The Connected Enterprise as a Cure for Organizational Myopia

At The Optometrist (Norman Rockwell, 1956)

Does Your Product Organization Suffer from Myopia?

You may not be aware of it, but your product organization may be suffering from acute myopia. Once the product is sold or installed in the field, product management lose sight of its performance, how users are interacting with it, and how well it meets customer expectations and business portfolio and market targets.

To be sure, your organization probably does hear back from customers from time to time. But when it does happen, it is usually bad news: customer complaints, excessive warranty claims, and costly replacements and repairs.

The Connected Enterprise

The industrial Internet of Things and its surrogate, the Digital Twin—a digital model that is constantly interacting with actual products, monitor their operation and user interactions—give product organizations an unprecedented ability to collect, organize, and analyze information from products and business activities, and curate and deliver deep and rich insight about all aspects of a product value chain.

The digitalization of the value chain radically redefines how well we understand current products and customers, and how we use this insight to accelerate innovation and develop new products and services.

Even more profound, is the ability to incorporate the feedback and insight garnered from humans through various interactions and social media. Still underutilized by many product companies and brand owners, not only does this human-generated IoT data offer early warning signs and ongoing feedback about product failures and quality, but it also offers an unvarnished eye-opening testimonial about general attitudes towards product features and usability, and the strength of the brand.

Always-connected products and customers provide a broad and deep insight, in real time if needed, across multiple markets, product configurations, and customer groups.

A New generation of PLM capabilities

The pace of new product introductions and technology adoption is accelerating, demanding that product organizations act faster and more precisely in response to changes in market conditions, new competitors, and enabling technologies that constantly threaten market position.

The simplistic innovation funnel paradigm used by most, if not all, product organizations isn’t sufficient in an era where market conditions change so rapidly. All too often, product innovation, design changes and product enhancements are based on partial and possibly biased information and are frequently predisposed to subjective human interpretation, a “not invented here” attitude, internal bickering, and turf wars.

Your product organization does not have a true and complete view of your product and how customers are using it. Product organizations must counterbalance the market myopia and internal biases that blindside their ability to innovate effectively and efficiently.

The product organizations must have access to timely, rich, multidisciplinary context that represents the complete state of the product, including reliability and performance, service operations, and other lifecycle activities. To enable this visibility, product lifecycle information must be comprehensive and up-to-date, and is structured and presented in a way that multiple stakeholders from various disciplines and value-chain activities can comprehend it and utilized it accurately and efficiently.

Let’s Put the ‘L’ Back In PLM

Despite the well-intentioned capital ‘L’ of PLM, many product companies do not actually exercise product lifecycle management, at least not effectively.  Limited understanding of downstream lifecycle activities, especially post manufacturing, hinders the ability to use PLM software for true lifecycle management and powerful software is reduced to a PDM and engineering change management system.

Connected products offer visibility and insight that most organizations never had before, curated from machine-generated IoT data, coupled with connected users and social media interactions, and augmented with a broad technological and business context extracted from ERP.

The connected enterprise enables a new level of PLM capabilities that support a robust culture and effective process to manage a broad range of multidisciplinary product information throughout the product’s design, operation, and decommissioning and recycling phases. Aided by the IoT and the digital twin, PLM forms a robust unified framework for all product related decisions, and an opportunity for product companies to get greater value from their PLM software.

Join me at the Kalypso and Oracle Spring Technology Innovators Mixer & Golf on March 15 to continue this conversation.


Image:At The Optometrist (Norman Rockwell, 1956)