Technology assimilation plan
Assimilation refers to the process within organizations stretching from initial awareness of the innovation, to potentially, formal adoption and full-scale deployment. A technology assimilation plan provides management an indication of the effort that will go into assimilating new technologies in the company.
Creating a sustained competitive advantage is of importance for a company in order to survive. A sustained competitive consists of implementing a value creating strategy that is not, and will not be duplicated by any other firm (Jay Barnley). One way of doing so is to make sure that the technology that will be implemented is aligned with the strategy (Itami & Numagami, Zahra & Covin. According to Raho, Belohlav & Fiedler the ability of organizations to apply and assimilate new information technology lags far behind the available opportunities. . It is therefore of high importance that a technology assimilation plan is created.
Success of technology assimilation is also largely influenced by the organization culture. This suggests that a top-down approach in a formal organization would improve the chance of success for assimilation of new technologies. Analogue to this we could say that these organizational characteristics would reduce the time for assimilation of new technologies because the organization has less to do in a change phase. This change phase is a part of the Organizational development steps mentioned by Daft
The time the assimilation process would take for the types of organizations can be illustrated in the following graph:
In essence assimilating a new information technology is actually stimulating a widespread diffusion of the technology throughout the organizational structure. Therefore planning for technology assimilation incorporates planning for the diffusion process.
In general the assimilation time will be influenced by the relation the technology has with already existing technologies in an organization. In this relation it can be said that if an organization has a larger IT heritage (or IT nature) the new technology is more likely to have a close relation with one of the existing technologies in the organization and therefore the assimilation time will be less.