A product-centric approach wins in today’s digital world

A product-centric approach gives companies the best opportunity to achieve a long-term, self-driven strategy for business innovation and flexibility.

Although economic challenges persist, given the fiercely competitive nature of business today, companies cannot afford to pull back on their digital transformation budgets. The need for speed in delivering positive results and value is paramount, and companies must invest in or continue to explore digital tools and technologies to ensure they keep pace with competitors. This creates a tug-of-war scenario for business leaders as they must reconcile these investment costs and the value generated.

The ever-increasing shift to a digital-first world has intensified the need for sustainable innovation and value realization. Organizations that invest in technology are also aware of the need for rapid and continuous evolution of innovative capabilities. However, as we have seen with many traditional businesses going digital, the keys to unlocking sustainable innovation have been elusive. In setting the pace of disruptive innovation, digital natives have stolen a march on executives struggling to keep up.

Inhibitors of sustainable innovation and value flow

The main advantage for digital natives is that they are true blue tech companies from the start. Their systems and processes are equipped to handle new product launches at a rapid clip while continuously looping in product improvements based on customer or market feedback.

This is the essence of sustainable innovation, driven by customer centricity and agility, where a company can develop and bring to market a single product, capability or service at the required speed. At the same time, they can continuously improve or even sunset it at the right time.

In contrast, traditional companies are often disadvantaged by not having this type of environment, the agility and ability to leverage the ecosystems that make sustainable innovation a reality.

While these companies are going digital in parallel, they struggle with fragmented value chains and disjointed and disjointed functions with little or no alignment between business, technology, and customer needs. As a result, there is no unified framework they can rely on to collaborate and quickly turn ideas into innovative solutions and maintain a steady flow of business and value.

Additionally, product development itself is run from a project perspective where the teams that helped build the product are not the teams that help maintain and monitor its performance. Further communication is hampered in the absence of a channel to capture user insights or market and technology reviews that will inform future improvements. In the organizational culture, there is no mechanism that can foster continuous thinking about product improvement or innovation. Externally, too, they need access to a strong partner ecosystem to provide accessible solutions and accelerate their innovation.

In light of these challenges, many traditional companies have taken the agile and DevOps path to accelerate product development and innovation. However, there is still often insufficient alignment between business and technology organizations, with the latter driving adoption without buy-in from other key functions. Even in the IT organization, adoption is not uniform, there is no synergy between teams, which is essential for a successful product launch. Despite engineering being able to significantly keep up with the pace of product releases, business cannot see the real value.

See also: 4 Tech Solutions That Help SMBs Grow

Advantages of a product-oriented approach to development

There is a clear message for the C-Suite in traditional companies to change the operating model and find a modern approach that allows maximizing the potential of Agile-DevOps, turning the product journey into an engine for growth and organizational paths. opens up for sustainable innovation. .

As confirmed by industry research, more senior executives in companies are seriously evaluating the merits of a product-led organization to leverage Agile-DevOps in order to deliver optimal results.

One of the biggest advantages of product-oriented development is that it removes the limitations of the cost- and time-bound model and project-oriented outputs to focus on business results. Rooted in the principles of design thinking and supported by advanced technologies, the human experience becomes the axis around which the product development strategy is woven. Companies will benefit from enterprise-wide technology adoption and can encourage a lateral thinking mentality in product development. Overall, this is a much-needed mindset shift achieved by improved interoperability and greater alignment of business and IT functions, leading to agility, cohesive operations, and increased business value.

A final word about product-oriented thinking

Today’s big environmental and digital needs are not going away anytime soon. To stay relevant, most companies are banking on microservices technology frameworks, API-first, cloud-native and headless principles, and handpicked technologies that can power their adoption of Agile and DevOps. But even this strategy falls short of extracting the full potential of Agile-DevOps because of the remaining challenges it fails to address.

A product-centric approach gives companies the best chance to emerge on the other side of these challenges with a self-driven long-term strategy for business innovation and flexibility. The main reason is that it requires an organizational shift from discrete functions to interconnected value streams and a cultural shift from project thinking to product thinking. Only then can it mobilize a unified team with an organization-wide view of customer needs and shared ideas to define a roadmap for sustainable innovation.

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