Technology companies and technology-enabled companies need to understand that there are many different ways to take their technologies to market: Each deployment strategy can have different resource and timing implications.
To think about a technology deployment strategy which is contingent on different market and business model conditions, companies first need a rational way of characterising their technologies. The Triple Chasm Model describes 6 different types of technologies which can be relevant; companies may control and exploit any of these, although typically the strength of a company will depend on only one or two of these components.
The six different technology types cover the following:
base technologies, which can provide fundamental building blocks
application technologies, which aggregate one or more base technologies
platforms, which can integrate different application technologies to enable new functionality
applications and tools, which can provide functionality to end users based on application technologies and platforms
products, which combine the other technology types to provide integrated functionality
and services, which can enable the use of technologies, concepts, and products
Technology Deployment Strategies
Companies can choose different ways of taking their technologies to market; the expertise required by a company to execute a particular strategy depends on several different criteria, including:
The depth of technology expertise needed, which can have implications for the human capital and financial resources required.
The need for complementary technologies, where integration with third party technologies may be critical for successful deployment.
The need for broader commercial expertise, which may be much higher when delivering via platforms.
The cost of technology deployment, which may also be higher for the provision of platforms, compared to base technologies, for example
Speed to market, where encapsulating technologies into applications and tools may be the fastest option, and platform deployment may take the longest
The overall complexity, which is likely to be the highest for platform-based deployment, followed by integrated products.
There are no inherent generic advantages in choosing a specific technology deployment approach, but the choices made can have significant implications, particularly in terms of cost, complexity, speed to market, and the trade-offs between risk and reward. For example, a company that has developed a new type of sensor could license it to others, or build its own eco-system for deployment, or create an integrated product. Companies need to match their chosen strategy to market conditions, to understand their capacity to execute based on the available resources, and to be aware that hubris can be a serious risk especially where they believe that they are inventing a new future!
Companies need to heed the insights provided by the Triple Chasm Model when deciding their technology deployment strategies.