Assessing technological opportunities and threats: an introduction to technology forecasting

The current trend of globalization and rapid technological change has thrown high-tech firms into a new situation. The overall corporate strategy is today often strongly related to the organizations technological strategy. Hence, for the long-term survival there are no other options than continuous product development and sound investments in new technology.

Strategic planning is about developing and maintaining a viable fit between the organizations objectives, skills, recourses and its environmental surroundings. The ever-changing business environment produces vast amounts of information concerning trends and events in the technological, political/legal, social and economic environment that might have a substantial impact on the organization and its strategies.

This highlights a need for technology forecasting methods. With some planning in advance it is possible to invest in the right technology at the right time and avoiding the bad investments.

This thesis briefly introduces the subject Technology Forecasting with some commonly used forecasting techniques. It also presents, from a theoretic perspective, a methodology for assessing technological opportunities and threats using these methods. The theoretical model is then put in relation to an empirical model developed by Telia, which formed the basis for their futurological studies presented at the early nineties.

Author: Halsius, Fredrik; Lochen, Christoffer

Source: LuleƄ University of Technology

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