Digital Product Development for the Digital Economy

29 April 2020
6 min read

The digital economy is continuing to flourish, as technology develops and every aspect of business operation from development, to manufacturing, to product delivery is growing increasingly digitised. The digital economy, however, carries with it a weight of expectation from customers – they’re constantly expecting faster, more efficient, and more reliable experiences from all manner of products they interact with.

This means that digital product development becomes an essential consideration.

The General Impact of the Digital Transformation

Market dynamics, processes, and procedures are constantly changing and developing as a result of the ongoing digital transformation that they’re experiencing. Many companies feel that their current business model simply won’t remain economically viable if they don’t change and update their processes.

Thomas Siebel in a piece for McKinsey Quarterly stated that since the year 2000, 50% of Fortune 500 companies had experienced a takeover, acquisition, or had been forced to declare bankruptcy. This has come about because other companies in the marketplace are simply outperforming them, offering customers the buying and product experience they demand, leaving many companies behind. “The causal factor,” Siebel posed, “is digital transformation.”

The process has led to a period of consistently accelerating customer demand and expectations. Customers want new, better products on a consistent basis, and they aren’t willing to wait for them. From a supplier perspective, more accessible technology has provided a lower barrier to entry for new competitors – this means the status quo is challenged by hungry upstarts willing to offer customers exactly what they want.

The Mounting Pressure on R&D Groups

This changing situation has manifested in considerable and ever-growing pressure on research & development teams to consistently establish an update a brand new range of products and experiences. Product lines need to regularly change, develop, and improve, yet many businesses are not taking a modern approach.

These organisations still use the near-sighted mindset of research & development as a slow and lengthy process. It means that in some cases a competitor will have developed and brought three iterations of a product to market in the same time the company taking the “old fashioned” approach has managed just one.

Common sense dictates, and research bears it out, that a modern approach in reaction to encroaching digital transformation is essential for any company to compete in the current marketplace.

What Exactly is Digital Product Development?

We’ve spoken about the importance of digital product development in the face of the changing market spectrum, but what actually is it?

Digital product development is, quite simply, the use of specially-engineered software to drive user experience or the user journey within an organisation. It incorporates a range of agile and fluid development methodologies to develop and deliver products at a speed which satisfies the market demand. It also incorporates regular testing and multiple iterations of product life-cycles, while allowing for stakeholder input and ongoing development.

Product development teams, regardless of the nature of their industry, generally need to master solutions to the three following challenges:

  • Developing highly innovative, integrated, consistent, connective and customer-focused products, services, and solutions.
  • Driving ongoing efficiency and the digitisation of the core digital product development and engineering process.
  • Integration of appropriate product development and engineering departments into an agile and flexible partner ecosystem.

Key Benefits of the Digital Product Development Process

The key goal of any product development process is to establish a product that customers are keen to integrate and use as much as possible in their daily lives. For maximum convenience and usability, that product has to use the very best technology available, and be designed with modern principles. One of digital product development’s core benefits is that it, by definition, already uses the very best of available modern technology during the product’s development process. This means a more usable and desirable end product in the eyes of consumers.

Another key benefit is something all businesses should aspire to with any process – it’s scalable. As user needs and requirements develop, and software availability and capability develops, digitally designed products do so in kind. This makes it much more achievable for businesses of all sizes to keep continually updating and developing their products with new features and improvements, in line with changing customer requirements.

A PWC Report estimates that digital product development offers 19% increased efficiency, 17% reduced time-to-market, and 13% reduction in production costs over a five year period.

A Necessary Change of Ethos, Approach, and Understanding

Digitisation has brought with it a range of new products, consumers, and manufacturers – this means the marketplace is more competitive than ever before. Traditional NPD (New Product Development) processes have been heavily disrupted, and aren’t going to return to what was previously considered normal.

As such, businesses of all kinds must take this as an opportunity, rather than a hurdle to be overcome. A chance to develop exciting new products, expand the business, and reach all new consumers.

Thriving with the Services Offered by Tmob

Companies of all sizes must now think about their approach to digital product development as a response to the increasing digitisation of the marketplace. It’s essential to develop and implement some kind of process, but the wrong processes can be just as, or even more, damaging than none at all.

This is where we at Tmob comes in. We have extensive experience in all matters relating to the development and implementation of digital product development procedures across a range of businesses.

We’ll work with you to identify where exactly improvements can be made, before helping you to draft achievable and affordable paths to reaching your goals. We will be on hand to make sure you understand the necessities of digital product development, as well as helping you to make your current production paths more suitable to customer needs.

Whether your business has been established for a century or for a week, there are things you could be doing to implement and establish a digital product development system tailored to the demands of the market. Tmob is here to help you achieve it – so contact us today.

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