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This paper reports on the three integrated life cycles that support technology transfer and diffusion when introducing a new technology into an organisation. It is based on the work of SEI at CMU where they considered the birth of a new technology and the life cycles it passes through to become a mature technology. This life cycle model helps to position the work of AIAI and the work of AI related R&D groups within organisations.
The objective of the R&D life cycle is to test the potential relevance of the emerging technology to meet business needs. To achieve this objective the strategy of many companies is to set up links to research institutes to provide technology studies for them and to engage in government or EC funded collaborative research projects. The activities that need to be undertaken to pass through this life cycle and move to the next life cycle are:
The results from this life cycle can be summarised as:
This life cycle is characterised by the technology gaining maturity although there is still the requirement for technology push by those working with it. The objective of the life cycle is to gain high-level management commitment for the adoption of the technology by developing key technology-proving applications.
The main strategy for the organisations's AI groups is to continue to work with external collaborators to support the technology maturity through: developing standards, developing training courses and building applications. The key strategic issue for this life cycle is the need to show practically how important applications can be designed and implemented with the technology and then demonstrate the business benefits from the deployment of these applications. The activities needed to achieve the progression of the technology to the final life cycle are concerned with altering attitudes so that the technology gains acceptance, new skill sets are developed, and a small number of technology-proving applications are built.
All this implies that the following activities are required:
The results from this life cycle should be highly visible throughout the organisation. They are:
The new technology has now been demonstrated to be mature and ready for widespread adoption within the organisation.
In this life cycle there needs to be a one to many diffusion of the technology. The life cycle is characterized by the change from a technology push to a technology pull with the technology being recognised as mature. Management and users want a stable, mature technology but they need to be convinced that any new technology has reached such maturity. This recognition comes about by management and users seeing:
The main objective for this life cycle is the diffusion of the technology throughout the organisation, which implies that the focus of attention has to be on the users of the new technology and the management responsible for facilitating the adoption of the new technology. Therefore the work in this life cycle concentrates on organisational issues for the routine development of applications.
The strategy has to be one of providing knowledge and skills to end-users of the technology which implies a need to provide technical infrastructure type support during the adoption and also ensure consistent sponsorship from management. The activities undertaken in the life cycle are:
The results from this adoption life cycle are:
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