All human beings, but it seems business leaders in particular, find great discomfort in uncertainty. Uncertainty in the global economy, uncertainty in how new regulations will affect business, uncertainty about what competitors are doing, and uncertainty about how new technology will affect the business—these are just the start of a never-ending list. Failure to strategically FUTUREPROOF your business can end up destroying value.
There is no going back. How companies build products is now affected by an always-on, connected marketplace. This process has been transformed and heavily influenced by technology. It imacts every company and every industry and requires a new digital strategy that secures relevance on the data heavy marketplace.
Enterprise companies are struggling with innovation and a better innovation process is at the top of the agenda for most CEOs, but the idea of a more innovative culture appears too frightening to many. The problem to be solved is how to become more innovative, iterative and agile while still maintaining a system of checks and balances.
A changing regulatory environment is always of concern for companies building life and economy critical products, and is complicating the decision making for nearly all companies today. Developing products, sometimes with multiple iterations, requires meticulous, organized and sustained collaboration, especially when teams are distributed globally. The impact of heavy regulation makes those involved feel like they are on a highway from nowhere to nowhere.
The pace of technological improvement is running at an exponentially increasing rate. Software is driving the charge….can hardware keep up?
The race to stay ahead can get precarious because a competitor may wait for the next-generation technology, which may only be a year away, and then use it to achieve an advantage. Of course waiting to be that competitor can be equally risky.
The collision of hardware and software in an ever-increasingly connected world has caused products to become more complex, even as certain tasks and activities have become easier due to information technology. As complexity grows, the problems it brings can’t be blamed solely on the products, versions or variants being built, but on the ways people work with the tools they inherit, which lead to unstructured communication, misalignment and lack of adoption. The problem is, how to develop better systems-thinking capability so you can design your business models, processes, products and services in a way that minimizes unnecessary complexity.
8. Information Overload
In today’s world nothing is changing more, or growing faster, than information. The ability of companies, much less individuals, to consume and make sense of the information that is available (and necessary) to make good decisions is becoming a nearly insurmountable challenge. The problem to be solved is to deal with this mountain of information with both technology and human know-how, then to convert this information into valuable knowledge.
9. Supply Chains
Because of uncertainty in demand and the need to stay lean, companies are carrying smaller inventories than ever. At the same time, uncertainty in supply, driven by wildly changing commodity prices, an apparent increase in weather-related disruptions, and increasing competition for raw materials makes supply chain planning more challenging than ever. Smaller suppliers that, five years after the global financial crisis, still struggle to get the credit they need to keep up with their larger customers’ demand exacerbates an already unwieldy situation. The problem to be solved is to develop a supply-chain strategy that not only ensures the lowest costs, but also minimizes the risk of crippling supply-chain disruptions. The lack of sophisticated approaches to information acquisition, analysis and the development of unique insight leaves many companies at a disadvantage.
10. Strategic Thinking & Problem Solving
The lack of sophisticated approaches to information acquisition, analysis and the development of unique insight leaves many companies at a disadvantage; they lack a long-term strategic imperative and instead jump from one strategy to the next on a year-to-year basis. To navigate the future, companies must resolve that strategic thinking and problem solving are the keys to successful business, then develop a robust capability at all levels.
If you are facing any of these big problems, or perhaps just realized you didn’t know you actually had them, there is a way to solve them.
BE SMART. SIMPLIFY COMPLEX PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT.