Technology Identification in Relation to Embedded Systems

Kiel D, Arnold C, Baccarella C, Voigt KI, Hoffmann D (2015)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Conference contribution, Conference Contribution

Publication year: 2015

Pages Range: 664-680

Conference Proceedings Title: Proceedings of the 24th International Association for Management of Technology Conference

Event location: Cape Town ZA



Embedded Systems (ES) are information processing systems consisting of a hybrid combination of hardware and software components integrated into a technical environment. Their main purpose is to control, regulate and monitor a system to secure efficiency, reliability and specificity for a certain application under realtime requirements. Their importance manifests in a considerably increasing number of fields of technological applications, e.g. automotive, aviation and railway engineering, telecommunications as well as machinery and plant engineering. In this context, the identification of new technologies is an essential success factor in a highly competitive environment and therefore of high relevance for enterprises of ES. Hence, this paper analyses different types of methods, the importance of technology scouts, the process and relevant success factors related to the identification of new technologies in the field of ES.

Open-ended and guided interviews are chosen as research method consisting of a sample of 48 experts from several industries originating in the European Metropolitan Area of Nuremberg, Germany. These interviews have been analysed employing a qualitative content analysis, which is a suitable method to systematically extract relevant information from text material.

The results show that technology identification is of essential importance for companies of ES and beyond. Within the sample there exist 15 relevant methods for the identification of new technologies, e.g. subject related publications, exhibitions, internet, customer and supplier/producer. Roughly 73 % of the interviewed enterprises do not employ distinct technology scouts, instead technology identification is perceived as part of every employee’s continuous duties. 36 companies use a formalised process which follows a predefined pattern. Regarding the factors influencing the success of identifying novelties in terms of ES, our study reveals six factors, namely networking, cost and profit optimisation, applicability, currency, corporate culture and competitive advantage.

Our findings are highly relevant for the evaluation of technology identification processes which are critical for the success of Technology Scouting (TS), managing innovation, planning technologies as well as foresight and forecasting related to emerging technologies. This study concerning technology identification and TS commends itself as a starting point for further investigations towards the closely related theoretical concepts of Technology Foresight and Technology Management.

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How to cite


Kiel, D., Arnold, C., Baccarella, C., Voigt, K.-I., & Hoffmann, D. (2015). Technology Identification in Relation to Embedded Systems. In Proceedings of the 24th International Association for Management of Technology Conference (pp. 664-680). Cape Town, ZA.


Kiel, Daniel, et al. "Technology Identification in Relation to Embedded Systems." Proceedings of the International Association for Management of Technology (IAMOT) Conference, Cape Town 2015. 664-680.

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