IoT, Technology and Digitization

Start with the customer experience and work back towards the technology

CSA Study on technology & ServitisationThis excellent piece of research from the Cambridge Service Alliance ‘Future Technologies in Servitisation’ found from a survey of Capital Equipment Manufacturers and academics, that the five most important technologies that will support Servitization  based business models are:

  • Predictive analytics to predict specific failure modes.
  • Remote communications to adjust/fix products remotely.
  • Consumption monitoring to create customer-specific service offerings.
  • Pushing information to employees or customers via mobile platforms
  • It is incumbent upon manufacturing managers to assess the individual value of these technologies, and other highly ranked technologies,
 The report stressed that it is important to assess the individual value of these technologies and that this is particularly important, as the adoption of many technologies is dependent on lengthy organisational transformations.

The research findings also suggest that such an evaluation may be challenging for many organisations, as there is strong evidence that Equipment Manufacturers lag in their adoption of technologies.

Interestingly, the research revealed the primary drivers motivating technology adoption. New and increased revenue is a primary objective for CEMs, even outweighing the motivation to employ technologies to create cost reductions. Beyond generating revenues, however, there was a desire to improve contract design and generate business models to support service revenues.

Another important message from the study is that successful business transformation is essential. Organisational change, the internal mindset and culture, risk and organisational infrastructure must be aligned to allow for the full employment of a technology. Organisations need to align their products, technologies, operations, and supply chain to provide a new service. It is this alignment process that is likely to cause a lag in the adoption of technology.

It is this last point which I see as the most important. In truth the technologies we are talking about have been around for along time. So the biggest challenge is not the technology itself, but creating a culture and alignment which starts with the customers business processes and needs, then works back to the enabling technologies. As Steve Jobs said:

‘You have got to start with the customer experience and work back towards the technology – not the other way round’

As we read the many articles and predictions about the IoT and the power of analytics, dashboards etc, many of us would do well to remember these wise words of experience.

To read the full CSA report see this link

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