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Sikkim Manipal University

- MBA -

Semester: 4 - Assignment

MI0040 Technology Management 4 Credits


Assignment
Set 1
Q1. Define the term technology. Write a short note on evolution and growth of
technology.
Answer: Technology is derived from the Greek word technologia in which "techne" means craft and
"logia" means saying. On the whole, technology means having the knowledge of making
something.
The term technology refers to knowledge, processes or products of technological activities,
according to the context in which it is used, and the term management refers to the act of
getting people together to achieve a specific goal. Management refers to the process of
planning, organising, staffing, directing, and controlling the activities in an organisation.
Thus, we can say that management of technology/technology management includes the
factor of technology in all the activities like planning, organising, resourcing and leading the
organisation.
Evolution and Growth of Technology
In the previous section, we learnt about the concept and meaning of technology. Now, we
will discuss about the evolution of technology, before going to the other topics about
technology. The history of technology dates back to the time when humans were able to
prepare some simple tools with easily available natural resources. History indicates that the
advancement in technology had a major leap with the invention of the wheel. From the
invention of the wheel, much usage of the technology has started. The technology in all the
fields has grown to a larger extent and now we can see the technology involved in almost all
the things we use in our daily life.
We know that there are some advanced technologies at present which include the printing
press, telephone and Internet which have helped us to communicate all over the globe.
Till now we have mainly concentrated on technology management in general. Now let us
learn about technology management in India.
Technology management in India
The Government of India is mainly focussing on the development of science and technology
in the present world. The Indian industries are operating under the controlled and regulated
economy. The technology management is generally lacking at the enterprise level except a
few enterprises. There are many Indian companies which are able to develop and produce
the internationally competitive products. The companies which use different kinds of
technologies, and are excelling today, in India are the Punjab tractors, tata automobiles,
amul food and certain drug and chemical industries. In the same way, there are many
Research and Development (R&D) institutions which have developed and commercialised
the technologies in the areas of drugs, chemicals, food technology, and computer software.

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The productivity of the Indian industries largely depends on the technologies that are
imported. Most of the technologies that are used in the Indian industries are cost effective.
In July 1991, government of India introduced the new industrial policy that mainly focussed
on international competitiveness, quality, efficiency and exports. This helped in the change
in operating environment of the Indian industry. Because of this, very well planned
technologies were developed at the enterprise level.
These days, the companies are paying more attention on technology in order to be more
competitive in the business market. It is not only the large scale industries that require the
technology management; even the small scale industries also need a technology
management to face the competitive world of today.

Q2. Citing an example, state and explain the reasons that compel a company to go
for the new technology.
Answer:Reasons Compelling a Company for Obtaining a New Technology
The use of new technologies plays an important role in the industry. Whenever a company
wants to adapt the new technologies, it has to make decisions related to the acquisition of
the technology. The company has to see the experience of its R&D for the actual need of
acquiring the knowledge. The acquisition of technology becomes critical when the market
lead time and competition is more. The following explains the reasons that compel the
company for technology acquisition.
Technology acquisition helps to bridge the gap in technology, in the developing countries
like India. The fastest way of bridging the technology gap is through collaborations.
Acquiring the technology from outside company is more costlier than acquiring technology
from the R&D of the same company. It will be better, if we develop the new technologies
from the in-house R&D. The dependence of the company on the collaboration is bad and we
should have the self-reliance in the company every time.
Technology acquisition depends on the policy environment. Sometimes the economic
policies do not allow the foreign countries to sell their goods and services in the domestic
market. In such times, the foreign companies can get the financial returns only through the
collaboration and selling the raw materials and components.
Technology acquisition is the process by which a company acquires the rights to use and
exploit a technology for the purpose of improving or renewing processes, products or
services. It does not include retailed or mass market off the shelf software which is
generally governed by non-negotiable "shrink wrapped" licences.
Technology acquisition is mainly designed for business-to-business technology acquisition.
In few cases, technology comes from a university or research organisation. The origin of the
technology can take place in any area but it has ton be tested, proven and ready to use.
Technology acquisition helps for enhancing the productivity of an organisation. The
company planning for technology acquisition has to make the agreement between the two
companies and even the details of the costs are also present as part of the application.

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Semester: 4 - Assignment

Q3. Describe some characteristics of technology forecasting. Explain in brief about


the six phases in technology forecasting process.
Answer:Generally, forecasting refers to the prediction of future on the basis of available
information. In the early days, traditional forecasts used to deal with the speed and power.
They did not focus on the structures of the organisation. It was assumed that inventions of
the future are not easy to predict. The forecasters were not focussed on evaluation of the
forecast process.
Characteristics of technology forecasting
Generally, there are some characteristics that are associated with technology forecasting.
We will now discuss them briefly.
A technological forecast relates to certain characteristics such as levels of technical
performance (e.g., technical specifications including energy efficiency, emission levels,
speed, power, safety, temperature, so on), rate of technological advances (introduction of
paperless office, picture phone, new materials, costs, so on).
A technological forecast also relates to useful machines, procedures, or techniques. In
particular, this is intended to exclude the items intended for pleasure or amusement from
the domain of technological forecasting, since they depend more on personal tastes rather
than on technological capability.
A technology forecast can be for short-term, medium-term, and long-term.

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3.3 Technology Forecasting Phases


We can study
figure 3.2.

technology

forecasting

in

six

phases,

as

given

in

the

Figure 3.2: The Components of Technological Forecasting Process


Let us now briefly explain these six phases.
Identification of needs: This is the first phase in technology forecasting process. After
identifying the expected outputs and the objectives of the future, a thorough analysis is
done in order to make sure the relevance of technology forecasting. This phase ends with a
decision of technology forecast.
Prepare project: This is the second phase in technology forecasting process. In this
phase, the forecasting activities that are planned and resources are allocated. The roles of
each human resource are carefully prepared and explained. There are three human
resources, clients, core tem and external participants. The client includes both customer and
user of technology forecast. The core team performs the activities like defining references,
writing documents, creating the structure of the forecast and filling it. The core team coordinates the efforts of experts from team, external participants and clients which help to
develop an entire forecast. The external participants help in providing data, information and
experience. The major sources of information and data are identified in this phase.
Define objectives: This is the third phase in technology forecasting. This phase once
again goes through the objectives that are defined in the first and second phases. This
phase decides the dimensions of the forecast. This includes both the normative and
exploratory forecast. We use normative forecast, when the desirable future is seen and the
normative forecast focus on finding the path, from the present to the desirable state.

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Perform analysis and develop Technology Forecast (TF): This is the fourth phase in
the technology forecasting process. This is the central part of the present research.
=> In this phase, we start with defining the boundaries of the technological system that has
to be forecasted. This, in turn, involves definition of other four steps that are clearly shown
in the diagram. The four steps in defining the boundaries include defining of the key
functions and futures, defining system in relation with the laws of system incompleteness
and energy conductivity, defining the system in terms of technological, social and
environmental contexts and lastly the analysis of the drivers and barriers for the
development of the system.
=> After completing the definition of the boundaries, we get a shape of problem and also
the contradiction network. We have to capitalise this set of problems. This also includes the
four steps as shown in the figure 3.2. The first step in this, is reformulating the
technological barriers into the contradictions. The next step is, defining critical-to-X
features, and third step involves the revising and reformulating the collected contradictions
to match with the critical to X features. The last step in this involves mapping of obtained
contradictions as a network. The network consists of critical-to-X features, components of
system and opposite values of features.
=> The next step in the analysis and develop TF is the analysis of limitation of resources.
This helps to find the resources that are less and causes problems on the map. R&D helps to
get the raw materials and solve the problem. This also helps in determining the time delays
of the activities.
=> The next step in the analysis and develop TF involves; build the time diagram. This uses
the results that we get after the problem mapping. The different order of critical to X
features is developed by considering the different contexts.
Validate results: The fifth phase in the technology forecasting process is to validate
results. This includes the customer satisfaction with the results of TF. There are different
processes that are associated with the evaluation of the results of the forecast. Our R&D
uses the traditional method of evaluating the result of forecast. We can do peer review with
the external experts and our colleagues in between working hours of the forecast to make
the evaluation easy.
Application of TF: The last phase in the technological forecast is the application of TF.
This depends mainly on the needs and the formulated objectives. We have seen the
developing of TRF using the contradiction networking. This helps mainly in all the projects.
Q4.Write a short note on technology strategy. Explain in brief about the innovation
management.
Answer:Strategy
Let us first understand the concept technology strategy.
We know that a strategy is a long term view that describes a high level framework. This
high level framework describes where the organisation needs to be in the future years.

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We can define technology strategy as a planning document that explains how technology
should be utilised as part of an organisations overall business strategy. The document is
usually created by an organisations technology manager and should be designed to support
the organisations overall business plan. Most of the organisations use technologies in
product and services generation, but all the organisations will not gain the positive
competitive advantage from the technologies. There are many factors in competition, and
technology is only one factor among them. Yet, some firms effectively use technology as a
competitive advantage, and others do not. One important factor in the successful use of
technology is the role of general management in technology strategy. In particular, it has
been managements ability to foster corporate core technical competencies.
The central idea here is that a business can be developed around a long-term, consistent
focus on a core technological competency. What it means, is to have a core corporate
technical competency, to lead in both innovating new-technology products and improving
manufacturing quality and lowering cost of these products. With this, not only products can
be improved, but also manufacturing process can be improved in future generations of
technology.
Technology strategy and management
After studying the meaning of technology strategy, let us learn about the relationship
between the technology strategy and management.
The role of management in building competitive advantage for an organisation, depends on
the technology strategy. It is better to understand the intended strategy of general
management. We can see that there are three aspects of relationship between the
management and technology strategy. These are:
The view of management of the impact of general management on the business and
business strategy.
The management checks whether there is any chance of discerning the technology
strategy.
The management checks whether there is any chance of discerning particular orientation
towards new markets, developing superior products and pursuing learning curve and cost
leadership.
The managers play an important role in the decision making process of the technology. The
decision making process involves many problems in sustaining and building competitive
advantage. In the case of competitive markets, technology intensity introduces the layer of
complexity.
Elements of an accessible technology strategy
Till now we have seen how the technology strategy and the management are related. Now,
we will study about the elements of an accessible strategy.
The accessible technology strategy defines how the technology fits within the organisation.
This is mainly helpful in integrating the technology into the business plan and business. It
also makes sure that the accessible technology strategy is aligned with the business needs.
An accessible technology strategy includes some elements.

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Let us have a look at these elements in figure 4.1.

Figure 4.1: Elements of an Accessible Strategy


We will now have a brief discussion on the elements depicted in figure 4.1.
Vision statement: This involves the creation of a unique statement that defines the role
of accessible technology in the organisation and how it supports the organisations overall
vision of accessible technology objectives. We have to restate the accessible technology
vision, if the organisational vision already provides the foundation for creating accessible
objectives.
Objectives: The objectives define the success metrics and clarify the details of vision
statement. The objectives use the vision of the accessible technology.
Expenses and budget: This involves the clarification that is done in regard to the
expenses, and describes the funding resources. This explains which expenses should
become a part of overall technology purchase, and which should come under a separate
budget. Some organisations include the assistive technology product costs in the main
centralised accommodation budget, and some companies deduct these expenses from the
individual technology budgets of each department. It is important for us to clarify the
budget decisions and see that the funds are allocated appropriately.
Ownership: The ownership defines the responsibilities of the team members in the
project. The ownership also plans the execution of the project. There should be one
committee to see whether the execution of the plan is moving correctly or not.
Innovation Management
We can define innovation management as the systematic processes that help the
organisations in developing new and improved products, services and business processes.
This involves the use of creative ideas of an organisations employees that brings new
innovations to the market place, quickly and efficiently.
In business, innovation should not be only limited to the big ground breaking ideas, creative
workshops and product based companies. Innovation is often small, incremental changes to
products, services and processes. The innovation involves all the managers from different
departments. This needs to be planned and managed as a core business covering all parts
of a business. This needs to be integrated at the strategic and operational levels. The
activities of the innovation need to be driven by the strategy and current business
imperatives.

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The successful innovation culture consists of all the aspects of a business, and these aspects
have to be managed effectively and efficiently like any other core business.
Innovation can be built into business, at three levels. The three levels are the annual
business planning process, quarterly innovation and day-to-day activities.
Innovation is managed through some sort of platform or application. There are two types of
innovation tools that are, an electronic suggestion scheme, and a management system
controlling the innovation process.
The management of the innovation system need to be given to the senior management to
control the overall system of innovation. The best practices and tools are applied
consistently and appropriately across the organisation. Any platform should encourage for
the learning activity as a core feature.
Installing the innovation culture in any of the company has leaders and teams with ability
and commitment. In order to create culture of continuous innovation, the organisation
requires leadership and commitment from the senior management team. The management
team also see that some staff members in the organisation are rewarded for the innovative
ideas they put in. The senior management need to encourage the innovative ideas from the
staff.
Q5. What is the importance of technology diffusion? What are the benefits of
technology absorption?
Answer:Importance of technology diffusion
Technology diffusion plays a major role in most of the countries today. The barriers to
technology diffusion help us to determine the magnitude of technology diffusion. These
barriers determine the volumes of diffusion. Diffusion enlarges the set of available
technologies and increases the productivity of the country. In case of diffusion, productivity
is determined by the domestic technology in the production country and the diffusion
technology from other countries. The technology diffusion plays more important role in the
sector of goods that are not tradable, than the sector with the tradable goods. The free
technology diffusion generates more gains compared to that of the free merchandise trade.
We can increase the merchandise trade by removing the diffusion barriers since the
countries achieve higher productivity by taking the technology from the diffusion process.
A well-managed technology diffusion system enables an organisation to plan its technology
development projects in a more meaningful manner as well as transfer the technologies
more successfully. Such an approach results in better returns for the investments made in
R&D and technology development systems.
Benefits of technology absorption
The benefits that we get from technology absorption exercises, as evidenced by
Government and industry experiences so far. These benefits are:
Repeated collaborations for the same product/ process are avoided.

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Acquisition of further technologies becomes selective.


Ability is developed to un package the technology.
Savings can be affected in foreign exchange due to indigenisation /use of indigenous
alternatives.
Effective utilisation is made of available indigenous research expertise and facilities to
achieve the desired results.
Know-why and technology upgradation capabilities are built-up.
Exports are increased.
Technically competent groups of scientists and engineers trained in technology absorption
get matured and strengthened.
The base for technological self-reliance is enhanced.
We gain the benefits of technology diffusion, ranging from R&D services to the larger sales.
Technology diffusion helps in sustaining the growth of the company through technical
strength. Many developing countries, including India, have liberalised their industrial policies
in the recent past. In the wake of the liberalised nature of New Industrial Policy and other
policy measures in Trade and Finance, it has become imperative for industry to accelerate its
R&D efforts to meet the emerging competitive environment.
While acquisition of technology is now easier, commensurate R&D efforts will simultaneously
be needed to absorb and upgrade the acquired technology in order to become
internationally competitive. The thrust as underlined below need to be ensured for effective
implementation, absorption and upgradation of imported technology.
Industry should attempt to obtain best available technology closest to international trends
and provide R&D at the stage of project planning.
Speedy indigenisation of raw materials and components.
Efforts for unpackaging and indigenisation of tailor-made equipment in the acquired
technology.
Enhancing exports of products based on absorbed and upgraded technology.
Continuous training of research personnel in India and abroad.
Use of national and international research facilities and expertise.
Involving users, suppliers of components and materials, research organisations in
undertaking absorption exercises.
Q6. Explain the implementation of new technology. Briefly describe the automation
decisions.

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Answer:Implementation of New Technology


We know that planning is the key to success of a project. In the same manner, a sound
planning is essential for the success of any technologys implementation. The failures that
are likely to arise during the implementation process may be due to the poor planning or
inadequate resources. Valuing the conflicts will facilitate the organisation to keep away from
these problems, and for the management, to anticipate the likely trouble spots and ease it
accordingly.
These vital preliminary considerations are:
Initial considerations: The management of the business needs to understand that the
new system alone cannot find solutions to all the problems experience by the organisation.
The whole implementation process involves the complete business process and/or academic
practice, consumer services, communication with suppliers and a relationship among all
other engrossed stakeholders. There are a number of less-substantial activities, which are
critical and people those are involved must :
- Have an understanding of the organisation predominantly, in terms of its traditions and
principles are essential.
- The underlying principle of any new system implementation should be able to provide all
the better services to all concerned through it.
- This information has to be conversed to all concerned parties.
- A complete review of every business processes and, where required, academic practice,
and developing and introducing new policies before tuning the system to meet the decided
requirements should be undertaken.
- The complete approval of the difficulty and flexibility of the system should be determined.
- The inbuilt dangers of customisation of any software should be understood.
- A thorough system test procedures should be conducted, while accepting the likely need
for software malfunction and improvements.
- The training and development to be conducted for the internal staff should be planned in
advance.
- The users must be trained, to use the system.
- The users must be trained, to identify faults and correct freely.
- The essential nature of system documents has to be accepted and retain accordingly.
Planning and implementation: A thorough plan with efficient management is necessary
for success, and to work against the fear of high costs, extended time, losing key persons
and common disappointment with the result

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Go-Live Considerations: Finally, it is essential that the go live day causes as tiny
disturbance to the daily business, since it is practically possible. The various issues arising at
this point of time will negatively affect the organisations status, sometimes irreversibly,
with all stakeholders.
Considerations for implementation
As we are discussing about the implementation of technology, we will now briefly discuss
about some considerations for implementation of technology.
Be aggressive: An important consideration when implementing a new technology is to be
aggressive to set up a strong competitive edge. The competitive edge enhances production
that may be related to the total system performance and authorising employees. A
competitive edge will make the clients and customers more independent. For example, we
can think of an ATM machine that will make the customers convenient by establishing it
outside the bank. The competitive benefit may possibly combine several functions, partners,
or flow of data that will lead to a effective business.
Be cautious: If the new chosen technology provides revenue to your business, then it is
necessary to be careful while making any major modifications in the new technology. Being
cautious does not merely mean that you should avoid the advancing technology. It conveys
to be more careful in understanding the consequences and secondary applications which
may perhaps be impacted as a result of a very small change. If we consider examples, of
some companies that had apparently made changes to billing, failed to produce invoices or
statements to the clients. The consequence formed economic poverty for the billing
company, and for the displeased customers, who abruptly received several months worth of
amass billing once the accounting system problem was resolved. In addition to the impact
on cash flow, the relationships with the customers become weak. Henceforth, you should be
aggressive to increase the competitive chances to grow the profit and performance of your
business. At the same time, you must be careful even while implementing changes that may
affect your core business contributions, customers, or billing.
Be quick: It is important for you to be quick enough to implement the small changes to
your chosen technology and to supervise their impact. There should not be any delay, when
it comes to performance improvement, internal proposal for simplifying routines or
improving customer performance. We must follow a set of routines, to design small
changes, test changes and schedule to bring consistent enhancements. It is pretty often,
the minor improvements encompass the major impact to business performance.
Be slow: If major changes affect your business, it is vital to make the implementation
changes slowly. Normally, the centre design and functions of the business are well-organised
and updated. The processes that are more frequently in use are likely to get the majority
attention and seem to be highly evolved. Basically, these processes are given the first
priority, when it comes to implementing a transfer in technology. On the other side, you
must avoid focusing on common ground, also conserve the primary processes until the
changes have been tested on some of the more difficult and less used utilities. There will be
remarkable information to be achieved with the experience and less effect on business by
concentrating on most composite and least used functions.
Be safe: During the implementation of a new technology, the better time to address the
potential security needs is at the time of design and development. It is better to employ a
security expert who will take care of the privacy of the organisation. If you have customers,
credit cards, customer accounts, customer information, intellectual belongings, monetary
information, health information, or employee information stored automatically, available on
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a network, or printed in files, then it is vital to consider safety. Also, if you are planning to
undergo a technology change, it is the right time to reassess the associated documents by
means of a security or privacy specialist.
From this discussion, we can say the technology plays a significant role in organisations
worldwide accomplishment. A well-organised management of people is crucial to the
successful implementation and use of new technical systems. The management should take
the responsibility to support the commitment to the new system. If the management
supports a new technology, the employees will be liable to assist with the functioning. This
proves to be right, while they understand that the success and sometimes survival of the
organisation along with their potential security depends on the adapted new procedure.[1]
Automation decisions
In general, we can say that automation decisions are the decisions that are related to
automation. The automation decision is considered most suitable for coherent, evidently
defined decision situations. The automation decisions act like legal support systems that
instantaneously solve and offer solutions to the recurring organisation problems. They are
directly related to business informatics and business analytics. The automated decisions are
basically dependent on business rules. These rules can be shaped or activated by business
analytics. One of the components of automation decision support is rules-engine.
For the purpose of operational decision making, a rules-engine is used. The engine employs
actionable analytics and business rules to make and deliver adapted alert. In addition, it
relates the business intelligence to business users or to create and deliver action messages
for processing by operational applications. To handle a particular business situation, it
produces alerts and messages which might contain the announcement, warnings and
suggested solution to solve a problem.
A rule engine can also be invoked by a user in real time to assist in business decisions,
whether to fund a loan to the client or in providing credit cards, or to calculate the risk
occurred in a particular business transaction. The current automation design decision
systems are well suited for the decisions that have to be made often and rapidly, by the use
of information that is available electronically. The chief consideration is that the knowledge
and decision criteria used in these systems have to be highly structured. If specialists are
capable of readily codifying the decision rules, and if premium data are accessible, the
conditions are favorable for automating the decision.
The rule engines are implanted in a number of software products, including web application
servers, and business intelligence tools, where they are sometimes called intelligent agents.
The sophisticated stand alone rule engines are building up and advertised by the vendors.
To fully exploit the advantage of the influence of a decision-making system, the analytics,
suggestions and actions has to be linked and integrated with the overall business process. It
can be achieved by means of business process automation (BPA).
Let us understand the use of BPA in a Business Intelligence (BI) environment with the help
of an example given in figure 6.1.

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Figure 6.1: An example for Automated Decision Making


The upper portion of the figure illustrates an easy functioning workflow for dealing out a
customer order. This workflow is used so as to establish the indications in the operational
process, where business action desires to be supervised by a BI system. Application and
data events can then be confined at these points and used to populate an Object
Distribution Server (ODS) or a data warehouse. The ODS acts like an objectified information
used by the clients to obtain and contribute knowledge. Event capture can be accomplished
directly in the application itself, in an integration broker or at application and data interfaces
like database API, application API, EJB interface and user interface[2].
If an analytics workflow in a rules engine in the BI system discovers a business condition
that needs action, the business user possibly will be on the alert and pass an action
workflow to assist identification of the problem and decide what action to take. If
automation is necessary, the action workflow possibly will be implanted in the rules engine,
which would produce the suitable action messages to be sent to the functioning
environment.

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