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Why technology scouting works differently today

Technology scouting has evolved dramatically due to rapid progress and an increasingly interconnected global market. Your company can meet this challenge with state-of-the-art solutions.

Why technology scouting works differently today

Innovation is the lifeblood of any forward-thinking enterprise. The ability to scout, harness, and implement new technologies is crucial for staying ahead in today's fast-paced market. This article highlights key points for an effective technology scouting program for companies. It focuses on a holistic approach and the role of contemporary innovation software.

Holistic Approach to Technology Scouting

When you're trying to build an innovation program across your company, you face many obstacles and challenges that need to be overcome. You need to build a process that engages many different people, which can get very complicated. The idea is to make it simple.

The innovation ecosystem in a large organization can be visualized as a dynamic interplay between external market factors and internal stakeholders, all guided by a strategic framework. This ecosystem consists of:

  • External Factors: Market trends, new technologies, and external innovation sources.
  • Internal Audiences: Employees, business units, and innovation catalysts within the company.
  • Strategic Framework: The overarching strategy to harness these elements for successful innovation management.


Fig. 1: The innovation ecosystem in a large organization involves bringing external market factors and internal audiences together with a strategic approach to drive innovation management.

In this ecosystem, technology scouting is a critical component. Specifically, tools like Qmarkets' Q-scout facilitate the identification, evaluation, and implementation of new technologies.

According to a poll conducted during a recent webinar, the most challenging aspects of technology scouting are the identification and evaluation stages. Participants highlighted that pinpointing relevant technologies and assessing their potential impact are significant hurdles.

Redefining innovation management


As innovators, we need to maintain focus and vision. This is how we can invent something new and then successfully launch it on the market.

A few years ago, innovation still had the reputation of being something like a game with post-its. The job of an innovation manager seemed to consist of designing a wall full of post-its, structuring everything, and perhaps introducing a few cool methods and processes. But that was in the early 2000s. Today we know that innovation is not a product of chance, and we don't come up with great innovations and breakthroughs while we're in the shower or sitting looking at the wall.

Creating the conditions for innovation management software

Building a holistic innovation management structure in companies is like constructing a house. The culture is the foundation, followed by a clear structure and defined responsibilities. A solid strategy is the roof that guides and supports the innovation process. The following illustration demonstrates this.

House of Innovation simple EN

But what does this have to do with using innovation software?

If software is to be used in innovation management, for example, to improve technology scouting, appropriate processes, structures, and responsibilities are required. Purchasing software without clarifying the necessary framework conditions does not lead to more innovative productivity.

Let's take a closer look at this using the example of Opportunity Spaces. 

Opportunity Spaces: Discovering New Technologies

At the beginning of an innovation project, everything is still unclear. The art of front-end management or the early phase of innovation is to expand knowledge and reduce uncertainty and risk. You need to find out what the needs are, what the problems are, what the trends are in the field, and what new technologies are available. Gather everything without being hard on yourself if it's too much. Then lower your altitude and think about opportunities by combining technologies, trends, and problems. You identify opportunities that arise from new technologies and trends.

Based on these opportunities, you can zoom into these areas and find out through desk research, market research, or expert interviews how difficult it is to realize something in these areas and what impact this has or is worthwhile for your company. You can then prioritize these areas based on which will have the biggest impact and will be easiest to implement within your competencies. The next level is the search field level, which describes what you want to innovate as precisely as possible.

This is where technology scouting becomes difficult, especially in large organizations, because you don't know what other departments are doing. It is therefore important to be transparent about technology scouting, roadmaps, and search fields within the organization. And, software solutions are much better suited for this than Excel lists or reams of PowerPoint presentations.

Innovation software: Technology Scouting with Qmarkets

Identifying the right trends, opportunities, and engaging key stakeholders are crucial challenges in technology scouting. Solutions like Q-scout streamline the process by making it easier for users:

  • manage scouting portfolios,
  • track progress,
  • evaluate opportunities and
  • facilitate recruitment and communication with stakeholders.

These tools enhance efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and informed decision-making, aligning with corporate growth strategies.

In scouting for technologies and partnerships, the process plays a vital role in ensuring seamless communication flow. Engagement is key to reducing barriers and enhancing user experience. Therefore, when implementing innovation tools, emphasis should be placed on fostering relationships and communication.

The ultimate goal is to assess readiness levels, market potential, and the impact on commercialization. A technology scouting process should involve gathering research data from various sources, engaging stakeholders, and evaluating and prioritizing opportunities.


Building an enterprise technology scouting program is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a well-structured approach, effective tools, and a supportive culture. Qmarkets' solutions like Q-Scout play a vital role in streamlining the process, ensuring that new technologies are not only identified but also successfully integrated into the business. By fostering a holistic innovation ecosystem, companies can stay ahead in the competitive market and achieve sustainable growth.

About Qmarkets
Qmarkets has been around for over fifteen years now. They are experts in helping large organizations implement sophisticated innovation programs. They work with many leading companies across the globe, focusing primarily on innovation management software and the various use cases within that. Qmarkets work with many partners, such as Lead Innovation.

Jannik Böckenholt

As an expert for New Business Development, Jannik is your reliable companion for new commercial ventures. When it comes to the restructuring of innovation processes or the application of innovation methods, the learned project manager guides you to your objective step by step, while making sure there is fun along the way with his inspiring storytelling in the workshops he moderates.

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