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Technology Continuum

        The Technology Management Continuum aims to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on the latest developments in the field of technology, technology management and innovation. The continuum provides exposure to the students to leverage upon their strong technical background and facilitate the transfer of technical expertise into innovations that impact the competitive market place.

By hosting this Continuum, we expect to achieve the following objectives:

                •  To understand how Technology management can be used as a strategy to gain a competitive edge
                •  To understand how companies manage innovations and process changes with respect to new technologies
                •  Understanding the importance and commercial advantages of IPR and IP policy
                •  To understand and consider the possibility of a career in Technology Management

            The Technology Management Continuum explores myriad aspects across sectors, by initiating discussions on issues at the forefront of the industry. Each Continuum consists of a series of events centred on a particular theme. Eminent speakers from industry and students of management and engineering institutes converge for a daylong event consisting of a lecture series followed by a panel discussion.
                                                      Technology Management Continuum 2013

The Technology Management Continuum 2013 witnessed a series of lectures centered on the theme:

                                          Evolution of Technology: From Business Enabler to Business Driver

Following luminaries participated for delivering lectures at Consulting Continuum 2013 on March 18th, 2013 at SJMSOM, IIT Bombay:

            Needs and Curiosity gave birth to science. Science was refined and it gave rise to technology. Technology in turn was used to run and supplement businesses. This was the story half a century back. But today science is taking big leaps. Human drones have already reached Mars. We are thinking beyond needs and sometimes even creating some.
Today technology is developed keeping in mind the product, its values, its positioning and many other factors which were hitherto a century back. Just to give an example: The first touch screen phone was not invented due to need but was designed for a market.                Similarly,many technologies were designed to fabricate new products in order to drive the businesses. So has the equation changed? Has something replaced the Cliché Needs and Curiosity to take credit of new emerging sciences and technology?
Today it is impossible to survive in the red ocean and one needs to have strong differentiation and at the same time also develop new technologies which appeal to masses and drive future growth. The questions though remain: How and what to develop? When and where to invest? How to recognize and capitalize opportunities? How to continuously enhance your capabilities? And last but not the least, how to survive in a world which follows the Moore’s Law?
            The emergence of a new technology leads to complete changes in Strategy and therefore Technology has become a core component of every business in today’s world. It has transcended itself from business enabler to business Driver.

                                                                            Underlying Themes
Below were the sub-themes for discussions:

Role of e-Procurement Technology in changing business trends

            E-procurement has been gaining significant importance in organizations in the recent years. E-procurement is being implemented as an important tool used by businesses to achieve and sustain their strategic objectives. Research studies suggest that alignment of business strategy with the e-procurement strategy, e-procurement tool and strategic IT capability have a positive influence of a company’s strategic performance. Creation of the links between a strategic performance system and e-procurement give the possibility to measure and analyse e-procurement benefits not only on an operational level, but also to observe the e-procurement impact on strategic performance. Cloud based e-procurement Reduces your initial overlay on hardware, software, servers etc. and it streamlines and integrates the entire system. It also poses the following questions. What are the challenges involved in implementing cloud based e-procurement at B2B level? What are the challenges in integration with existing information systems?

Machine to machine Communications

            Machine to machine (M2M), the automated communication of data between connected devices, has begun to increasingly capture the attention of CIOs across the globe. The technology is moving beyond its decades of use in utilities, transport, and heavy industry into the mainstream, empowering CIOs to deliver real value, cost savings, and innovation to management and their wider organisations. Now that networking equipment, a simple SIM card or RFID chip ( in the case of M2M), and wireless carriage have dramatically decreased in cost, and wireless coverage, speed, and capacity have significantly increased, we can now embed connectivity into the "things" we use in our day-to-day lives. In the transport and logistics sector, this means that pallets and packages are able to communicate their location, allowing for real-time parcel tracking. In the healthcare sector, M2M devices worn by patients enable real-time monitoring of vital statistics and the dispensing of medication.
            In retail, M2M provides better point-of-sale data, as well as better shopping experiences through personalised digital signage. In the utilities sector, too, M2M powers innovation through smart meters in homes that provide near-real-time data to consumers on their usage.

Importance of Innovation in Food security

            To meet the rising nutrition and consumer needs, amidst diminishing natural resources and a changing/erratic climate, India will have to double its food production by 2020. The three pillars for increased production are improved agriculture inputs (seed, land, water, energy/fertilizer, and labour), improved agronomic practices and stronger market linkages. The seed and agri-biotech industry can help drive farmer-led economic growth through innovation of cutting-edge seeds and technologies and partnerships to safely increase crop productivity, help meet domestic food security, and contribute to inclusive growth. The questions that this sector poses are as follows. How important it is to optimize the current systems in place? How do technological advancements help in meeting the rising demand?

Time for a Blue Ocean Strategy for Indian IT industry?

            Despite revenue of more than $100 billion in 2011-12 and an aggressive growth expectation of more than 13% in 2012-13 from NASSCOM, Indian IT industry is facing several challenges. The pace of export revenue growth of Indian software companies will moderate next fiscal year amid continued global economic uncertainty. The EU is India’s second largest trading partner so the Euro zone crisis is bound to affect the Indian economy. According to PAC (Pierre Audoin Consultant) the business process outsourcing service providers in India need to change their operations to a way that is more oriented to the knowledge process outsourcing. One of the most important crises facing the Indian IT industry concerns the human resources aspect. The problems with outsourcing in countries like the USA are posing problems for the Indian information technology industry as well.
            A step that needs to be taken is to create an environment that fosters innovation which in turn could protect and sustain the industry for a longer period. These innovations need tobe done in operations, business models and ecosystems. The IT industry of India also has to look more aggressively towards diversification and geographical expansion opportunities.

Will Cloud ERP become the future

            Cloud ERP uses Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Instead of managing the infrastructure and platform upon which the ERP software suite runs, the cloud providers do so for them. The end user accesses Cloud ERP via a web browser or mobile app, while the software and user’s data are stored on the provider’s servers at a remote location. The benefits of cloud ERP include faster deployment and easy access. Also the pricing is less because the upfront costs of on-premise ERP are spread over the life of the software.

Future of Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) in mainstream manufacturing:

            Additive manufacturing describes technologies that create objects through a sequential layering process. It is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model. 3D printing is achieved using an additive process, where successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes. It gives a chance for everyone to become an inventor and to see their ideas getting shape. It is also used for making spacecraft parts and is also approved by NASA. 3D printing is now being used for making organs with the help of bio printing.

Better information security intelligence

            Today’s world is cruising forward with electronic speeds, generating tremendous amount of information with passage of time. Information, the most valuable asset, has become prone to various levels of exploit. With increased threats from hackers from countries such as China, it becomes necessary to spend much more for better information security intelligence. What is it that we can do to turn this threat into opportunity?

Ontogenesis of renewable energy: Window panes might turn into power plants

            The technological innovations in harnessing free energy have turned a new leaf as the world is talking about nano-template molecules that store energy, viruses that improve efficiency of these solar cells and window panes turning them into power houses. These emerging technologies may quench the energy needs of our energy starved world.

Smarter use of information and communication technology (ICT) to foster growth across all sectors

            A recent research from Oxford has revealed that investment in ICT generates a higher productivity growth than most other forms of capital investment. It has been further observed that the increasing gap between European nations and the US in the last two decades was linked to the differences in use of ICT. To an extent, the same is true for the growing differences between India and China. Better use if ICT across all sectors offers a tremendous potential for all-round growth of the economy.

Enterprise Social Media

            It is hard to be in a world without the Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Recently, there has been a push to expand the instant, always-on, real-time nature of social communication and collaboration directly into the enterprise so workers and team members can get a sense of what others are working on, what resources are available, who and so on. Enterprise social media solutions improve information sharing among employees, thereby accelerating decision making, an advantage that cannot be trivialized at a time when, according to 50 per cent of CIOs, the business horizon of their organizations has shrunk to below six months. Reaction has never been more critical than it is today. There is value in connecting people within a company, especially as they have disparate locations and hundreds, if not thousands, of employees. According to a survey, the number of Indian CIOs looking to implement such a solution has increased from 15 percent in 2011 to 40 percent in 2012. Microsoft, for one, thought such a capability was so important that it bought an entire company called Yammer, a 4-year-old social networking company, simply because it felt it was falling behind well-integrated social platforms such as Chatter of
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