Innovation has been an integral part of business. It doesn’t matter which industry you belong to, innovation is something that sets a business apart from the crowd. The ability of introducing new products/services can be one of the most valuable things that a business can do. All the organizations that have been successful have something in common, they have all invested in innovation. When companies invest in this key enabler, it results in a massive growth.
Now, make an assumption that all the companies are investing in product innovation acknowledging the fact that it is a must have factor for sustainability, then why is it that there are still some laggards in the market place? The answer to this is simple, the speed at which an innovation is taken into the market defines a company’s success. It is extremely hard for companies to retain innovative differentiating aspects of their products for a long time.
Although, STM (speed to market) is the popular mantra across the industry, companies are still struggling to achieve the desired product development outcomes because of talent shortage, complex processes, outdated technology and data limitations. One of the biggest challenges in attaining STM is the lack of a consistent approach to the product management. Instability in approaches along with an ineffective collaboration between the operating units and the geographies leads to product proliferation. This thereby shoots up maintenance cost for both IT as well as the business. Some of the leading companies have a disciplined approach when it comes to the product lifecycle management, they proactively engage the right people at the right times and effectively monitor the performance of the product portfolio and the product development teams.
Speed to market – Why is it such a critical factor in the innovation process?
- Almost every innovation process of the current era is technology dependant. Technological changes are happening at a rapid pace, therefore if you are not innovating at speed, technological changes can hamper your innovation process
- All the competitors are investing major chunk of their money in innovation and there are some serious chances that the delay in converting your idea into product will place them ahead of your company
- The premium pricing of innovation process is shrinking each day. Once it becomes a common marketplace technique, it would not yield incremental returns
How can you accelerate STM for innovation?
Integrating Business with Innovation
Most often, innovation centers are operated in silos. Some of the critical business functions rarely participate in the innovation process and the pressure to prove the investment in innovation is most often confined to smaller groups. This brings down a firm’s risk appetite and slows down speed to market. Involvement and participation from various teams of a company will help in faster STM.
Setting Revenue Targets
Setting revenue targets for the innovation team is not considered as an innovative process. If you do not have a target set for monetary terms, then nothing actually works in business. All innovations will be inherently linked to a business model. It becomes imperative that business is able to measure the success of innovation investments in terms of the returns that it provides. This will most certainly inspire the faster pace of Speed to market
Except for the core innovation process areas, all other aspects around the speed to market can be outsourced. The task of Identifying a target customer segment for launching a product and the promotion of channels can all be outsourced. Developing a supporting partner for helping in launching innovation will certainly propel the STM.
Create Pilots Ready Markets/Customers
After being in the business for quite some time, one must have created a segment of customers or markets, where the innovation can be piloted with a certain level of risk. These customer groups can also come up as co-innovators for you over a period of time, thereby sharing the risk and rewards involved in this investment.
A company’s ability to propel the speed to market for innovations will be a key distinguisher in the marketplace at present. It will also ascertain as to how efficiently the investment in the innovations are managed. Leading business owners and technology professionals must collaborate and build a platform for achieving speed to market aspirations as part of the core systems programs. By just performing a “pick and shift” of product information from legacy environment limits the potential benefits from the technology investments. In order to become much more nimble in the marketplace, companies will have to create a framework, which balances consistency and also flexibility in product management, starting from the designing stage through deployment of the products.