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International Journal of Technology and Innovation Management Education


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A Technology Classification Process: Teaching Technology Managers Successful Technology Adoption

IJTIME volume 2: 2007

Author(s): Andres Fortino (Polytechnic University, USA)

Technology managers responsible for adopting technology to help their organizations fulfill their mission and remain competitive need to develop skills in building appropriate technology portfolios for their organizations. Skills in determining when a certain technology is ready for organization-wide adoption or when it is past its optimum usefulness are at a premium for this class of knowledge worker. This paper presents a method for developing analysis skills in determining the maturity of a technology for adoption, building technology portfolios and minimizing risk. The technology manager is taught how to classify technology heuristically into “bleeding edge,” “leading edge” and “trailing edge” categories driven chiefly by its usefulness to business applications and maturity in the marketplace. Based on the classification the manager then analyses the gap between the technology in use and the desired technology solution to build a progressed portfolio. Emerging and mature technologies are classified using diffusion of innovation models developed by Rogers, as well awareness of the creative destruction process of innovations studied by Schumpeter and Christiansen. The technology manager is taught to use the knowledge of opinion leaders as a chief instrument of classification. The process then goes on to yields a gap analysis which results in an actionable portfolio management strategy. Although this information and technology classification is often available commercially, the reports can be expensive putting the information out of the reach of technology managers in small and medium enterprises. The portfolio management approach described here assists technology managers to perform the analysis themselves. Management educators in technology management programs may adopt this skills-building process in strategy, technology application or industry analysis courses of study.

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