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2.2: Identify Novel Use of Technology (Individual Project — Part 4)

Overview

New technologies can often provide significant competitive advantage for an organization. In this Assignment we will explore what new or existing technologies you believe might provide competitive advantage for your organization in one form or another.

Required Readings

  • Gartner. (2006, August). Gartner’s 2006 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle Highlights Key Technology Themes.
    (~5 pages)

    Gartner, Inc., categorizes critical emergent technologies into three major classes of: 1) Web 2.0, 2) Real World Web, and 3) Application Architecture. The descriptions of these technologies may be useful to you in guiding your search for novel uses of technology that can be applied to your organization’s value chain. Although individual descriptions are most likely insufficient to provide you the information you need to select a specific technology for your situation, they do provide an excellent, high level overview of various classes of emergent technologies, which is a great way to launch a more focused investigation into a single technology that will be appropriate for the limited scope of your course project.

  • (e-Global Library: ebrary) Steinbock, D. (2005).  Chapter 10: Strategy and mobility. In Mobile Revolution: The Making of Worldwide Mobile Markets (pp. 255-273).
    (19 pages)

    The section on Mobility and Competitive Advantage (p.257) discusses how the adoption of enabling technologies influences the value chain of mobile communications organizations “through efficiency or differentiation or both.” Page 260 maps mobile technologies to a value chain. Pages 261-265 details the roles of technologies mapped to value chain elements, grouped into primary and support activities. This section provides a useful example for step 3b in the Assignment procedure below.

    The section on Mobility and Competitive Strategy (p.265) is quite useful for its connection of technology innovations to Porter’s five forces (step 5 in the Assignment procedure below).
    The section on Mobility, Business Models and Strategy (p.270) is also quite useful in that, with a technology focus, it connects the work we did in Module 1 on business model identification with the work we’ll do in Module 3 on business model proposal. It provides a frame of reference for discussing strategic advantage in step 3c in the Assignment procedure below.

Optional Resources

  • Technology Review (2006, March). 10 Emerging Technologies.

    If you need additional help on investigating new technologies, skim this article to see if anything piques your interest. Each year, Technology Review identifies 10 technologies that are worth keeping an eye on. This article offers an introduction to these technologies.

  • Schaffner, B. (2003, September). A SOA allows for better alignment.
  • Schaffner, B. (2003, September). A SOA allows for better alignment.

    Service Oriented Architecture can help to eliminate the frictions between various systems in an organization that need to exchange data in an efficient way. This article also describes how it can bring various technology applications into better alignment with business processes.

Procedure

  1. Review the technology portfolio you created through your technology audit. Then reflect on how the identified technology supports the value chain of your organization. Where do you feel are the greatest points for improvement in the value chain that will create the most significant positive change for the competitive advantage? Using the World Wide Web, or other available resource, search for 1) existing technologies that might be used in novel ways, and for 2) emerging technologies that may be useful or have an impact on your company and industry in the future. Remember that these can be completely new to the organization OR a novel way of using an existing technology.
  2. Pick ONE technology identified in step 1 that you would like to explore in-depth during this course.
  3. To complete the section “Technology Proposal” in the project plan template document, create a short overview of the chosen technology. Make sure to answer the following questions:
    1. What is the technology? Include website where more information is available.
    2. What areas of the value chain for your organization will it impact?
    3. Why do you believe it might provide competitive advantage to your organization?
    4. What attracts you personally to this technology to the extent that you would like to explore it in this course?
  4. Post this section of your project to the course Forum.
    Note that in Module 7 you’ll compile this and the other sections of the project plan into a single, coherent proposal. By then you’ll have a more comprehensive understanding of how the work done in this Module fits into the bigger picture, and can revise accordingly.
  5. Review at least two peer submissions and comment constructively by reflecting on differences between their projects and yours. Please pay special attention to how the presented technology not only supports the value chain, but also addresses the previously identified competitive forces.