Technology Management in Media and Information Firms
The first part of the chapter discusses how R&D is managed, a particularly important function in a sector characterized by disruptive technology. Tasks covered include: technology assessment, selection of R&D projects for funding, integration of technology with firm strategy, the location of R&D activities, the organizational structure of R&D activities, standards strategy and collaboration with open community-based R&D. The second part of the chapter covers the six stages of media-tech convergence and introduces the various elements that jointly form the media-tech sector. The first convergence was that of calculating devices, components and control code, resulting in computers. The second convergence was that of computers with communications hardware, and includes telecommunications, cellular telephony and the Internet. The third convergence joined the elements of consumer electronics, the fourth those of content, and the fifth leads to the emerging online-based media cloud. The next convergence that is anticipated is that of bio-electronics and human cognition. Throughout the chapter, the Japanese firm Sony is discussed, with its struggles to integrate across multiple hardware and content segments.