RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Products are becoming software-driven, smart and connected, enabling new value propositions for makers and users.
  • To stay ahead, product-making companies must master the journey to the new product world, what we call Product X.0.
  • Hardware and software manufacturers must understand the drivers of change and the implications for their businesses.


New realities for product-making companies

The new era of smart connected products has arrived. Product manufacturers face a new world in which digital technologies and software are so affordable, mature and pervasive that they will eventually drive every kind of product.

Cars, appliances, heavy and industrial equipment, medical devices, and software products are being reinvented as smart, connected containers for software-driven services and user experiences.

This creates a great deal of disruption. Today’s product features will become irrelevant as value drivers, but numerous new opportunities for product-making businesses will also arise.

For companies wanting to make the most of all this, Accenture’s Eric Schaeffer and David Sovie wrote the book Reinventing the Product, available to purchase here. The book is designed to help companies master the art of product reinvention and take advantage of the massive value potential fast-advancing digital technologies offer. Have a look:

Five big shifts define the new product world

The emergence of the new product world is driven by five big shifts.

From features to experiences

Product users want devices offering highly personalized and fluid experiences, tailored by use, during use.

From hardware to as-a-service

Product-making companies turn smart connected products into carriers of services aiming at maximum personalization.

From products to platforms

Products turn into platforms—either as central anchors or components of platform ecosystems.

From mechanical to digital and AI

Up to 90 percent of the economic and user value created by a product will soon derive from its digital and software components.

From linear to agile engineering in the New

Trends one to four will force product companies to put in place new development, innovation, production and product management practices.

Technology and software as the value source

In smart connected products, digital parts and software will be the only value-creating components.

Some industrial product-making companies are already creating such products or heading in this direction. Chinese Haier Group has made their home appliance ranges smart and connected. Automobile supplier Faurecia is about to revolutionize the car interior by rendering it smart and interactive.

"Traditional products are changing into smart connected products much faster than expected. Their reinvention must involve a radical new product roadmap."

– ERIC SCHAEFFER, Senior Managing Director

No more sell it and forget it

The reinvention of the product is made possible by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, blockchain, advanced analytics, cloud and edge computing. Such cognitive technologies give products a “mind” that works with maximum autonomy.

Products will no longer just be sold and forgotten. After shipping, they will remain connected to the manufacturer’s installed base and thereby transmit data back to it, allowing continued management by the manufacturer. Product-making companies will use that “umbilical cord” to be the product’s lifelong innovator, service designer, intellectual minder and tutor. This will combine with products’ innate intelligence to make them ever more responsive to their environments and user needs.

Time to move

The dawn of the new product world has deep consequences for how devices are made. Manufacturers’, suppliers’ and ecosystem partners’ production cost structures, development styles and innovation approaches become looped and agile.

Manufacturers will design devices to become platforms, commanding ecosystems or existing within third-party platforms for the greatest possible user and economic value.

"There is a stringent case for companies to rethink their product strategy, their innovation and engineering processes, and their culture to build successful Living Products."

– DAVID SOVIE, Senior Managing Director

A key decision for businesses is how and when to pivot their organization to the new product world. Picking the right time and degree of digitization for the core business is critical, as is mapping out the journey toward smart new connected product ranges.

The future is here. Are you ready?

Eric Schaeffer

Senior Managing Director


David Sovie

Senior Managing Director

MORE ON THIS TOPIC


Subscription Center
Stay in the Know with Our Newsletter Stay in the Know with Our Newsletter