3.2 Concept of Technology Forecasting
Characteristics of technology forecasting
Technology forecast method
Principles of technology forecasting
3.3 Technology Forecasting Process
3.4 Need and Role of Technology Forecasting
3.5 Forecasting Methods and Techniques
3.6 Planning and Forecasting
3.9 Terminal Questions
3.11 Case Study
By now, we are familiar with the concept of technology acquisition, advantages and disadvantages of technology acquisition. Previous unit also familiarised us with the alternatives for acquiring new technologies, and the reasons compelling a company for obtaining new technologies. We also learnt about the management of acquired technology that is required in all companies. We have also discussed about the measures of scale and mechanisms for acquiring technology. In this unit, we are going to define technology forecasting and discuss about the need for technology forecasting. We will also study about the role of forecasting in planning process. We are also going to discuss the different forecasting methods and techniques. At last we will see how to relate planning and forecasting. Objectives:
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
· Define technology forecasting.
· Justify the need for technology forecasting.
· Examine the role of forecasting in planning process.
· Describe and apply different forecasting methods and techniques. · Relate planning and forecasting.
3.2 Concept of Technology Forecasting
Before we start our discussion on ‘technology forecasting’, let us first define ‘forecasting’. Generally, ‘forecasting’ refers to the prediction of future on the basis of available information. In the early days, traditional forecasts used to deal with the speed and power. They did not focus on the structures of the organisation. It was assumed that inventions of the future are not easy to predict. The forecasters were not focussed on evaluation of the forecast process. We can define technology forecasting as the process that predicts the future characteristics and timing of technology. The technology forecasting is done by considering the parameters, attributes and capabilities of technology. The forecasting process helps in effective management of technology. The forecaster need to have clear idea of the organisational goals and goals of the units for which the forecasting is prepared. Forecasting consists of the strength and weakness of the empirical sciences. The technology forecasting does not have any law because of the complexities that are associated with the systems. The complexities in technical, environmental, economical and ethical contexts are very difficult to remove. The forecaster has to take the historical examples in order to forecast in a better way. Thus, we can say that technology forecasting deals with the prediction of future technological capabilities, attributes and parameters. The technology forecasting is done at the early stage of the project life cycle. The decisions made at the early stage influence the subsequent time of that project. Technological forecasting is an attempt to predict the way things are going to be done. We know that technology considers both hardware and software. The hardware includes the mechanical or physical hardware and software includes the procedures and methods for organising the human activity. In this regard, the technological forecasting is nothing but the future characteristics of useful machines, products, processes, procedures or techniques. 3.2.1 Characteristics of technology forecasting
Generally, there are some characteristics that are associated with technology forecasting. We will now discuss them briefly. · A technological forecast relates to certain characteristics such as levels of technical performance (e.g., technical specifications including energy efficiency, emission...