The CTO's guide to conducting a Technology Gap Analysis

S01 Technology Gap Analysis

© 7CTOs, Inc. | From the 7CTOs Da Vinci CTO Innovation Curriculum | Author(s): Etienne de Bruin & Michael Saul | Version: 01 | Release date: Feb 2015


Technology Strategy within a company is a plan of action designed to utilize technology in order to achieve company goals.  The ability to devise a rich and comprehensive plan begins with gaining insight into the current state of technological affairs as a solution set to customer pain in the company’s target market.


Educate and train CTOs in a mechanism for doing a technology gap analysis.


The Insight Paradox

The Insight Paradox states that people who know a lot about a situation are great at getting the job done according to the rules, but not so great for creating better rules.  In order to gain insight into our current technology we will be wise as CTOs to introduce diversity into our discovery process in order to be guided by possibilities instead of the safety and comfort of habits. (from Max Mckeown's Book: The Innovation Book)

The CTO’s role in gaining market insight

A CTO needs to understand how their technology is solving market pain.  It is not up to the CMO or Marketing VP to educate them on which technology should solve market pain.  While it is true that every person has opinions on how problems should be solved, in a healthily functioning company, the CTO should be at the top of their game when it comes to matching which product, feature or technology addresses the respective market pain.  A CTO is always on the look out for new problems to solve using technology.

Max Mckeown, speaks about Adaptability: The Art of Winning. Mckeown is author of several books including "The Strategy Book" and "The Truth About Innovation". He is an inspirational, though provoking speaker and expert. He consults with the best companies in the world.

The Saul & de Bruin Diverse Insight Method

The “Saul & de Bruin Diverse Insight Method” for Technology Gap Analysis aims to gather the most prominent information from the most diverse group of people.

Create 30 cards that look like this:

Hand 3 cards out to the 5 people you interact the most with in your company.

Hand 3 cards out to 5 people you have little to no interaction with in your company.

You now have 30 cards out in the wild for which you hopefully get 30 back completed with the questions completed.

7CTOs Forum Discussion

Have two members turn to each other.  Have one member describe the problem their company solves but do not go into HOW the problem gets solved.  The other member should write down on a piece of paper which technologies they would suggest they use to solve their technology problem.  Do this for all members in the forum.  At the end of the exercise each member will have 6 suggestions for which technologies to use in order to solve their customer pain.