Concept of Technology | Components of Technological Environment

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Concept of Technology | Components of Technological Environment

Introduction to Technology

Technology is a broader concept. It involves the practical aspects of science. It may take the form of tools, materials, and systems. It translates scientific knowledge into a method of production. Hence, it refers to the ways to convert the organizational inputs into output.
Technology can be classified as hard and soft technology. Blueprints, machinery, equipment, and other capital goods are hard technology while management know-how, finance, marketing, and administrative procedures are soft technology. When a relatively primitive technology is used in the production process, the technology is referred to as labor-intensive. A highly advanced technology, on the other hand, is generally termed capital-intensive.
All types of businesses from small to large use technology in their operations since it enhances productivity. The success of modern businesses largely depends on the effectiveness of the technology that they have employed. Investment in new technology is one of the most critical decisions of a manager as it involves an intensive cost-benefit analysis.
The technological environment refers to the factors in technology that impact business operations. Changes in technology affect how a company does its business. A business has to change its operating strategy as a result of changes in the technological environment.

Components of Technological Environment

The technological segment business environment includes the institutions and activities involved in creating new knowledge and translating it into new products, processes, and materials. Technology has pervasive and diversified scope. Hence, it affects many parts of society. Given the rapid pace of technological change, it is vital for firms to study the technological segment thoroughly. The importance is that early adopters of new technology often achieve higher market shares and earn higher returns. The different components of the technological environment are mentioned below.

1. Levels of technology:

There are different levels of technology. Levels of technology refer to the degree of sophistication of the technology. The levels may be manual, mechanized, automated, computerized and robotized technology.

a. Manual technology:

It is the simplest form of technology. It is based on human beings. It is a traditional technology. Simple tools are used. Production volume is low. The overall cost of production is high. In Nepal, the cottage and small-scale industries still use manual technology.

b. Mechanized technology:

With the advancement of science and technology, many machines are invented. Mechanized technology is machine-based. The production and capacity utilization is high. The quality also improves. However, the investment and maintenance costs are high.

c. Automated technology:

It uses self-controlled machines. It is widely used in modern industries. The production and productivity are high are mostly used in the industries involved in the production of standardized products. The number of workers is low. The investment is very high.

d. Computerized technology:

It uses computer-based sophisticated machines. Digital technology is used. Investment is high. It requires very few employees to run the technology.

e. Robotized technology:

It uses robots in place of human beings. It is mostly used in hazardous conditions. The productivity and quality are superior. However, investment is very high.

2. Pace of technology change:

It is the stage and speed of technological change. The change seems very low in Nepalese organizations. Nepalese organizations are not found to adopt modern technologies in a timely manner. The technologies that have been obsolete in other countries are mostly used in Nepal.

3. Technology transfer:

It implies technology imported from foreign countries. The drivers of technology transfer are multinational companies, technical assistance by foreign countries, donor-assisted projects, and international trade. Multinational companies are playing an increasingly important role in technology transfer because they invest abroad to expand production, marketing, and research activities.

4. Research and development budget:

It is the budget by government or business organizations for technological adaptation, up-gradation, and development. The r & D budget of the government, as well as the private sector, is very low in Nepal.

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