Bosch: A Leading Platform Exemplar of Digitally Connecting

bosch-software-innovation-office-plsHow are organizations dealing with digital transformation and especially IoT? The key has to be one where sustainable success is central.

One company that really has become fully engaged in their digital transformation is Bosch, it is well on its way to being a world-leading IoT solution company, offering its expertise, solutions, and knowledge back into its own products and through this expertise also connecting this out to others, to explore and exploit through Bosch’s platform and cloud solutions.

In focusing here specifically on Bosch, we can get a fairly detailed understanding of what challenges are being tackled to connect products, customers, manufacturers, software providers into a connected world where platforms and ecosystems come alive through technology and digital application.

It is a highly complex set of challenges to complete this digitally connected set of solutions but by studying Bosch in some detail and its approach into this, can give us a very detailed understanding as an exemplary example of what they are undertaking to take a leading position in the IIoT world, to make it fully interoperable and realizable.

This path is not for the majority as they are not as well positioned as Bosch but it does give a good understanding of the level of commitment one company has decided to take, to become a leading provider of platform services in manufacturing and smart solutions.

So why am I looking at Bosch relating to ecosystems and platforms?

Let me explain this, after a fair amount of research into them to provide a detailed (enough) understanding of why I think Bosch is a leading provider of platform digital solutions today I was impressed but will it have the ability to translate this over the long term?

Bosch is seemingly wanting to become the one-stop platform provider for manufacturing and connecting all the digital transformational needs and solutions. Can it? What does this mean, is it heading for a leading de-facto industrial platform? What will other organizations need to do in their digital transformation to sit on top of Bosch’s platform?

Bosch, are for me highly relevant in understanding all the complexity that goes into forming a platform, especially in the manufacturing world today and how they are setting about getting all the parties attracted, linking and setting the conditions for the growing participation in establishing of the ecosystem between parties that are wanted to connect.

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Innovation Platforms: the future way to go.

platform-buildingWe need to shift our innovation thinking, it needs to be digitally transformed. We need to accelerate our activity and engagement and to achieve this, we need to widen out our communities and connect differently.

This is where platforms come in, “they offer new business models that allow multiple sides (producers and consumers) to interact…..by providing an infrastructure that connects them” (source: Platformed.Info by Sangeet Paul Choudary)

The more I read, discuss and research platforms, the clearer the future becomes for innovation to really advance and achieve its potential, one so often spoken about yet so disappointing in most of its results to date. Innovation calls for the need of a radical change. Technology and its growing potential can make the changes to dramatically alter this.

Actually, technology is transforming the very nature of the firm. Continue reading

Managing digital knowledge adds value and growth through forming connections

fitting-it-all-togetherDigital technology is about to become the precursor for all the changes we have put off for years within our organizations.

We need to radically improve our abilities to engage, relate and discover new innovation opportunities at a completely different level of faster and more meaningful performance.

It is through new forms of collaborations that will allow us to connect, by combining the concepts of ecosystems, platforms and seamless customer experience through digital technology, that is allowing this to happen.

Technology is presently moving way ahead of the systems that our organizations have presently in place, many are failing to extract the value and insights that others are beginning to clearly see and capitalize on, through the connection of technologies and market insights.Many lack the ability to connect and gain valuable insights.

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Are you ready to thrive in a world of Innovation Ecosystems?

thriving-in-an-ecosystem-design-2We are in need of a profound shift in the Business landscape. Our growth remains constrained by not just the economic conditions we find ourselves in but also because we are failing to make innovation central to change. It remains for most the incremental pathway to steady performance and safe returns.

Yet the world continues to be volatile, the consumer increasingly disgruntled and our political world continues to be turned upside down. Business needs to move from being part of the problem, into the pioneering and leading the solutions for growth. Surprisingly it does have the potential for a winning design ‘to hand’ – by managing within innovation ecosystems.

What makes up a winning innovation ecosystem of design?

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Moving towards a new connecting innovation model

network-of-networksWe are facing tough challenges within the business world. To work through these we are all being asked to transform but there has to be a clear end, a return for all this energy and resources it requires, that we are being asked to spend?

How and where does innovation fit will clearly depend on this transforming effect. We are fairly clear that incremental innovation is just not cutting through to give the types of growth expected. There are many outside our existing organizations, standing impatiently at the gates, waiting to come in and take over with market breaking concepts through different business models .

We have three choices: we need to transform, be disrupted or certainly re-imagine and this is where knowing your ecosystem comes in.

Our existing organization needs to envisage a changing world full of disruption that calls for radical change. To meet different challenges, to be highly adaptive it needs to begin to organize around ecosystems to deliver on a vision that recognizes it has to be part of a greater collaborating network to thrive in this highly connected world.

Today larger organizations are having to face the stark truth, they are losing out, in growth and opportunities.

Either they adapt or die. Technology offers them the transforming means but can they, as leaders, take their people with them? It needs bold leadership. The structure of our  business today cannot afford to try and stand alone, it needs to extend beyond its traditional supporting partners, it needs to learn to collaborate with  a whole new range of partners, even some previously competitors, to radically adapt to the different world we live in.

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The Building Blocks for Managing within an Ecosystem Design

building-blocks-for-ecosystems-2The recognition that most business organizations are in need to form both new and connect into diverse ecosystems is growing. These are offering the potential of new pathways to a greater ‘connected’ innovation, expected today, one that gives increased value to the consumer.

Yet the understanding of what this means in commitment and structuring  has some clear implications behind this. Managing in ecosystem arrangements I feel requires a far greater understanding of the potential design, so you can achieve a more robust, open, dynamic and highly collaborative environment.

Jeffrey and I have argued in previous posts that working in Ecosystems will change the nature of business activities.Let me take four of these:

  • Ecosystems will have the potential to expand capabilities and enable experiences beyond anything possible today in the present world that most of our business organizations operate in; one’s that are operating in their own ‘disconnected’ world, internally focused, constrained by limited technology connection and resources.
  • Ecosystems open up the world. They connect it for a richer access to diversity and different sets of discoveries not possible within one organization’s current capabilities or capacities. It is highly collaborative and interactive.
  • It is by this very nature of opening up and interacting building a growing interdependence in relationships, that is driving the new innovation potential. One, that is looking to create and explore new business value by acting together, that offers a potential for outcomes to be greater than the sum of the individual parts.
  • As our world becomes more complex, ecosystems offer ways to coalesce around those sort of challenges, that brings together within the ecosystem community the potential to build, solve, share and exchange around goals and concepts that help solve these complexities,  achieved in highly collaborative ways.

We presently seem to lack a process of evaluation on what forms the building blocks of ecosystem validation and why entering into one can be significantly different.

Let me offer some thoughts here in a fairly long, rather detailed post that explores six critical parts: Continue reading

Understanding the Customer Journey is the key to innovating in an ecosystem

evolving-innovation-a-new-formPaul and I have been exploring the interrelationships between innovation, ecosystems and platforms for a few weeks now.

Hopefully we’ve made the point that innovators must expand their horizons, because increasingly customers don’t want or need stand alone, discrete products as much as they want integrated, seamless, holistic solutions.

In fact I think we can easily predict that moderately interesting new innovations that integrate with existing ecosystems and platforms dominate disruptive new products that ignore ecosystems and platforms.

Why?  Customers don’t want to give up all that they have invested in the totality of their use of a solution or the experience when using the solution.  Even if the disruptive product or service delivers outsized benefits, if it causes the rest of the customers’ experience to suffer or degrade, many will choose to remain on a more integrated solution.

There’s a lot here to unpack. Continue reading