The logic for utilizing this point of view is derived from the argument that the ability to visualize and measure intellectual capital is a prerequisite for effective technology management. Intellectual capital (e.g., competencies, technologies, brands) and the ability to use it explain to a large extent the success and market value of technology companies. Most of these companies recognize that technology assets are a critical part of their intellectual capital and that their challenge is to generate more value from these assets by more efficient acquisition, protection, and utilization.

General Categorization of Technology Assets

In the “General Categorization of Technology Assets” figure the general areas of measurement are numbered from 1 to 7. In all there are 31 sub-measures that backup assessment of a company’s technology assets by this model.

Looking at this model in more conventional terms the measures related to acquisition of technology are normally considered in-process metrics for R&D and in-licensing activities. The metrics associated with the different forms of technology stock are often considered output measures for R&D, partnership and licensing efforts. The metrics associated with the commercialization of technology section are often considered outcome or governance metrics. These are typically internal exploitation by selling a product with an advantaged position, licensing-out for revenues, or use of the technology assets in partnerships and other cooperative work that will bring the company future value.

The “Measuring Seven Classes of Technology Assets” figure presents metrics identified for each class of technology related asset. In the first column, each metric is represented as an absolute target of measurement. In the same column alternative ratios are suggested which can be used to measure the target against some comparison point. Absolute indicators are suitable for internal use wears indicator ratio still better job of enabling a comparison between companies.

Measuring Seven Classes of Technology Assets

For the areas listed, metrics in Commercialization of Technology generally received the highest priority from surveyed companies. Depending upon the company’s internal strengths and priorities, Internal Exploitation is typically ranked above the other two forms of exploitation. However, for very specific companies who grow by acquisition, cooperative exploitation also receives a high priority.

Technology acquisition was ranked the second highest priority by surveyed companies. This metric received a higher priority for production oriented companies than from product focused companies. Of the different forms of technology acquisition measuring the efficiency of Internal R&D and R&D Cooperation were considered the most important.
The remaining items on the list vary in importance depending upon the market area and technology maturity of the environment in which the company is operating.