Observing markets and technologies

To develop, a company must be able to follow technological developments. New trends should therefore be monitored. 

The research sectors (see Developing an innovation strategy) that are important for the company are decidedly influenced by constantly changing markets and technologies. It is therefore even more important to define these developments and trends.

It is also important to continually observe these changes, analyze them and take them into consideration. Also include and discuss “new technologies” and “market trends” during sessions and meetings organized at regular intervals. 

Where to look for information

It is important to know where to look for information and how to sound out new trends: via the internet, in intellectual property databases, at specialist forums and conferences, at trade fairs, at round tables for small businesses or on work sites during a coffee break. Along with data processing, listening constantly and paying attention are key to accessing information.

Sort the information and differentiate what is important from what is not important. Carefully and continuously observe the main technologies and market sectors.

The results obtained in this way will then be viewed and weighed. Matrices lend themselves ideally to this type of exercise (checklist available for download opposite). 

Spotting trends

The following three factors must be evaluated:

  • Technological trends: What are the most significant trends for the company?
  • Market trends and changes in the customer base: How is the market changing? What about customer needs and satisfaction?
  • Behavior of the competition: What innovative strategies are emerging? What new products, services and processes are going to be launched on the market and with what results?

Checklist: Observing markets and technologies 

Technological trends   Strategic effect on the company
  minor, but still needs to be observed significant very significant
       
       
       
       

Example: Technological observation of a service-provider

Here is a sample diagram of a service-provider (in-house training and refresher courses):

Technological trends   Strategic effect on the company
  minor, but still needs to be observed significant very significant 
Integration of customers in the work flow management system   Skills, record of customers and mandates on the intranet available anytime, anywhere Interaction with
the customer and very high requirements 
Advisory tools (checklists etc., on the internet)   The customer takes on the tasks previously entrusted to a consultant - reduction in prices The customer is aware of the offers and tools of the competition - transparent prices 
Videoconferencing and cutting edge technology   Less travel,
One session out of
three using videoconferencing
The customer would like videoconferences, considered less costly and more effective.
E-learning for training Existing systems which are still expensive, but being used increasingly for refresher courses    

Checklist: Observing markets and technologies

Market and customer base: trends   Strategic effect on the company
  minor, but still needs to be observed significant very significant 
       
       
       
       

Checklist: Observing markets and technologies

Behavior of the competition   Strategic effect on the company
  minor, but still needs to be observed significant very significant
       
       
       
       

Source: "Innovationen im Kleinunternehmen", Swiss Research Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, University of St. Gallen


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Information

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Observation of technology and markets (2006) (DOC, 50 kB, 14.11.2019)Schweizerisches Institut für Klein- und Mittelunternehmen à l’Université de Saint-Gall (KMU-HSG)

Last modification 27.09.2019

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