Our research shows that innovation leaders grow 3.6 times faster than the industry average. These innovation leaders, among other things, embrace emerging technologies and leverage them for business model innovation. In order to embrace technologies, you first need to understand which technologies are out there, how mature they are, what you can use them for, and how to best apply them to solve a business problem. A technology trend radar can help you in this endeavor.

Not every employee uses all the information sources and technology provider relationships to stay on top of the latest tech buzz. It therefore makes sense to centrally orchestrate a continuous information stream for everyone in the company around technology trends.

Central orchestration doesn’t necessarily require a centralized organization responsible for fueling the trend radar. I suggest a diverse set of volunteers who are passionate about technology to feed the radar with what they come across.

Here are some tips and tricks around setting up and maintaining a valuable trend radar:

  1. Make it operational. Explain each technology in such a way that everyone potentially understands what the technology does and what it doesn’t. For those who are interested in how the technology works, you can always add more details separately or link to an additional information source.
  2. Make it applicable. For every technology on the radar, describe the potential value it could create for your company when applied correctly. As an example, it is not valuable to describe virtual reality in general. Provide practical examples of where you believe the technology can make a difference, such as applying VR to train newly hired lab operators virtually without exposing them to risky situations.
  3. Make it relevant. Assess the relative maturity of each technology! Reuse the same attributes that help you drive innovation — experiment, invest, maintain, divest. Add a time horizon that speaks to the maturity evolution throughout the next three years! Do not only add new technologies; make sure to also remove established, stable technologies such as cloud computing from the radar.
  4. Make it digestible and fun to use. Focus on the experience for your target audience that should be working with the trend radar. Provide a set of views and visualizations combined with filtering and search to turn the trend radar into a low-barrier, fun-to-use tool.
  5. Make it interactive. Design the maintenance process in such a way that everybody across the company is encouraged to contribute emerging technologies to the radar. Add a social component allowing folks to discuss technologies and share their experiences.

Read more insights about innovation leadership and technology adoption here!