The convergence of digital forces such as social media, mobility, analytics, and cloud computing is driving transformation across industries as well as in our personal lives. As the world increasingly becomes hyper-connected with real-time information, the digital forces are redefining the very nature of products and what they can help accomplish.
These next generation products are intuitive, and possess the ability to express and monitor themselves. They are more connected and adaptive to their dynamic operating environment, thereby continually enhancing customer experience and adding value across the product life cycle.
The disruptive impact of digital technologies is such that product manufacturers are re-evaluating their core competencies, establishing new business models and strengthening customer relationships to stay relevant and competitive. Developing profitable products is no longer just about achieving supremacy in customer experience and product excellence, but also about ensuring efficiency through the entire lifecycle of the product. Manufacturers need to embrace digital technologies to reimagine the very concept of a product. Most industries are already reinventing their products in light of the disruption caused by digital forces, such as two examples of these ‘changing product scenarios’ below.
- Connected Cars: Customers Seek Experience Over and Above Usability
The automotive industry has been at the forefront of adopting digital technologies to change the future of transportation. Automobile is gradually evolving into a ‘comp-mobile’ – a computer on wheels. Disruptive digital technologies are enabling cars to connect not only with their own components but also with other cars, paving the way for autonomous vehicles.
- Intelligent Drilling: Increased Focus on Enhancing Performance Across the Product Lifecycle
Complexities in the drilling process abound, hence a real-time view of all parameters, and their interplay, is of vital importance to the field personnel. Advanced machinery, equipped with embedded smart sensors, bring in enhanced intelligence across the drilling systems.
Reimagining Product Development Imperatives
Apart from meeting core imperatives such as function, performance, cost, and quality, long-term success in the digital era hinges on the ability to reimagine the product development process. This involves a revamp of processes, systems, and tools throughout the product development lifecycle, along with comprehensively addressing the growing security concerns in a hyper-connected world.
The key product development imperatives in the digital world, are:
- Harnessing global wisdom to redefine product innovation and produce customer-centric products at a faster pace
- Practicing inter-disciplinary product development to develop smarter products for enhanced customer value and experience
- Closed-loop approach to ensure feedback is captured and incorporated effectively, thus improving service excellence and resulting in smarter product development
- Addressing security concerns arising from increased interactions across devices
It is crucial that organizations revisit and reimagine their product concepts and product development processes to enhance customer experience and drive efficiencies across the lifecycle. Adoption and absorption of digital technologies, organizational change management to eliminate siloed operations, and staying ahead of the curve in innovation, are becoming key priorities for businesses today.
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