Over the past few decades, we have become dependent on technology to manage our daily lives. From waking up and checking your schedule for the day to ordering a car to work, technology is there to help.
There’s also a good chance that technology plays a huge part in your daily work responsibilities. Even those who work outside of the technology sector are relying on tablets and laptops to get work done.
Because of technology’s titular role in your day-to-day life and its even larger role in the workplace, there is an increased need for effective technology management in a competitive business model.
In this article, you will learn what technology management is and why it is a vital piece of any company structure. Keep reading!
What Is Technology Management?
Technology management can be described as a discipline – closely related to or synonymous with IT management – in which businesses and/or companies utilize the different technologies available to foster strategic growth.
To do this, businesses must understand the role of technology in each of their departments and as an overall entity.
Further, businesses must invest in new technologies and develop current technologies for the better. Technology management is a relatively new field that depends heavily on the comprehension of both business and technical skills.
Technology allows businesses to face contenders in almost any market. There are a number of ways in which technology can directly impact business growth.
Support and Security
As companies grow, they are required to store large amounts of data and inventory. With technology, this process can be automated, boosting productivity and cutting costs.
Technology management also permits companies to bury information with layers upon layers of encryption, securing the integrity of their business.
Technology as a tool for communication has had a grand effect on how markets operate.
Every business now has the opportunity for global outreach where they can establish the trade of goods and services around the world.
Exports today happen at 40 times the rate as they did in 1913, and technology is the main culprit.
Mobile Device Management
Perhaps the best example of how technology has significantly changed lives is the emergence of mobile devices.
The invention of the contemporary smartphone is almost parallel to the first man on the moon in social gravity. Google can attest to this, as their very own algorithms prioritize mobile websites.
Any business that wishes to remain competitive must similarly upgrade alongside progressive technologies and implement optimal mobile solutions.
Cloud computing is the reason many startup companies made it off the ground. It gives businesses the ability to outsource many of their operations to offsite, third-party resources via the Internet.
In consequence, companies can work on tighter budgets as they do not have to build infrastructure just to host IT management systems like servers or storage units.
Businesses that operate using cloud computing services often do not have to worry about downtime, crashes, or data.
As a result, small and medium-sized businesses can garner the same leverage as larger companies in the corporate world. By 2021, 90% of companies will be using cloud computing.
When technology changes, consumers change. Not only this, but many millennials and younger generations have had the unique experience of growing up in a transitory period where technology has drastically evolved far past presumed boundaries.
The same evolving technology has led to improved analytics and therefore enhanced customer segmentation which can target specific groups for advertising purposes.
These analyses prove that the technology generation now makes up a substantial chunk of companies’ consumer base.
Increased connectivity has brought about new modes of communication, where millennials and people of all generations stay in touch with one another. For that reason, technology management means managing social media as well.
What Are the Components of Technology Management?
Like with any type of management, technology management takes on a plethora of responsibilities.
Management teams are tasked with:
Staffing with the end goal of strategically moving their company forward.
Characteristics of technology management bear little to no difference save the technical aspect.
In fact, though technology management is a major business component in and of itself, the framework of technology management is composed of four key concepts.
New businesses should heed these concepts in order to effectively implement technology management into their internal structure.
1. Technology Strategy
Technology strategy refers to the role of technology in a company or organization. In this undertaking, organizations examine the logic of how technology will aid business growth.
Technology management of this kind entails setting objectives and brainstorming tactics for achieving your particular business goals. Technology is the primary focus here.
For example, a company may decide that in turn for creating their own technology they will improve upon previously established innovations.
In utilizing this strategy they can avoid the risk associated with inventing new technology.
Another company may decide to do the opposite, taking on the exchange in turn for the prospect of large capital gains.
A technology management team will be culpable for these sorts of decisions.
2. Technology Forecasting
In technology forecasting, businesses identify technologies that can be beneficial to them. Crucial to this procedure is carefully observing the technological environment.
Businesses have to be on the lookout for the development of new technology as well as new methodologies and approaches related to their current and upcoming technology.
Historically, technology forecasting originated in the 1960s. There are numerous methods of technological forecasting, the Delphi method being one of the most popular.
The Delphi method is simply based on the results of questionnaires taken by experts who are typically anonymous.
While the Delphi method is qualitative, many quantitative methods that are very mathematical in nature exist.
Forecasting methods as a whole can be categorized as extrapolative or normative the former relying on present data and the latter historical precedent.
Related reading: IT Outsourcing: A Complete Guide To Outsourcing Software Engineers
3. Technology Roadmap
Technology road-mapping concerns itself with mapping the different ways in which technology can be used.
This concept puts planning at the center of technology management. Both technology strategy and technology road-mapping can play a role in technology road-mapping.
For instance, a company whose technology strategy is to build upon existing technology will need to start mapping short and/or long-term goals for such technology.
Technology roadmap will be necessary for identifying the distinct technologies that can be of use.
What companies map will vary widely depending on market needs.
Roadmapping is primarily applied in the case of new product development, particularly the fuzzy front-end of development – an epithet reserved for the conceptualization stage of new technologies.
4. Technology Project Portfolio
A technology project portfolio encompasses all the technology projects that a business has in development along with all the technologies currently in use.
Besides merely starting a portfolio, your business needs to analyze and consider its outcomes.
Technology management’s function in building a portfolio includes recognizing its strengths and weaknesses, figuring out what takes priority, and designating resources amongst other functions.
Businesses use technology project portfolios to invest smartly and capitalize on returns.
The Benefits of Technological Management
The importance of technology management is exemplified by its benefits. You already know some of the ways in which technological management is employed:
These can easily be interpreted as benefits themselves. However, the true advantages of technology management extend even beyond that.
Many of the key concepts of technology management contribute directly to product development. At the front-end of development is where ideas are formed.
New product development (NPD) comes in five stages:
Idea generation results in a batch of interesting project proposals for your company. Technology road-mapping begins to happen at this point.
Following that, screening takes previous knowledge and relevant research related to these ideas into account. Seeking opinions from consumers and business associates alike, technology forecasting proves to be critical to successful screening.
Concept development begins with a SWOT analysis, pinpointing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, in regards to the new product.
This operation is aligned with technology project portfolios, and endeavors to have an understanding of potential profits and losses.
Product development and rollout are unambiguous stages of NPD. Your businesses’ own expertise where NPD is concerned will be a determining factor of how durable your product is in an ever-changing market.
All the same, technology has the capacity for effective advertising as well.
Ease of Manufacturing
The United States manufacturing industry is estimated to be worth up to $530 billion by the year 2025. Technology management should take the credit for this infamy.
Cost-effective emerging technologies like computer numerical control (CNC) and additive manufacturing are leveling the playing field for small and medium-sized businesses.
For context, CNC machines automate tools using software while additive manufacturing is the equivalent of 3D printing.
Collaborative robots, dubbed cobots, are also dramatically changing how manufacturing looks like, working next to humans in factory spaces.
Some factories are exclusively dependent on technology. Lights-out factories, for instance, are entirely comprised of self-regulated robots. One company in Japan has been operating in this fashion since 2001.
Technology management can give businesses cloud conveniences to optimize speed and efficiency.
Communications platform as a service (CPaaS), as an illustration, will ease the exchange of information for both customers and coworkers.
Comparatively, a variety of industries can use software as a service (SaaS) to manage important functions without the necessity of having a team of software developers.
The overt popularity of Google Apps in business affairs, for one, should come as no surprise.
Technology management has a hand in observing markets; building products based on those observations; marketing those products worldwide; and of course, shipping those products globally.
The Internet has unquestionably expanded the market for an abundance of businesses.
On the consumer side, the Internet’s reach has affected more than only young people. People have found and developed interests based solely on the World Wide Web.
Technology is no stranger to every function that your business carries out. Whether your building mobile apps or at the very least sending a quick instant message to a coworker, technology is at the forefront.
This is all the more reason to be familiar with technology management and organize technology around your business needs.
The components of technology management can only serve your interests, constructively establishing technology’s utility in your business, and maximizing revenue thereof.