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Issue N° 575 - August 1, 2014

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Taiwan urged to integrate technology strength, services

Taipei, March 14 (CNA) Taiwan holds technological advantages over its competitors, but the future trend lies in integrating technology with services, Hung Shih-chang, president of the Taiwan Academy of Management, said Wednesday.

Taiwan’s technology strength is known to the world, but to take this strength to the next level, it must integrate technology with services, Huang said ahead of the upcoming International Association for Management of Technology (IAMOT) conference.

The conference, titled “Managing Technology-Service Convergences in the Post-Industrialized Society,” is scheduled to be held March 18-22 in Hsinchu, northern Taiwan.

Huang, who will chair the conference, said, for example, that the Eslite Bookstore and the Wang Steak steakhouse both provide “excellent services” due to strong logistics technology.

Chang Yuan-chieh, a professor at National Tsing Hua University and organizer of the conference, said such integration comes in four dimensions: managing technology and service integration; the “servitization” of technology; technology-enabled services; and service innovation.

The term “servitization” has been coined in the management literature to define the higher service component in today’s products.

Cloud computing, a type of technology-enabled services, and telemedicine, which enables clinical health care to be provided from a distance, are two promising niches, he said.

Airport check-in services provided at the Taoyuan station of the Taiwan High Speed Rail, he went on, is a form of service innovation that combines air traffic services with road transport, he said.

Chang also noted that the research and development budget of Taiwan’s service sector accounted for only 8 percent of the overall national R&D budget, a sign that limited efforts are being devoted to R&D in the sector.

He also noted that there is no local index available to gauge the level of innovation in the service sector.

Technological innovation is protected by patents, but innovations in the service sector are often easily duplicated, he continued.

Despite measures such as continuous updating of software and hard-to-copy designs that could deter copycats, more can still be done to provide protection for innovations in the service sector, he said.

The IAMOT was founded in 1992 in Florida to act as an information exchange hub on teaching and research issues in the management of technology.

The association has approximately 670 active members from 79 countries.

(By Huang Yen-yu and Ann Chen)

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