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Innovation Management, Product Portfolio Management

Digital Transformations Are Crucial to Optimizing Innovation Value

Take a closer look at how digital transformations can help get high-value innovations to market faster.

Published By Monica Ortiz
Digital Transformations Are Crucial to Optimizing Innovation Value

Speed in delivering high-value innovations is a critical differentiator that can make or break companies. According to a Boston Consulting Group report, companies prioritizing innovation—arriving first to market with new and relevant ideas—outperform the MSCI World Index on shareholder return by 3.3 percentage points per year. 

As technologies evolve and disruptions become an ever-growing presence of the business landscape, one of the best ways to improve the quick delivery of high-value innovations is by embracing digital transformation concepts in product development. For example, in a Planview discussion with Dr. Robert Cooper, he explains how several companies during the pandemic used “lean development” and digital transformation to maximize value while minimizing costs. 

However, it is essential to remember that digital transformation is not only about adopting new tools. Organizations that embrace the concept of digital transformation as a way of thinking about and executing innovation—with the support of better, more connected tools—can bring new products to market faster and ensure those products deliver value.

To demonstrate this perspective of digital transformation as a mindset and application to speed high-value innovation, this blog outlines a handful of crucial transformative processes and functions that can help your organization identify the right innovations and fly them to market. 

Digital Transformations Through the Lens of Innovation

Research from McKinsey suggests that digital transformations focus on specific domains, two of which are processes and functions—how to choose the right innovations and bring those products to market faster and more efficiently. 

At Planview, we talk about data-driven transformation in terms of the internal systems, processes, and operations that enable intelligence and action. Transformation is about ensuring your organization has the right mentality and supporting solutions to stay on the pathway of continuous innovation.

For example, during turbulent market times, embracing digital transformations can help you manage your product portfolio by supporting better decision-making, reducing risk exposure, and innovating products with the highest ROI. Digital transformation can also optimize innovation value by helping organizations show concrete progress and report on strategy realization

Procedural Digital Transformation for Speed and Value

Think about how your organization chooses what to innovate on. Where do ideas come from? How do you pick the right ones?

The expansion of crowdsourcing ideas, internally and externally, is a process concept borne from digital transformation. With a digital platform to help quickly gather and manage that feedback, you can confidently answer these questions. Now that you have a more comprehensive funnel for ideas, cloud-based innovation management software can act as a hub for managing and distilling that data and ensuring its integration into every innovation stage. This digitally transformative process now sets the stage for a more seamless product development process.

Some other ways innovation management software can be used to identify ideas that offer greater value at the top of the funnel include:  

  • Using real-world sourcing integrations that ensure ideas are aligned with product priorities 
  • Centralizing all innovation activity into one machine learning-powered data model
  • Building out of collaborative workflows that advance the strongest ideas quickly
  • Leveraging direct connections from innovation management workflows to innovation portfolios for scenario planning
  • Analyzing product portfolios to make better portfolio decisions and drive innovation where it’s already thriving

The Distribution Solutions sector of ABB Electrification offers a wonderful case study of transformative processes. As a market leader in power grids and power supply products, ABB found digital transformation key to keeping a healthy supply of various products and components on the market simultaneously. By transforming vital processes, they vastly improved product investment planning and aligned the planning perspective with market requirements, introducing a continuous planning process.

This digital process showed which products were worth investing in and which should be shelved. It also saved time in the evaluation of projects, streamlined approval processes for project proposals, and resulted in better project prioritization.

Functional Digital Transformations for Innovation Speed and Value

In addition to transforming processes, digital transformation can fuel innovation with functionality that increases product development speed and helps identify areas for adding value. For example, innovation management software can create templated ranking systems that help quickly identify innovations for R&D functions.

Some of the most powerful functions of a digital-forward innovation management solution can be derived from automation capabilities that add speed, efficiency, and accuracy to repetitive work. Automation can also be used to quickly share information between cross-functional teams, significantly cutting down product development time by reducing the possibility of miscommunication.

In addition, organizations can use automation data output to collect business insights helpful in making improvements. These performance evaluations can coincide via different techniques, ensuring a broader information set from which function leaders can make informed decisions.

Digital transformation can also benefit marketing functions, such as sentiment analysis capabilities that can quickly quantify SME and campaign engagement reactions. 

How Digital Transformation Helps Companies Innovate with Both Speed and Accuracy

Embracing a culture and way of working that actively integrates digital transformation into your product development processes and functions is crucial to ensuring high-value innovation at optimal speeds. And it is not a one-and-done checkbox. Continuous improvements in identifying innovation value and the rate at which those products are delivered require that digital transformation be a constant part of your new product development mindset.

Download our product portfolio management buyer’s guide to learn what to look for in a solution that will help your team embrace digital transformation to speed the right products to market continuously. 

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Written by Monica Ortiz

Monica is a leader in Product Marketing, responsible for the Planview Product Portfolio Management solution focused on solving portfolio problems through software. With experience at start-ups and large enterprises, she is passionate about transformations of organizations using agile processes and innovative, strategic approaches, ensuring our teams help customers continue to evolve how they plan and get work done.