Product Innovation Trends

Accelerating Innovation: The New Economic Reality

Jessica Davis | February 10, 2014

The following is first in a series of excerpts from our whitepaper: Better, Smarter Faster: Accelerating Innovation Across The Enterprise.

Change is the only constant in the technology-driven economy, and for organizations that want to stay competitive, product innovation needs to keep pace. What does it take to deliver better products to market sooner? Read this guide
 to get a look at the ways leading companies are accelerating technical advances 
in their organizations. You’ll discover the business benefits of speeding up the 
pace of invention and process improvement, especially when it comes to product development. You’ll also see how businesses failing to transform their approach run the risk of delivering products that their customers don’t want—and that the market no longer needs. Read on to learn about the technology solutions that can enable faster, more disruptive innovations—and get five key recommendations for success.

Fast and Furious: The New Economic Reality

What are the leading factors causing the accelerated pace and relentless drive for innovation across so many industries today? It’s a combination of issues that’s causing many businesses to feel
 like they need to pick up the pace. According
 to a recent survey from Forrester Research, the 
top three drivers for acceleration are the need to reduce costs, improve capabilities, and meet the escalating expectations of customers.

graph-one

The accelerating rate of technology change is also having a significant impact. Look around: Refrigerators are run by software. Watches measure heart rate. Cars drive themselves. Even the vending machines in the break room are equipped with sensors that alert the mother ship when they’re running low on cans of Rockstar. Objects are getting smarter.

According to a recent report on disruptive technologies from the McKinsey Global Institute, there has been a 300% increase in connected machine-to-machine devices over past five years. As software becomes more and more embedded into technology, the rate of innovation accelerates. Software can do so much more, so much faster— and it can also evolve much more rapidly. Think about cars rolling off of computerized assembly lines: software controls the engine, the safety features, the GPS networks, the air conditioning, the windshield wipers. Every day, more features are being developed with software-driven controls.

This new reality means that every large company, across every industry, is becoming a technology company. But many organizations are having a hard time keeping up with the rapidly accelerating pace of change, especially when their teams are working in silos using outmoded systems. Product delivery is plagued by (what should be) preventable delays. In a survey conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of Jama Software, “unclear or changing requirements” was the most common reason cited for product delays.

graph-2

 

This isn’t the way to do business in the new economy. Fortunately, there’s a better way. A way that makes it possible to innovate, and do it faster than the competition. It’s no surprise to see communication issues as well. Reasons such as delayed decisions, coordination problems and shared resource conflicts are preventable, but they happen all the time. In many companies, collaboration only occurs when the right people finally find time in their overscheduled days for a one-hour conference call—and then, half the time is wasted going over why past decisions were made without everyone’s approval.

What does accelerated innovation really mean? There are three dimensions to it:

Getting the Timing Right:

Delivering a product to market sooner than the competition is key to gaining a significant advantage, but ensuring perfect timing is also critical. Sometimes the market isn’t quite ready for the next big idea.

Continually Listening:

Products are designed to meet customer needs. But those needs change, and understanding what customers want today as well as tomorrow is important, as is getting feedback throughout the process.

Taking Incremental Steps:

Spending years to make improvements and releasing big, feature-laden updates, with long periods of silence in between, is a great way to deliver a fantastic product at the wrong time to an audience that’s moved on.

Check back on the blog for the next section of the series or download the complete whitepaper now: Better, Smarter Faster: Accelerating Innovation Across The Enterprise.

  • The new trend in innovation is “acceleration”. The innovator must speed up its innovation cycle to timely deliver to customers needed products. Customers’ needs are also changing fast in a continue dynamic complex system and this will affect the efficient commercialization of innovations.
    There are few corporations and organizations that are adapted to this speed because they have resources and know how and, furthermore, they use their business spinning momentum which makes all their activities to synchronize to this high speed of change. Many more are loosing the battle of staying competitive because they do not own a mechanism to keep them afloat. It is a battle among competitors and this fight will create singularities and not an equitable and collaborative business environment.
    As evolutionary economics says, the best adapted will win and not the needy, developing and emerging entrepreneur. So, I forecast more economic uncertainty, more instability, more failures and less winners.

    The speed of change needs good brakes and sustainable resources all coordinated by a good driver.