology forecasting (identification of possible relevant technologies for the organization, possibly through technology scouting), technology roadmap (mapping technologies to business and market needs), technology project portfolio (a set of projects under development) and technology portfolio (a set of technologies in use).
In the first half of the twentieth century, the diffusion of innovations theory was first developed which suggests that all innovations follow a similar diffusion pattern – best known today in the form of an “S” curve. In broad terms the “S” curve suggests four phases of a technology life cycle – emerging, growth, mature and aging.
The second major contribution to this area is the Carnegie Mellon Capability Maturity Model. This model proposes that a series of progressive capabilities can be quantified through a set of threshold tests. These tests determine repeatability, definition, management and optimization. The model suggests that any organization has to master one level before being able to proceed to the next.
The third significant contribution comes from Gartner – the research service, it is the hype cycle which suggests that our modern approach to marketing technology results in the technology being over hyped in the early stages of growth. Taken together, these fundamental concepts provide a foundation for formalizing the approach to managing technology.
Critical case of innovation management lacking
In 2004, the researchers of the world’s leading mobile phone company Nokia presented to the company’s senior management, a new mobile phone. It had a large touch screen operated by touch, and can connect to the Internet. The researchers believed that this type of phone had advantages in the fast-growing Smartphone market. However, Nokia’s senior management believed that this innovative product may have a risk of failure, there is no guarantee fee.
However, in 2007, Apple launched with Nokia’s management to give up the pursuit of the function of mobile phone—iPhone. And then, in 2010, Nokia lost its share of the Smartphone market. And since 2007, Nokia’s share price has fallen by half. Nokia became the typical cases of disruptive innovations.