By Verl McQueen, product marketing manager at Aras
Much of what has been portrayed in science fiction has become reality. Household robots, push-button food and drink, appliances that we can talk to, wearable telecommunication devices, autonomous vehicles, even hydrogen-powered flying taxis, which are currently in development…ready for test flights as soon as governments offer regulatory approval.
Getting here took fifty plus years of hard work, investment and developing digital tools. Similarly, companies are undergoing digital transformations to control the operational lifecycle of their products and to prepare for the future. They understand that to build more sustainable products, sustain strategic change and generate future business value, they must enable complete information of the end-to-end lifecycle of their products. They must enable a digital thread of actionable data, communicated to internal and external stakeholders throughout the lifecycle.
Along the way there have been failures. According to this Forbes feature, 84% of companies fail at digital transformation.” And in a 2018 McKinsey global survey of 1,733 business executives, only 3% feel they completely succeeded in this respect. In a Harvey Nash study, two thirds of respondents were making technology plans to deal with growing market unpredictability; specifically, they were looking to address unpredictability by “creating a more nimble technology platform.”
Successful innovators understand that owning the lifecycle requires a platform that not only collects, holds and relates data, but generates insights that are immediately accessible, complete, accurate and actionable by those whose job it is to effect improvements and take control of the lifecycle.
What’s more, data and technologies must be able to evolve, to be used in new ways, as a result of the flexible approach of the platform they reside on. For a business to sustain transformation year over year—including the next technology and service innovations that haven’t been realized yet (flying cars, robotic maids)—information and actions must be managed end-to-end across products’ lifecycle on platforms that can continually be added to, adapted, upgraded and evolved to meet the company’s ever-changing strategic needs.
This is no easy task.
Understanding the customer experience, including operational and service data, can support the right strategic choices. Did we build the right product? Do we know what is working and can we make timely and effective changes? Those who anticipate and meet customer needs in new ways, such as identifying and driving trends and improving their offerings, are disruptive and successful. It goes beyond the mere product. While better products can disrupt, better strategies sustain growth. Smart strategies reconfigure business models to benefit the customer and the company. That’s the definition of disruption.
Change is not on the horizon; it is here. Now. Change is causing pain for the ill-prepared and great opportunity for early adopters. Your technology platform must be flexible enough to capture and connect the information about decisions that led to change during your products’ lifecycles. You can only own the future if your platform can configure to the data critical for validating requirements.
Building the future is not for the faint of heart. More importantly, building and prospering in the future is for those who own their products’ lifecycles, who own the complex connections facilitating change, who own the processes, integrations and workflows of a digital thread. They have met the future—they are there!