Keywords: market-place requirements, technology acquisition, software tools for technology management, technology sourcing
An integrated approach to technology acquisition management
Research on the electronics industry in Scotland by the authors has indicated that while many companies have focused on improving their product development and process innovation procedures, they have, in general, not formalised the management of the technology acquisition process to the same extent. To fulfil this need, the authors propose a new, holistic approach to technology acquisition that integrates a number of strands of technology management. The approach leads to a generic Technology Acquisition Model that can be employed at both a strategic level and an operational level. The model provides a structured framework to identify the most appropriate technological solution to a market need, and the most suitable source for acquiring the chosen technology that best matches the strategic objectives of an organisation. A software package which implements the model has been developed to provide decision-makers with a user-friendly tool for implementing the technology acquisition process. Case studies are included to verify the conceptual framework and its applications.