Technological innovation can profoundly affect a business in many ways – sometimes it can be advantageous, sometimes not. Deciding if and when to invest in a technology can significantly impact success. But, by thoroughly assessing the potential impact a specific technology, or technical capability might have on your business, it is possible to make more informed decisions about how to respond.
Technology landscapes draw on multiple sources of insight including publications, patents, company websites, trade press, and subject matter experts. Our reports address several key questions about the technology including performance, applicability to current / future processes, key players, and technology readiness. At the same time, we recognise that it doesn’t matter how disruptive and impactful a technology appears on paper, it has to be the right fit for your business. Simultaneous assessment of both technical and commercial criteria is essential.
SAL work collaboratively with clients, preferably on a long term basis, to get to know each client’s culture. Understanding factors such as appetite for innovation, risk-taking, investment, and how you define ‘success’ is essential. A client wanting return on investment within 3 years will not receive the same recommendations from us as one looking to transform their operations over a 10-year time horizon.
Ultimately we provide a series of actionable and achievable ‘next steps’ that enable our clients to respond to new technologies to greatest effect.
Market landscapes are similar in approach to technology landscapes, but focus on a market of your choosing. This could be the market in which you currently operate, or a market you are considering moving into. Either way, conducting a detailed assessment of the space, and using the intelligence gathered to inform your organisation’s strategic approach to that market, could significantly improve your overall chances of commercial success.
SAL’s market landscape reports focus on a number of key areas, including:
- The market – size, segments, geographies and factors impacting market PESTEL
- The Suppliers – who are your competitors and what do they offer?
- The Buyers – who are your customers, how satisfied are they with current offering, and what do they need?
- The future – how will the market change over time and what will drive this (e.g. consumer trends, regulations, novel applications etc.)?
Together these insights are used to identify opportunities within a given market, or provide a ‘go’ / ‘no go’ recommendation on venturing into previously unchartered territories. As with technology landscapes, recommendations take into account commercial and cultural factors unique to your business to ensure outcomes are both achievable and aligned with business objectives.
Landscaping – the process
Our process can be as ‘in depth’ as you require, and projects range in terms of both size and scale to suit each clients requirements. However, all start with a detailed discussion to understand the challenge our client is facing, the key questions they have, and their expectations for the research. In this way we can work together to clearly define requirements and outcome.
We then usually commence with a phase of secondary research, gathering insights from public and private sources. This information is used to gain an initial view of a technical domain or market. For some clients this is sufficient in itself, and often forms the basis of a future scouting project. For others a more detailed assessment of the space is desired.
For more detailed studies, SAL use the gathered intelligence to develop a question guide for subsequent primary research (following approval by clients). We also agree with clients up front the profile of individuals we should engage with, for example, the level of experience they should possess, their seniority, affiliation etc. Typically we target highly experienced subject matter experts or key opinion leaders within their respective fields, but this is very much determined by the questions we seek to address.
SAL then engage with commentators, preferably entering into detailed discussions on a given topic. This isn’t an interrogation, it’s a two-way conversation between an expert and a member of the SAL team, and we pride ourselves on the strength of technical and commercial know-how we possess within our organisation. Primary research is also a real highlight of the work we do, hearing first-hand about new technologies and innovations, gathering opinions on possible future applications and anticipated developments, understanding where there is satisfaction and where there is “room for improvement”. It’s what gets us out of bed in the mornings! SAL also uniquely maintain a robust international network of international associates and subject matter experts to ensure we have access to the right individuals for your project.
Our research isn’t superficial, we always aim to get under the skin of a topic and get to know the intricacies of a specific technology or market so that our recommendations are based on relevant, hard earned, hands-on experience.
SAL have decades of combined experience in conducting primary and secondary research to source meaningful insights, and analysing the derived information in the context of our client’s objectives. Our landscaping reports not only provide recommendations on what you should do, they also provide tangible actions on how to do it. Examples include introductions to potential partners, details of licencing opportunities, information on possible acquisition targets, or experts you could engage with to improve or adopt internal operations.
The findings from landscaping studies can be used in many ways. SAL have helped clients develop training programs and workshops to disseminate important learnings to a wider audience within their organisation. We have helped clients adapt their sales organisation to better serve their target market and understand the needs of their customers. We have helped develop strategic roadmaps, detailing how our client should respond in the short, medium and long term. Landscapes have helped clients devise strategies to future proof their business, make decisions on whether to enter new markets, and helped identify new business opportunities – see our case studies for more examples. Ultimately, the possibilities are endless!
If you are interested in conducting a landscaping study and would like to discuss this with SAL, please get in touch with John at firstname.lastname@example.org