Balancing vision and value
Senior technology leaders–CTOs and executives of Product Development & Engineering—must split their attention between keeping today’s products and services up to date and vibrant as they ideate, design and develop tomorrow’s digital blockbusters and breakthroughs. They must constantly monitor the pace and potential of emerging technologies to ensure their portfolios are balanced correctly–keeping one foot in today and the other in tomorrow. It often seems like an impossible task for an R&D organization to solve for rapid and durable growth, access to new markets and maintain the steady returns of its well established brands or products.
Inescapable disruption of digital
“If you went to bed last night as an industrial company, you’re going to wake up this morning as a software and analytics company” – Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE.
We are entrenched in an era of heightened technology fluidity and turbulence because of digital — driven in large part by the Internet of Things. The game changer for R&D leadership: blurring of the distinctions between products and services so companies can compete on outcomes. The potential to create entirely new and disruptive value propositions exists in every major sector— industrial, consumer, electronics and automotive. Whether that’s building the smart city of tomorrow or participating in the ride ahead for connected vehicles, technology leaders know the stakes are high and their windows of opportunity are narrow to capture profitable growth. They are stymied not only by the usual constraint of incomplete information, but by fundamental changes in what constitutes a “product” and the speed of disruption in markets and industries.
In the background simmers global macroeconomic factors—aging populations, the evolution of emerging markets and the price and availability of oil and other commodities—creating added volatility that impacts economic growth and the pace of organizational change.
Technology Leaders need a strategy—a set of guiding principles—to develop the skills and organizational capabilities to create robust and durable roadmap’s for products and services that take advantage of the Internet of Things.
Pursuing the Idea of Digital Durability
To create robust and durable value from the internet of things, technology leaders need to forestall the next disruption. To do so the R&D organization should pursue a mindset of “digital durability” of their offering roadmaps. A product or service can stand the test of time in unprecedented technology change if it has the following characteristics:
1. Intense Customer Affinity: Smart products and services must be designed to exceed customer expectations, offering richer and deeper experiences that lead to long-term customer relationships.
Example: Intel’s Curie Wearable Platform, Under Armour Health box, Amazon Web Services…
2. Product Development Nimbleness: The R&D organization itself must be able to quickly change direction in the product development process in response to competitive threats, market opportunities, technology change and shifting customer expectations.
Example: AT&T Digital Life, GE Digital, Cisco’s investment in Sensity Smart Lighting, Qualcomm & Intel’s IoT chipset roadmaps…
3. Closed-Loop Upgradability: Value needs to be delivered on software-centric, programmable, and connected platforms developed in an open ecosystem so capability can be quickly launched and enhanced.
Example: Tesla Software Updates, Amazon Echo
4. Innovation Versatility: Emerging regional markets and challenging physical environments offer potential for growth, but demand bold and innovative initiatives.
Example: Inflight Wifi, Google’s Project Loon, Verizon LTE-U Small Cells
Four Technology Strategies for Durable Value
Aricent research has revealed a set of four guiding principles to help technology leaders and R&D organizations maximize customer affinity, product development nimbleness, upgradability, and versatility. The four principles will enable them to align their existing products and services to keep pace with emerging technologies while they develop future products and services that tap the full potential of the intelligent technologies in the New Digital Era:
• Virtualize Everything – from chips to equipment to the customer experience.
• Embrace Unconventional Connectivity – to exploit the potential of IoT devices, the convergence of product and service platforms, and explore human-machine relationships.
• Innovate Beyond the Speed of Things – by moving past Moore’s Law to develop innovative analytics and algorithms, choreograph software and hardware, and apply new design paradigms.
• Drive Smart Outcomes via Smart Services – that deliver new customer experiences and new revenue streams
Checkout our MWC Webinar “Winning Things” — Chief Strategy Officer, Payal Mirakhur and Chief Technology Officer, Walid Negm share insights into how industry pioneers are staying ahead of the R&D curve by pursuing product development approaches for smart and connected products. They cover the four technology strategies for durable value in the internet of things—show how companies that commit their innovation agenda and business strategies to the Internet of Things are poised to succeed.