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Foresight | Trend & Tech Scouting | Tech Management

Technology Evaluation: A Guide for R&D and Innovation Teams (Free Template)

As an emerging technology scout or manager or as part of an innovation team, your role is pivotal in identifying and evaluating new technologies that can drive growth and maintain a competitive edge.

In today’s business environment, this task is more important than ever. A recent study by the consultancy Bain shows that only 14% of companies worldwide achieve the outcomes they expect from investments in emerging technologies. Those 14%, in turn, outperform their competitors massively. They are three times more likely to deliver a good tech-enabled customer experience, two-and-a-half times more likely to innovate better than the rest of the industry, and rank eight times higher in customer loyalty ratings

For companies aiming to stay relevant, it's thus essential to establish a robust technology evaluation workflow that ensures thorough assessment to inform decision-making. The landscape of emerging technologies is ever-evolving, presenting a challenge in staying abreast of the latest developments and accurately gauging their potential impact. With a wide array of domains, from artificial intelligence and blockchain to biotechnology and quantum computing, staying updated requires teams to sift through vast amounts of data.

Moreover, evaluating emerging technologies demands significant time, expertise, and resources. Unfortunately, organizations often face constraints in resource allocation, posing challenges in conducting comprehensive assessments. Compounding the issue is the lack of standardized evaluation frameworks and metrics, making it arduous for managers to objectively compare and benchmark different solutions. This absence of industry standards further complicates the evaluation process, impeding effective decision-making.

A good emerging technology evaluation workflow for R&D and innovation teams should encompass several key components to ensure thorough assessment and informed decision-making. Here's what it might look like:

Identification of emerging technologies

Get started by actively monitoring and scouting for emerging technologies relevant to your industry or research focus. This involves tapping into a variety of sources, including industry reports, academic journals, patent databases, conferences, and networking with field experts. Staying abreast of emerging trends and disruptions in your industry ensures that you're evaluating cutting-edge technologies with the potential to drive innovation.


Utilize the ITONICS Webclipper and Inspirator app to capture information effortlessly while on the move. With the Webclipper, seamlessly 'clip' any online content directly to your ITONICS system. Meanwhile, leverage the Inspirator app during conferences or trade shows to ensure you capture all pertinent information directly into your system.

Foresight software acts as your AI-driven monitoring ally, streamlining the tracking of developments. Beyond data collection, monitoring signal evolution involves identifying anomalies, capturing early warning indicators, and transforming insights into strategic assets.

Automated tracking of emerging technologies and influential developments enables you to handle vast volumes of data while gaining a contextualized understanding of developments, devoid of human bias and with enhanced efficiency.

For instance, imagine your R&D, technology, or innovation teams are researching the technology 5G Private Networks. To stay updated on 5G Private Networks-related developments, team members can opt to receive email alerts for significant changes in interest, leveraging the power of AI-driven market intelligence. With just one click, they can access these updates on a timeline and explore aggregated data explaining the shifts. Aggregated data clusters empower team members to efficiently process large datasets, identifying areas for further exploration or reporting with ease.

In the example provided, automated monitoring may reveal an adjacent emerging technology or a promising company or startup that aligns with your organization's interests. Once identified, you can effortlessly save this information to your system for further exploration and evaluation with just one click. Leveraging the Smart features, you can swiftly add an OpenAI-generated description and header image to enrich the saved content. Moreover, automated tags are applied to the newly saved information, along with predefined best practice ratings or customized rating criteria tailored to your specific needs. Additionally, automatic Recommended Relations are generated to facilitate connections with related information within your system.

Monitoring startups - software tool

Technology tags - innovation software

Technology relations - innovation software





Define your evaluation criteria

Navigating the complexity of evaluating emerging technologies is no small feat. That's why the ITONICS system offers pre-configured best practice ratings, ready for immediate use. Additionally, here, we provide a comprehensive Rating Guide to help you set up your rating system.

Use these free trend and technology rating guides to get you started! →

how-to-set-up-a-technology-workflow-4We understand that every organization is unique, which is why we empower you to configure your own rating criteria within the ITONICS system. Tailoring these criteria to your specific use cases and organizational requirements ensures your evaluation process is finely tuned to your needs. When setting up your rating criteria, consider the following factors:

Understand your objectives

Before defining evaluation criteria, it's crucial to understand your team's objectives and the problem you're trying to solve. Are you seeking to enhance existing products, explore new markets, or address specific challenges? Clarifying your objectives will guide the selection of relevant evaluation criteria.

Identify key metrics

Next, identify the key metrics that align with your objectives. These metrics should be measurable and directly linked to the impact the technology will have on your organization. Consider factors such as market potential, technical feasibility, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and alignment with strategic goals. Involve key stakeholders from various departments to add their diverse perspectives to ensure comprehensive criteria that reflect the organization's overall needs and priorities.

Determine the significance and relevance

Certain criteria may hold greater significance depending on the unique context of your project or initiative. Utilize the Radar visualization feature to identify and highlight specific criteria crucial to your objectives. Easily save and share this customized view with others or for reporting purposes.

Technology radar software

Ensure smooth rating with proper permissions

Streamline the rating process by assigning appropriate permissions. Leverage ITONICS' pre-defined best practice roles and permissions or customize your own to match your internal workflows. This not only safeguards your data but also empowers you to tailor the platform to your unique requirements, facilitating seamless management aligned with your organizational processes.

Test and refine

Pilot your evaluation criteria with a small sample of emerging technologies to test their effectiveness. Gather feedback from stakeholders and refine the criteria based on insights gained during the testing phase. Iteratively improve your evaluation process to enhance its accuracy and reliability over time.

Invite evaluators and monitor their ratings

Invite the evaluators you need directly from the system and customize their roles and permissions according to your requirements. This ensures the security of sensitive data and allows evaluators to conveniently rate the technologies you designate. Stay informed with timely email notifications for any new ratings, ensuring you never miss out on important evaluations.

Informed decision-making and reporting

Based on the insights gleaned from the evaluation process, you can make well-informed decisions regarding the adoption, adaptation, or rejection of each technology. Key factors such as technology attractiveness, potential impact, internal know-how, and alignment with strategic objectives play pivotal roles in this decision-making process.

Utilizing the ITONICS Radar and Matrix, you can dynamically visualize all evaluations conducted by your experts. The Technology Radar serves as a comprehensive visual representation of technologies that have the potential to influence your organization's strategy. It acts as a central tool for informed technology management and strategic decision-making, guiding you on which technologies to pursue and which ones to avoid.

In the collaborative evaluation process, each technology is represented as a dot on the Radar, with its position and visual attributes reflecting its rated values. Various dimensions, including position, color, and shape of the dot, convey different aspects of the technology's evaluation. For example, the distance from the center may indicate importance or urgency, while color may represent the need for action, and dot size may denote complexity.

Customize the Radar according to your specific requirements and highlight the aspects you wish to evaluate and communicate effectively. Once you've configured a Radar view that aligns with your needs and conveys a meaningful message—such as emphasizing technologies with high potential impact and internal know-how—save it as a custom Radar view. This enables you and your team to revisit and maintain a unified perspective on relevant technologies, facilitating streamlined decision-making and strategic planning.


Showing your progress on the ITONICS Radar to a larger audience can help you communicate critical insights in an interactive and dynamic radar view. By showing a live Radar on your intranet or public-facing website, your audience can view real-time information and interact with your Radar to encourage involvement. Use Embed to include a specific view from your ITONICS system on your website or intranet to help you communicate results and insights and keep stakeholders informed.

The ITONICS Matrix provides another means to help guide your organization's focus. This tool aids in assessing the risk and potential of emerging technologies by plotting them on an X-Y axis. For example, when comparing technologies for potential pursuit, the matrix illustrates that 'Wireless Charging' has a high impact with relatively low complexity based on its collective rating. This insight may lead your organization to consider investing in this technology.

Technology portfolio in ITONICS Matrix

Leveraging the Innovation OS to consolidate your evaluation findings, recommendations, and decision rationale onto a single platform facilitates clear and concise communication with key stakeholders, fostering transparency throughout the decision-making process. This centralized approach streamlines information dissemination, ensuring that all relevant parties have access to the same data and insights.

Technology reporting within the Innovation OS provides a comprehensive and insightful narrative on emerging trends and their potential impact. By presenting this information in a structured and actionable format, leaders can make strategic decisions with greater confidence. This empowered decision-making ensures that technology's role in driving business strategy is not only acknowledged but effectively utilized to its fullest potential.

Next steps: Workspaces and ideation 

Enhance your technology evaluation and monitoring process with the ITONICS Innovation OS, which offers the capability to create separate workspaces tailored to different projects and teams within your organization. These customizable workspaces enable efficient scouting, monitoring, and evaluation of specific sets of technologies, trends, or industry segments, as well as the ability to configure roles and permissions to ensure data security and access control.

Once high-potential technologies or trends are identified, seamless integration with ideation activities allows teams to explore innovative solutions and concepts directly within the Innovation OS. This cohesive approach ensures that all information, from initial ideation to evaluation and reporting, is centralized on a single collaborative platform, facilitating streamlined communication and decision-making.

The Innovation OS supports the entire innovation lifecycle by connecting ideation to iterative experimentation and prototyping, thereby bridging the gap between project conception and execution. By consolidating data and activities within a unified digital innovation platform, organizations can promote cross-functional collaboration and drive efficiency throughout the innovation process, from strategy development to execution.



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