How do companies deal with disruption?

Wie gehen Unternehmen mit Disruptionen um?
Foto: © exdez – iStock/Fraunhofer IAO


Disruptive technologies and roadmapping survey now online

Often viewed as the specter of the business world, “disruption” became the Business Word of the Year in 2015 in Germany. Even so, experts are unable to agree on what the word actually means. The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO is working on how companies can best be equipped to deal with disruption. 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. Particularly in the context of digitalization, almost every business sector must these days confront any number of potentially disruptive technologies. It’s not hard to identify such game-changing technologies in retrospect, and there are many examples of them. Looking forwards, however, companies face the challenge of quickly identifying and assessing those technologies with the potential to disrupt their business in the future – and then acting accordingly, if they want to remain competitive in the long term. 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 organizations. “Disruptive Technologies and Roadmapping” is a practical study that 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. While roadmaps represent one of the most commonly found instruments in technology and company planning, they are also somewhat limited in their ability to illustrate disruption.

Survey online until December 31, 2016

The eight-page survey takes around ten to fifteen minutes to complete; it runs until December 31, 2016. Participants will receive a copy of the survey results, which are to be published by February 2017.