Technology and IT Market Research
What is Technology Market Research?
Technology Market Research is an activity that enables companies to identify the technological opportunities and threats that could affect the future growth and survival of their business.
In other words, Technology Research captures and delivers a specific kind of information, insight, and foresight about the competitive environment to make decisions and strategic plans that can produce advantages for your organization.
The Importance of Technology Market Research
Technology has, and will continue to have, an impact on every type of business across all industries. If you are an end user of technology or the creator of products or services which contain and rely upon technology, then it is essential to focus on opportunities and threats.
Opportunities and Threats in Technology
To keep abreast of technological opportunities or threats, you need to establish criteria to help decide what items to follow, and how often to monitor them. Here are just a few technologies that are creating opportunities:
The Internet of Things (“IOT”), where devices communicate with one another, is the latest example of a technology that is having broad sweeping changes for both B2C as well as B2B manufacturers and service providers.
- Smart clothing and wearable devices can monitor one’s vital health (heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, sleep)
- Sensors and RFID tags enable mobile devices to communicate with appliances, security systems, medical care providers and even one’s supply chain.
The proliferation of “apps” – on computers, smartphones, and other portable devices. Often created with open source code, essentially possible for almost anyone with an idea to create, and available either for free or near free via Apple or Google (Android), these applications are used for business, social activities, gaming, health, finance, travel, dining and a myriad of other major purposes.
Software (i.e. SaaS) and data storage in the cloud reduces or eliminates the need to physically install and update personal or enterprise programs or worry about running out of space to archive files, photos or videos. Information can be accessed by anyone, from just about anywhere, on the planet.
VOIP, AI, speech recognition and language translation programs already have begun to enable and expand global communications and e-commerce.
Drones. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) are being used in construction, agriculture, law enforcement and by the military to conduct surveillance where it is safer and faster to do so than with any other resources. Both you and your competition might manufacture or utilize these devices.
Digital Disruption: Opportunities and Threats
Social media. Yes, that. Who would have thought just a few years ago that twitter, Instagram, and similar sites could spread news faster and to a larger audience than traditional media, and thereby quickly influence a company’s reputation and success?
Cybersecurity. How many businesses or government agencies would assign a high probability to the chance that their internal (email, financial) and customer databases could be hacked and put in jeopardy?
Counterfeiting. Additive manufacturing, aka “3D Printing” makes it possible, and easy, to scan and reproduce nearly any solid object. Your patents may be infringed.
Gathering and Analyzing Technology Intelligence
Some companies set up a dedicated Early Warning System (“EWS”) to detect the beginning of changes that can influence their business or industry. This can be done with internal resources and/or with an external consulting firm.
Often, your own customers, sales force or even suppliers may have insights and foresights into opportunities and threats. It is a good practice to have a mechanism to capture this information on a regular basis, perhaps by setting up an incentivized panel, conducting interviews or creating a tracking study that periodically surveys these people.
The role of Competitive Intelligence
While Technology Market Research is focused primarily on the technology within a product or service, Competitive Intelligence (CI) looks at the current and future business plans and marketing strategies of your competitors.
Competitive intelligence involves gathering, analyzing, and distributing information about products, customers, competitors, and any aspect of the environment that management needs to make more informed strategic decisions.
It is possible to buy your competitors’ products or services. Or have a third party do it for you. In some cases you can even get a free trial period! The use of reverse engineering is common. Unless there is some fine print prohibiting these activities, this behavior usually will conform to legal and ethical concerns your company has.
Combined with Technology Market Research, CI can help with the early identification of risks, threats and opportunities in your market.
IT Decision Maker Market Research
We interview IT decision makers to gauge their reactions to new technology. The interviews are also to gain an understanding of several issues. These interviews give us valuable information on topics such as:
- Purchasing Processes: These are the procedures that deal with IT procurement. These procedures include the setting of requirements and asset acquisition. They also include the execution of contracts. Purchasing processes also deal with the management of vendors and assets. Quality management is also part of purchasing procedures.
- New Product Introductions. This involves the development of new or improved products. Successful organizations understand the importance of employing an NPI process. A business should develop the right product in today’s competitive market. These products also need to come at the right time with the best possible cost.
- Usability Testing: Companies assess the readiness of a website or app for release. They do so by testing it with real users who are part of the target audience. The aim is to know how actual users interact with a website and to make changes based on the results. People will leave your site and check out your competitors unless yours is easy to navigate. Usability testing can benefit even the best web design and development teams. The tests show trouble spots for users and the areas where they’re getting confused and stuck.
- Organizational Needs, Opportunities, and Challenges: Every organization is aiming for excellence. They seek to meet the changing preferences of the customer and to gain a competitive edge. Our Agile strategy focuses on helping organizations to determine their needs and opportunities. It also helps them to find their challenges. The method is more popular than ever. It uses traditional methods such as Focus Groups and Surveys. It also employs newer, more innovative ways to gather information about core customers.
Decision Makers and IT Influencers
The IT Director is one of the traditional decision-makers in the field. Another key decision maker is the Chief Information Officer. Chief Data Officer (CDO) is a growing IT title. The CDO manages all a firm’s data. He or she also helps to integrate data into the firm’s decision-making process. Another IT title is Data Architect. This person handles designing, deploying, and managing the data architecture of a company. Other decision makers include the IoT Architect and the Virtual/Augmented Reality Engineer. The Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence Architect is yet another decision maker.
About Technology and IT Market Research
We conduct Qualitative Market Research such as Focus Groups and Interviews. This in-depth research aims to understand why people think, feel, behave, and react the way they do. It is an open-ended approach that users can adapt even during the research. This approach enhances the quality of the data, and the insights generated.
We also conduct Quantitative Market Research. We use methods such as Surveys, which help measure Willingness to Pay. Quantitative Research produces statistical data that is reliable. It informs the extent to which many people think about something or behave. It is independent of the researcher, and one should get the same results regardless of who carries out the research. For this reason, researchers see this method as unbiased.
We conduct Strategy Market Research to provide insights into Market Opportunity. Our research also shows Market Size & Entry and Competition. This type of study plays a vital role in analyzing and defining the market. It also helps in the formulation of marketing instrument strategies. It allows for the placement of research on essential topics in a broader framework. These topics include Positioning, Segmentation, and New Product Development.