B&E | Why is a Roadmap Necessary for Startup's Adaptation to a “Technological Environment”?

B&E | Why is a Roadmap Necessary for Startup's Adaptation to a “Technological Environment”?

By Rahul Guhathakurta


B&E | Why is a Roadmap Necessary for Startup's Adaptation to a “Technological Environment”?

Image Attribute: Keyboard / JISC.ac.uk / Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND

Every start-up in the current business environment, across a single or multiple geographical domains, are heavily induced in adopting latest technological systems, either in a tangible way or in an intangible way.  But, the question is what are these technologies one requires to become a successful start-up by its own definition? In most of the developed countries, no product or process is older than five years have the tendency of getting obsolete overnight due to the addition of an overwhelming factor called “Technological Evolution”, which also contributes to its shorter shelf-life at the first place itself.     

In most of the cases, technologies get inherited from the collaborators under the terms of “Technology Transfer”, which covers developing and marketing of technology, selection of technology, mechanism and standard operating procedures, economic, political and legal aspects; and government policies. The overall complexity of technology transfer depends on the nature of the industry along with the aspects related to technical requirements and commercial feasibility.    

Now, if we look at the emerging economies like China and India, where the start-up culture has taken a strong foundation due to the availability of favorable stimulus – the intensity of technology getting obsolete has reduced significantly in last two decades due to holistic liberalization stand was taken by the respective governments. The best possible example, in information technology and the automotive section, the products are getting launched in these markets simultaneously with other parts of the world.     

Start-ups operating in high technology areas like data sciences, internet of things, enterprise resource management, do have a greater thirst for its technological needs and to quench it, they get deeply involved in a continuous product innovation-cum-acquisition mode including the manpower, by indulging into large spending. And, every start-up around the world recognizes that technological needs cannot be solely met through their own engineering and R&D efforts. Usually each “Technological Requirement” is subjected to the make-or-buy decision and judicious mix of indigenous and imported technologies is used to achieve the objectives. Also, one has to look at the timeline factor because in some of the areas with respect to technologies, the rate of obsolescence is so fast that by the time a technology is selected , imported, absorbed and adapted, the technology gets outdated. Hence, the strategies for selection of technologies has to be dynamic.     

What factors start-ups should consider in the “Choice of Technology”   
  • Product competitiveness and the market potential  
  • End-user adaptability based on customers preferences. 
  • The speed of introduction of new products and processes. 
  • Comparative study of the technology gap between the prospective market and rest of the world. 
  • Availability of technology for import in strategic areas. 
  • Suitability of technology in the context of organizational culture.  
  • The outflow of resources, foreign exchanges etc.     
Always have a contingency plan:    

Advances in technology are increasing the complexity of these systems, thereby increasing the uncertainty in predicting untoward events. The main risk factors in the complex systems are the low probability and high-security events. The potential for disasters has been further increased by the highly interactive, tightly coupled and high-risk technological systems. A classic example – the usage for twitter bots for customer relationship management purpose and their unwanted consequences.

However, most research indicates that the management teams whose members are characterized by higher levels of functional heterogeneity can manage these risks effectively. So, it's highly recommended to do proper staffing of teams from the day one itself, as it will help the entrepreneurs to create an atmosphere that duplicates complex thinking and better decision making .     

Conclusion:    

It has been said that more than 90% of all scientific knowledge has been generated in the last 30-40 years and that the pool of knowledge will double in the next two decades. In the face of the high rate of industrial innovation and rapid technological advances, the challenge before any start-up at any geography is to be able to cope with the formidable problems associated with the introduction of such technology and to become competitive in the global markets. In a nutshell, holistic agility is the key to remaining buoyant in an operating market or else your nearest competitor is always keen to take up your position.   

About the Author:  

Rahul Guhathakurta is the founder of IndraStra Global, He regularly tweets at @rahulogy
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