Fraunhofer Survey to Understand How Companies Deal with Disruption

It is difficult to read anything about innovation without finding it linked to the concept of “disruption”. Previously term would have indicated something that businesses would try to avoid, but today entirely new commercial opportunities are being driven by disruptive technologies.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO is currently working on assessing how companies can best be prepared to deal with disruption, and in an ongoing study, it is investigating how companies handle potentially disruptive technologies.

Disruptive technologies are those that displace existing technologies from the market, and therefore pose an existential threat to established businesses. The most widespread of these has been the effect of digitalisation, where almost every business sector has had to confront any number of potentially disruptive changes. Another recent example is the blockchain which is revolutionising the financial services sector.

While it is easy to spot these technologies historically, the challenge is to understand what companies will face in the future. The fact that potentially disruptive technologies are often the enablers or drivers of new business models, products, services or overall solutions makes this all the more important.

How do companies deal with potentially disruptive technologies?

It seems the reason that many companies fail to deal effectively with disruptions has less to do with a lack of knowledge about technological developments and more with how they assess such developments and subsequently integrate or implement them within their organisations. The Fraunhofer IAO study, “Disruptive Technologies and Roadmapping”, aims to gather new insights into how potentially disruptive technologies are handled, from identification through to implementation.

It focuses on:

  • the methods and sources of information used by companies to identify these game-changing technologies,
  • the methods and criteria used to assess them,
  • and ways to integrate them into a business or other context.

Moreover, the study will shed light on the question of how companies integrate potentially disruptive technologies into their roadmaps.

The online survey can be completed HERE until December 31, 2016.

Photo credit: Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Fraunhofer IAO.


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