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).
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?