Google Labs, the development centre of the company is responsible for Technology Scanning and Roadmapping, evaluation of critical success factors, exploiting and developing new products. Technology planning begins with scanning, which is a process of developing an awareness of technological options that are unknown to the organization. Scanning Technology for ascertaining of landmarks is an integral part of IS development. The scanning process consists of preparation, observation, interpretation and evaluation and has three requirements, skills, procedures and software generated information.
The technological landscape is mapped into three domains, matter technology, energy technology and information technology that are then further subdivided into regions. The next step is to seek landmarks in each region. Possible landmark technologies will include Nano Crystals, Magnetic Levitation, Super-conductivity, voice and mind activation, virtual reality, etc. Critical success factors (CSFs) are concerned with exploration for determining the information needs of organizations.
“The idea is very simple: in any organization certain factors will be critical to the success of that organization, in the sense that, if objectives associated with the factors are not achieved, the organization will fail – perhaps catastrophically so. ” (Huotari, M and Wilson, T. D. , Pg 1) CSFfs need to be identified, as they are simple to understand and focus attention on important concerns. Clarifying the priority order of CSFs, measuring results, and rewarding superior performance have proven to deliver results across a wide spectrum of initiatives.
The company is developing a host of new products. These include extensions for Firefox, Spreadsheets, Photo Organizers, Notebooks, Trends, Mars Mapping, Web Page Creators, Transport Conveniencing, Ride Finders and Froogle for mobile users. The company’s latest splash has been in Video on Demand where video will soon be available on Google for watching free or at a fraction of the cost of a DVD. The table below indicates the various potential areas available to the organization for exploiting in the next five years and a probability forecast of Google’s response to these challenges.