The purpose of technology scouting is to gain competitive advantage by identifying opportunities and threats generated by technological advancements. It also involves finding the appropriate technological capabilities to face these challenges.
According to professor René Rohrbeck, technology scouting has four main goals:
1. Early identification of technological trends and disruptions in the industry;
2. Raising awareness of the disruption and technological solutions available;
3. Show how innovative technologies can transform the company;
4. Facilitate the sourcing of external technologies through a network of scouts.
Technology scouting is a complex process divided in two phases.
Phase1. Technological road mapping
First, you need to identify what are the corporate strategic initiatives, what problems you want to solve. Then you search for the matching technological solution. This process is a catalyst for change. When presented with innovations that can transform the business, entrepreneurs feel inspired to take action.
The next step after the presentation of solutions to clients is to assist in the implementation of the technology and in developing the business model around these technologies.
In addition to technological solutions, you need a team of scouts that are experienced, possess knowledge of the innovation process, have good interpersonal skills and broad technological expertise. The scouts can be either employees or external consultants.
Develop your organisation through a sustained process of learning, improvement and innovation through the adoption of the latest technologies.