The Applications Of Technology In The First — страница 4

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lesson is one that folks in Ames may be as familiar with as we are in Chicago: We’ll go crazy trying to predict ISU-Illinois basketball games. In other words, stick to what you know – and team up with people who know the rest. Companies which have business in technology, especially technology in several key markets, are often comfortable making predictions. We cannot predict who is going to win Olympic medals, but we can forecast how technology will change the Olympic games over the next twenty years. Even thought my dorms sits practically across the street from ISU, and I can see Hilton Coliseum form my room window, there is no was I am going to try to predict what might happen when ISU meets up with Illinois. And with technology and global markets expanding in nearly every

conceivable field, industry’s facing a similar challenge. It’s getting harder ad harder to know everything we need to know about every aspect of our business. Today, for more and more companies, the answer is the alliance. Companies are focusing their internal efforts on their own core competencies, and they are developing alliances with other organizations to bring in technology related to their business. Through these partnerships, they are gaining access to new technologies and world-class scientist and engineers – and at the same time reducing costs. Over the next ten to fifteen years, we are going to see business going one step further. This movement toward more technology alliances and partnerships is really just a transition. Basically, we are going to see the

emergence of the virtual company and the total R & D alliance. A company might maintain a vice president of technology to manage a network of R & D alliances with supplies, universities, and R & D organizations. Maybe it would have a staff of its own scientists and engineers housed right in one or more of those other organizations. This type of setup could be the ultimate way for a company to focus its sources on its core business and still be able to access the latest technology at the least cost. That brings me to the third and final lesson about the race to the 21st century. So far, I’ve mentioned scanning for technology and building alliances. The third point refers to making technology matter. As I mentioned above, technology alone is not the fuel that can give

us the lead in this race we are all in. There were many amazing technologies that did not make our top-ten list. They were fascinating to dream about. But that does not mean they would lead to valuable products. And it gets even more complex, because many of these technologies will merge and open up vast new areas for growth. For instance, when we cross biotechnology and advanced electronic, that opens up a whole new field of biologically based electronics. Will we be growing organic computer chips? Many, if not most, of tomorrow’s top products will come from this merging of two or more technologies. Mastering this vast web of technology will be a necessary step in winning the race to the 21st century and beyond. But it won’t be sufficient. The companies that will win that

race are the companies that will be able to anticipate market forces and acquire incorporate the right technology into their business. We need to combine a savvy understanding of market forces with a through knowledge of available and potential technology. That combination will be the fuel that powers us to develop the hottest products of tomorrow. Innovative thinking, powered by advanced technology, fueled by consumer demand, driven by responsibility and common sense will allow us taking the lead on preserving the environment and keeping customer priorities front and center. But taking that type of initiative to link technology to the marketplace we can use technology to do more than just improve efficient. Our goal should be to capture and use technology to gain value-and grab

a competitive edge. The story with Teledyne WaterPik’s SenSonic toothbrush I mentioned earlier is one of the best recent examples of a company using that combination of market awareness and technology initiative to grab a competitive edge. They are using technology and market awareness to provide their customers with a more valuable product. And that is how they are working to win the race to the 21st century. I have made a lot of predictions about technology and about this race that we are all in. But still, there is really only one prediction that I can guarantee. It is that market and technology forces will continue to transform industry, and we will all have to keep up with them if we want to succeed. We will all have to be futurists. Each business will have to develop its