IT- Enabled Products and Services
Roundtable on Digital Strategies • Cleveland, OH • Hosted by Eaton June 4, 2013
Sustained revenue growth in any industry requires a steady stream of innovative products and services. However, developing and bringing new products or services to market has become ever more complex, not least because information technology is increasingly embedded in customer products and serving as an enabler of services offered around products (e.g. including monitoring/maintenance services with the sale of major equipment such as GE's jet engine or rail business; Deere's precision agriculture; ZipCar’s model where the app, the vehicle, tracking and billing are a fully integrated system). Additionally, in many markets, customer segments have become increasingly fragmented, which, along with social media, has changed the nature of market research. Product designers, marketers, and manufacturers are usually not in the same building or even organization. More likely, they are spread over several continents in organizations with different cultures, languages, and even business objectives. In this roundtable, we discussed the implications of these changes, focusing especially on the embedding of IT at the core of products and services and what this means for product development and IT. Specifically, we sought to answer such questions as:
- What effects are the ubiquity of information technologies in all aspects of life having on product and service development at a strategic level?
- What are the fundamental forces driving change in the product and services development processes? Is “mobile/mobility” one of them? If so, how?
- Does IT in products inherently enable the development of more services around them?
- What are the primary challenges for your organization in managing product/service development today (portfolio management, product/service development planning, product/service development execution, external collaboration)?
- How to do you leverage learning between product/service development groups and corporate IT? Are companies splitting technology and tech organizations between corporate IT and product technology? Or are companies integrating product technologies with internal platforms; if so, is this driving customer level reliability/usability into corporate IT?
- What is the business impact of the continued trend towards the “internet of things” driven by machine-to-machine (M2M) communications?
- How do you use corporate or other data to support IT-enabled products/services?
- What is the role of external partners in new product/service generation? What can they bring to the table that is hard to get from inside the organization? More tech savvy?
- As companies increasingly compete on an integrated value chain from supplier to product to services supporting the product, will this drive companies to convergence of technology organizations even if it hasn’t thus far?
- What does it all mean for organizational and talent development?