This blog highlights some of the themes that are intersecting today within large organizations as part of digital transformation, namely how innovation and technology can come together to create new value for manufacturers in the service lifecycle to deliver to customers.
Innovation is a popular word in technology and business circles that has great significance but is often misused and even downright misunderstood. Merriam-Webster defines innovation as "the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods." Sounds simple. But, as large organizations know all too well, finding the best way to inspire, nurture, and perpetuate an environment of innovation that delivers value to customers, employees, and shareholders is extremely difficult.
In the face of digital disruption and an unprecedented pace of technology change, global business leaders are being called upon to address business challenges with innovation. Today, nothing is off limits for innovations, whether they address products, services, operations, or other functional areas within an organization. At IDC, we've been talking about the technology innovation accelerators that support the imperative to digitally transform the organization. Definitionally, our innovation accelerators include six technologies that are fundamentally changing the way businesses deliver value to their constituents. They are Augmented and Virtual Reality, 3D printing, Cognitive Systems, Internet of Things, Next-gen Security, and Robotics, and they empower many of the innovation projects at organizations today.
IDC has seen a variety of efforts to foster innovation throughout manufacturing companies. For example, in the automotive industry, there are OEMs that have spun off the groups that are focusing on new services to deliver to consumers, almost into a start-up model that can operate in a more agile and independent fashion. Others have created an innovation group within the wider organization and tasked the group with identifying new services and then pulling together a business case to pitch to senior management for resources. And still others, including companies that supply everything from components to finished goods, are creating innovation centers that demonstrate their technology-driven capabilities that can support innovation for their customers. Facilitating each of these approaches is an agile development environment that supports rapid application prototyping and the use of 3rd Platform technologies, including collaboration tools, cloud, mobile, and data analytics. For subscribers, you can read more about innovation in large enterprises here (see Driving Innovation in Large Enterprises, IDC #US42425117, April 2017).
IDC Manufacturing Insights has advised that manufacturers look to their technology providers for assistance with digital transformation through innovation. While traditional sources include IT services providers and strategic consulting vendors that have COE's around the disruptive technologies that support digital transformation, we are seeing a new breed of innovation partners appear along with new structures and formats. Below are two such examples.
Oracle IDEA: A Co-Innovation Design Engine
Source: IDC Manufacturing Insights, 2017.
At Oracle's recently held Oracle Modern Customer Experience event in Las Vegas in April, Oracle showcased a new group within Oracle with the sole focus of sparking innovation in customer and prospect accounts. Oracle IDEA is a group of pre-engagement practitioners who facilitate a variety of programs and workshops with both Oracle customers and prospects, all centered on supporting the CX innovation journey within an organization. In as little as 12 weeks, Oracle IDEA will lead a group for framing the current situation through ideation, sharing, testing, and scaling a project that delivers measurable business value. An example of the types of new ideas that become offerings is a European smart meter provider that created an "Uber-style" network of registered service technicians that could provide skilled, locally available support on demand for customers. Oracle IDEA is a good example of how to spark service innovation within a larger company. Subscribers can read more about Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2017 here. Below is an image of the type of tool used during an innovation workshop.
Verizon's Digital Experience and Business Innovation
As part of its own digital transformation, Verizon has transitioned from a telecommunications company to a technology company that seeks to enable its customers' digital transformation. In the past five months, Verizon's Digital Experience and Business Innovation team has engaged with over 380 executives within marketing, digital, innovation and business organizations for its large enterprise customers. During the free three-hour Digital Customer Experience Workshop, Verizon walks customers through its five-pillar framework for Digital Experience and identifies opportunities for and barriers to innovation, as well as recommended next steps. Verizon has seen a significant increase in customer engagement and opportunities to help customers with digital transformation initiatives. For example, in automotive, Verizon is working with OEMs to provide in-car infrastructure for broader use of Internet and social media to meet the customer engagement expectations of Millennials, who want converged services as part of their experience with a luxury car brand. Verizon's Digital Experience and Business Innovation team is also working to help companies develop competitive differentiation while monetizing proprietary IoT data.
Both examples above highlight how important it is for technology providers to be part of the service innovation process for their customers. My colleague Jeff Hojlo is researching and advising manufacturing companies from the perspective of their product innovations. Together, product and service innovation are driving business model transformation throughout manufacturing sectors.
Manufacturers that are looking to digitally transform are looking to their trusted vendors to identify opportunities and help deliver value quickly using technology as the underpinning. Have you seen similar examples of innovation workshops that deliver results? Please share them with the community.