A Structured Analytical Technique For Technology Evaluation Of Developing Technologies

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Title: A Structured Analytical Technique For Technology Evaluation Of Developing Technologies
Author: Jayanthi, Srikanth
Advisors: Robert E. Young, Committee Chair
Abstract: Technology Management is a vast area, and is becoming increasingly important in the light of rapid development of future technologies and advanced research in several areas of application. It is important for organizations to monitor various developments and select technologies that best suit their business needs. Technology Evaluation is one of the areas within technology management that helps in evaluating the potential of new technologies. In this thesis, technology evaluation is the process of evaluating a technology with respect to various performance requirements that it is expected to satisfy. Many relevant techniques that exist are mostly complex, confusing or unsuitable for technology evaluation. Most of the time, expert opinion is used in generating an evaluation report that may not highlight the critical relationships between various factors and the end requirements. The objective of this thesis is to develop a structured analytical technique for technology evaluation. The purpose of the technique is to help in estimating the suitability of a technology for a particular set of needs. It also helps in identifying potential problem areas that exist in a technology. The technique basically consists of three levels (1,2 and 3) to relate various parameters and a SWOT analysis to analyze subsystems. For purpose of clarity the technique can be separated into two phases. In the 'Identification Phase', the performance requirements, features and subsystems of the technology are identified. Also, weights are assigned (in Levels 2 and 3) to all the parameters to establish the dependency between them. Finally, the 'Analysis Phase' involves a SWOT analysis of the various subsystems of the technology. The ratings derived from the SWOT analysis are used in Levels 3, 2 and 1 to estimate the overall performance levels. Two case studies are illustrated to demonstrate the use of the technique. Case Study 1 – Auto-ID Technology is a research undertaken by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in developing 'smart objects'. Case Study 2 – Fuzzy Configurator System is a research undertaken by Muhammad Neil El Himam, under the direction of Dr. Robert E. Young in Industrial Engineering Department of NC State University. The Fuzzy Configurator System is being developed using fuzzy constraint networks and database technology. The case studies help in bringing out some shortcomings of the technique. Conclusion on the technique is given at the end of the thesis along with some future work that may help in broadening the application of the technique.
Date: 2002-08-20
Degree: MS
Discipline: Industrial Engineering
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1096

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