The premise of this book is simple: In a rapidly changing environment, traditional R & D is doomed. The alternative is technology integration, not to replace R & D but to "leverage both capabilities by managing their interaction." The best way to achieve that is to design a process: create teams with basic knowledge, developmental ability and implementation experience; make sure they receive input from end users and marketing; allow them to iterate and experiment often using that input; and make sure they expect change.
Iansiti's background--he holds a doctorate in solid-state physics and is on the faculty at Harvard Business School--informs this unusual book. As a research monograph and a management primer, it can be read by disparate audiences.
On the research side, it summarizes Iansiti's six-year study of more than 100 R & D projects in the United States, Europe and Japan in four areas: mainframes, semiconductors, workstations and Internet software. He explains the fieldwork, performance and outcome measures used to evaluate the effectiveness of each project.
On the management side, companies that emphasize process over product are generally more successful than those that do not. The names that emerge from Iansiti's analysis are not surprising: Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Netscape, Yahoo. But this list arises from an independent assessment tool.
Is his methodology capable of "predicting" corporate behavior? There is a good chance. -- Upside, Stephen E. DeLong
From the Back Cover
Technology Integration captures the art and science of product development in a turbulent environment, combining structured analysis with rich qualitative insights. Iansiti describes the essence of a new model for R&D, which is redefining the basis of competition in the high-tech world." --Ed McCracken, Chairman and CEO, Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Iansiti gives us a deep understanding of the essential role played by technology integration in the development of high-performance products and services. His exploration of this topic is very insightful and creative, and his findings will be of major interest to both innovation researchers and technology managers. --Eric von Hippel, Professor, Management of Technology, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The rapid development of new products is a key to an organization's ability to thrive in changing environments. Iansiti's book provides an entirely fresh way to understand and manage new product development processes. Anchored by extensive project data from five industries over multiple continents, Technology Integration introduces new ways of coupling R&D capabilities to manufacturing possibilities and application context. It is a testimony to the power of field research to substantially inform and broaden both the theory and the practice of product development processes. This is an important, serious book for technology management scholars and managers. --Michael Tushman, Phillip Hettleman Professor of Management, Columbia University
In Technology Integration, Marco Iansiti codifies new, powerful technology management practices to help beleaguered managers deal with the blinding pace of technologies and the product and market choices they present. Through deep and broad empirical analysis of high-technology winners and losers, he makes these management practices visible, coherent, and persuasive. --Robert L. Martin, Technology Officer, Lucent Technologies
Professor Iansiti's investigations highlight and provide compelling analytical proof that today's complex technologies require a technology integration capability in order to achieve competitive development costs and rapid time to market. --Dr. Gerhard H. Parker, Executive Vice President, Technology and Manufacturing Group, Intel Corp.