You’ve heard or read about a great new technology promising a better development experience, cost-saving potential or any other benefit. Before you dive in and start to convince your team or influence your manager to use the technology in your next project, take a few steps back to consider different evaluation criteria and questions before making any investment decision.
For effective Technology Management, the factors to consider for evaluation of each signal or emerging technology matters. In the end, the way your technologies are arranged on the Technology Radar depends on the criteria you chose to evaluate them.
Depending on the business industry, company size, leadership strategy, etc., technology evaluation factors differ from one company to another.
We separated 10 key factors worth considering for new technology evaluation. As a running example, autonomous vehicle technology is discussed for each factor.
Estimate the cost of integrating this technology into the organization. Development time costs money. Think of it this way: What is the cost of hiring the developers who know this technology compared to the cost of current developers.
Running example: Forrester’s online surveys of 54 global autonomous vehicle practitioners found that the cost of the technology needed to support autonomous vehicles is yet too high.
Estimate the risk of implementing the new technology in terms of security, financial aspect, and business viability. If you don’t know what the technology will look like in the future, chances are you’ll suffer from it.
Running example: Safety and health risks are medium now, but the safety record of autonomous vehicles still needs to be improved.
Evaluate new capabilities that this technology brings compared to what there is now. Unless the technology opens up important capabilities, chances are it isn’t worth it.
Running example: Uber and Lyft are heavily investing in building fleet vehicles to drive ridesharing with driverless cars. Another new capability is the switch from autonomous car ownership to temporary access.
Assess if usability improves to address user’s problems, for example with an app design. Do you think this new technology will address the existing usability problems?
Running example: Currently, social driving and novel user interface approaches are emerging themes in the user experience of autonomous driving.
Measure the level of interoperability between the technologies that support this trend and existing technologies and systems.
Running example: The way self-driving vehicles will connect and communicate with other vehicles or technologies.
Measure the ease of integration of the technology into the existing IT systems. If the integration into the existing systems is quick and easy, it gives an opportunity to realize make value using the technology faster.
Running example: There is still an existing challenge of integrating autonomous vehicles and analytics into existing IT systems.
Analyze the existing pilot projects or proof of concepts leveraging the technology. Try to analyze if the technology’s ecosystem is expanding or shrinking.
Running example: There are 48 corporations already working on autonomous vehicle solutions.
Scan the regulatory and compliance requirements linked to this technology implementation.
Running example: A major challenge currently. Who is responsible in case of an accident? Need for new laws to regulate the permits of autonomous vehicles on the roads
Measure the security risks and privacy concerns coming from this technology. If the technology isn’t secure, it is better not to be used for anything that needs secure technologies.
Running example: A major challenge currently. What if an autonomous car is hacked?
Forecast the response of the society in regard to this technology adoption.
Running example: There will always be people pro car driving and ownership. Also another pool of people concerned about safety and the environment.
Investing in new technology is usually a long-term decision causing wide-ranging consequences. Make sure to dedicate enough time to specify and prioritize the factors for evaluation to end up with robust decisions.