Case Study: BMW Tech Radar

Mergeflow enables effective technology scouting and management

The challenge

In times of disruption and digital transformation, it is crucial for many organizations to discover emerging technologies early on; to understand how they relate to each other; to track how they evolve over time; and to explore how they may benefit and enhance their value creation process. The scouting and management of emerging technologies, therefore, plays a central role. Mergeflow supports the BMW Group and its global IT Tech Offices in this central activity.

Relevant technologies come from many different fields. These fields include artificial intelligence, materials (particularly for batteries), future computing, robotics, new types of sensors, optics and displays, decentralized technologies, wearables, manufacturing technologies, and others.

Discovering and tracking emerging technologies across so many fields, and on a global scale, requires collecting and analyzing thousands of new scientific and technological publications, patents, news, market analyses, investor activities, and other data, every day. Done manually, this is not feasible.

Mergeflow provides automated discovery, tracking, and exploration of new technologies

Mergeflow has been supporting BMW’s IT Tech Offices for several years with discovering, tracking, and deeply exploring new technologies, companies, and ideas.

The Tech Radar

In order to leverage this expertise and provide transparency about current and future technology trends, the IT Innovation and Technology Management has designed the Tech Radar. It provides the basis for further monitoring and facilitates the detection of technological relationships.

By determining the adoption stage on both the macro-trend and technology level, the radar additionally serves as an enabling mechanism for defining and redefining the current and future strategy, as well as recommended courses of action for the BMW Group.

The implementation was done in collaboration with Mergeflow, who provided a customized software solution.

The Tech Radar is built on top of Mergeflow’s data lake and analytics, and offers additional functionalities and integrations, targeted to BMW Group’s individual requirements.

It is available across teams and locations at the BMW Group and, therefore, generates value far beyond the IT division.

Within a short period of time, the Tech Radar has established itself as the company-wide standard for trend evaluation.

How the Tech Radar helps boost innovation activities

Real-time and continuous discovery

The next great idea, company, or technology may emerge at any time and from anywhere in the world. In order to discover such innovations early on, the Tech Radar operates in a fully automated way, in real time, and on a continuous basis. To foster open innovation capabilities, employees are able to share their know-how and ongoing projects about the topic.

Comprehensive insight into the momentum of emerging technologies

One key functionality of the Tech Radar is to provide insight into the momentum of emerging technologies. This requires knowledge about how a technology develops across R&D, patents, markets, venturing, and other areas. Mergeflow feeds signals from across all these areas into the Tech Radar, thus providing a comprehensive 360° view of all emerging technologies of interest.

Anchoring emerging tech insights against R&D activities and business units

The Tech Radar not only collects and analyzes emerging tech insights from worldwide sources. It then also anchors these insights against R&D activities and business units. This ensures that Tech Radar insights are topical and actionable and have the potential to foster IT-driven innovations across all business units due to increased transparency about ongoing activities.

Are you interested in a Tech Radar for your organization?

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