What is the Technology Life Cycle?

The life cycle of any material describes the time interval from birth to death. The technology life cycle is the more specific application field of the life cycle concept. It principally defines the relation between the life of the technology in terms of time and the general business gain. İt is the general representation of any technology to interpret the investments, expenses, incomes, and net balance during the entire life of a technology. On the other hand, technology life cycle management is the key methodology to understand, manipulate, and benefit from the current status of the technology. Yet, TLC distinguishes from the product life cycle by not only bearing on the product’s life cycle(PLC). The focal point of the product life cycle is the product’s itself regardless of the technology. 
A technology is developed after an extra-ordinary discovery which causes a significant change in the price-performance ratio of products. Afterward, following the discovery, an excessive amount of attention follows up to the newly developed technology. Then, It naturally approaches to stable region and starts to disappear in coordination with the new one. These are called the four stages of the technological life cycle. Including additional preliminary stage, the four-stages of the product life cycle are research and development, ascent, maturity, and decline. That is different from the five-stage of the product life cycle, product development, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. The steps mentioned usually occur as s-curves, which is very common in engineering. 
In the figure above, the two axes of the s-curve are business gain and time. Y-axis indicated the net profit of the owner of the technology, while the X-axis indicates the time. Negative net gain turns into positive after the completion of the R&D phase. 

S-Curve of Life Cycle
S-curve in technology initiates with the development (R&D). In the development phase, the sole cash flow is negative. Once the R&D ends, companies start to turn around their own business. Typically, a non-linear sudden increase characterizes the ascent. This rapid change boosts the technology kickoff charming new customers. Later on, technology reaches its climax and classified as a well-known mature technology. Through the end of the life cycle, a new technology arises or customer needs change. Thus technology will decline and abandoned like as not. 

Technology Adoption Life Cycle
Technology adoption is the main factor that dictates the shape of the curve. The intensity of the consumption categorized into 5 stages. The first stage of the technological adoption of the life cycle is composed of innovators. This is followed by the early adopters. Then the early majority, late majority, and the laggards respectively. These are the sociological groups based on their time of interest to the technology.
While the innovators are the risk-oriented people, laggards are conservative people in terms of new technology. Technology adoption s-curve is normally distributed. Furthermore, the interventions among the groups identify how much the technology withstands and keeps its place within the industry.
To sum up, they are useful to estimate the life-span of the technology until a new one arises. Also, TLC is a must to determine the product life cycle. The life cycle of any technology may be represented via s-curves and follows the four fundamental stages.It is just like human-being experiences in their whole life from birth to death. 


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