The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Service centric innovation – does it require a change in thinking?

 

SaaS.pngI was just in a stimulating discussion with a co-worker preparing to be part of a panel (that ISSIP is hosting) and looking at the question:

“Most product companies are making a shift from product-centric business models to more service-centric business models?  How does this impact your innovation ecosystem and how can entrepreneurs leverage this trend?”

 

This question seems to be based on the foundation that companies that may be product centric don’t understand services. I don’t actually see this as true. Almost all companies get a significant amount of value from service activities and innovation, even if it is just servicing and maintaining their products. The day of throwing the product out the door and checking the transaction complete are over.

 

In fact the whole IoT phenomenon is based on adding services to devices, whether it is your TV now being able to download content or your thermostat managing temperature based on how the environment around it is being used – these are all services – and IoT will have significant implications.

 

Now I do think there is a fundamental question about how much the context and culture of the companies has changed and if a company’s (or IT’s) approach to innovation has shifting. Since almost everyone lives in a consumer-oriented lifestyle, service innovation has been creeping into our thoughts and expectations for a very long time.

 

We have all this talk about digital natives and digital companies maybe that is all misplaced and we should be looking at it from a services impact and futures perspective. It is not that companies are becoming digital – it is that they are being more services oriented and in the process, hunger for greater information and action.

 

The multi-dimensional value of IoT

dimensions.pngThe value and inevitable nature of the Internet of Things can be hard to quantify.

 

It has value in the vertical dimension based on what it can do for a particular industry. For example being able to understand the materials on hand, the machine capability and performance and the product location all can fit together to provide much greater insight. This is one of the reasons the manufacturing industry was an early adopter of IoT techniques.

 

From a breadth perspective, we’re seeing more devices with connectivity as well as more wearables and other ways to communicate. I can easily see a day where my oven reminds me of a meals status much more effectively than the kitchen timer. Or even the act of entering the garage can get dinner started because that’s what would be next on my agenda. Essentially it leads to a much broader range of devices working in collaboration to meet my needs.

 

In a depth sense, various devices that are doing their own thing, for their own reasons can provide a much greater contextual depth of understanding that any single view could provide. This is where the contextual understanding that is derived from multiple pieces of information comes into play.

 

I am sure there are more dimensions beyond these three… What are they for you?

 

New retail e-zine

 

retail e-zine.jpgHP Enterprise Services continues to create e-zines on a number of industries like banking, automotive, … We just released a new e-zine focused on consumer/retail. The topics being covered are:

  • The future of consumer industries: agility in a fast-paced world
  • Grow globally and profitably in a consumer-centric world
  • Coca-Cola® gets personal with HP Indigo digital technology
  • Increase speed, productivity and agility through transformation
  • Mary Kay successfully builds a mobility platform in China
  • Create, manage, and expand thriving brand categories
  • Avon Cycles Ltd. improves supplier management with SAP HANA
  • Regulatory compliance and overcoming risks
  • Brady Corporation helps stop the spread of counterfeit products

Also included is a 'meet the experts' (Lawrence Guevel, Tony Galli, Michael Donovan) to provide a little context for some of those focused on this space.

 

Another Internet of Things Example of Something We Didn’t Know We Needed…

coffee.gifIEEE Spectrum had a post earlier this month about the Vessyl, a drinking cup with enough sensing to recognize the contents (at the molecular level). Sure it is expensive right now, but in technology it has only one way its price can go – down.

 

It is an example of the ideas discussed previously about what you can do when your IoT environment knows both the context of what is happening and your desires. For some people, it may seem like a bad thing to be told they are drinking too much caffeine or sugar, for others (with high blood pressure or diabetes) it can be an important part of sticking to their plan.

 

We are in a world of an ever increasing number of choices that can help us do what we want. The possibilities opening up around us, if we want to look for them. Cups are just the start...

Labels: Context| Future| IEEE| IoT| Sensing

A tool for innovative change – peer coaching

cooperation2.pngI was reading a post titled: Peer Coaching as a Tool for Culture Change, in the context of the post on innovative change I made last week and technical leadership in general. In the article it states:

“Given the complex nature of global organizations today, as well as their growing reliance on full-hearted engagement of human talent, culture is increasingly recognized as the nub of challenges resistant to logistical fixes.”

 

Although the article states that “peer coaching was most widely used by educators”, it has been part of my career almost since its inception. The constant reinforcement of goals, initiatives and personal responsibility are essential to getting a group to all row in the same direction. As organizations increase their span of control between the formal leaders and the individuals, spreading change reinforcement across the technical leadership is important – coaching both down and up the organization.

 

The technical changes underway (based on an abundance of IT capabilities) are facilitating a quite different world than just a few years ago, so a range of techniques will be needed for the culture to embrace them. Sure some of the same issues exist and the same solutions will work, but there are new options and an ever changing diverse set of perspectives and techniques will be required. Tapping into that diversity is one of the side benefits of this kind of peer coaching, since the bi-directional sharing of ideas is at its core.

 

What tools do you think are underutilized to enable change? Who have you talked to about this gap?

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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