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3 Factors to Validating External Technology Options

There are three key factors to validate the potential utilization of external technology in the innovation process.

  1. Is the technology ready for use?
  2. Is the technology directly applicable to our need to provide an innovative solution?
  3. Do we have the ability to absorb the technology in to our process?

‘Readiness’ is a measure used to assess the maturity of evolving technologies. Has it been sufficiently proven to be suitable for immediate application and incorporated into a solution?  The Department of Defense defines several steps to help determine readiness. Some of the steps include:

  • Basic principles observed and reported
  • Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • Component validation in relevant environment
  • System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment

Next, does the technology solution directly apply to the solution we want to achieve or does it need to be iterated slightly to enable maximum innovative potential? This is a more subjective area that requires refinement among the external technology partner and internal system solution architects and engineers.  Applicability is the key to a success innovation process.

Finally, Wesley M. Cohen and Daniel A Levinthal in Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation, describe the ability of a firm to recognize the value of new, external information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends that is critical to a successful innovation process.  An objective examination must be made after the technology is deemed applicable and ready as to whether the corporation has the internal skills to truly understand and implement the innovation.

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