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  Vecta on Technology Maturity
  Are you a technology fanatic, conservative, sceptic, or Luddite? Which should you be in which situation?

Can you ever afford to "bet the company" on an emerging technology that may boost your company, and you, to a major competitive advantage?

Can you afford to let a competitor apply the technology before you? Would you get most value by moving first - or later?

 
  Could adoption of an emerging technology allow a new competitor to emerge from your suppliers, collaborators or even customers?

Where will that technology emerge? Should you be partnering in some way to minimise risks, reduce costs, and shorten time to market - and cash?

 
In their 1980s book, Third Generation R&D, the authors classified technology maturity into four stages:
 
  • emerging - interesting phenomenon that may one day develop into a key technology - or not;
  • pacing - technology that will probably become a key technology in the near future;
  • key - product or process technology used by its owners to differentiate products and services from those of their competitors;
  • base - product or process technology in widespread use so that only non-mastery differentiates.
 
In the Internet era, much attention has been paid to the timeline - and investment - necessary to bring new technologies to market, the market was used to assess whether or not an emerging technology could be transformed successfully into a key technology.

When even the most embryonic technology seemed able to attract investment and time really was of the essence to success, hype surrounded everything and it became almost impossible to sort out those technologies - and backers - that must suceed from those that would not, with the scale of financial backing being of little value in determining the outcome. Of course many of those technologes were aimed at almost the same potential market opportunity and most could not survive.

Gartner's developed the hype curve to summarise the maturity of various technologies and companies in a market. It has five stages:

 
  • technology trigger - a technology emerges and becomes subject to initial financial backing;
  • peak of inflated expectation - the moment at which all possible financial backing has been achieved or the company's valuation reached a peak;
  • trough of disillusionment - the moment when the company's valuation falls to its lowest level following continued disappointment with performance, sales etc.;
  • slope of enlightenment - the gradual recovery of confidence if the technology really was pacing as it finds the applications and sales that will make it key;
  • plateau of productivity - the technology matures into a key technology.
 
Vecta staff can help you read through the hype - and gloom - surrounding many technology companies, helping you understand whether or not to dives or invest, deploy or ignore.
 

Our Technology Experts Network is dedicated to exploring developments in technology. This involves projecting the likely evolution of technologies, identifying potential markets and understanding revenue models and valuations.

 

Our extended network ensures we have the expertise to help you solve just about any business or technology problem.

 
  Which technology will disrupt?
 

Vecta Consulting Limited, Mulberry House, 2 The Spinney,
Cottenham, CAMBRIDGE, CB24 8RN

Tel: +44 (0) 1954 250222, Fax: +44 (0) 1954 252333

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