New Product Development in the Digital Age

In this series of blogs, we will be exploring the challenges of developing products and services that will be successful in the digital economy and offer some practical solutions that have helped us at Invent Design Build.

The Challenges

Businesses, whether entrepreneurs, SMEs or corporate R&D teams are under increasingly intense pressure to launch innovative products and services. The challenges they face include:

  • Ideation – generating, assessing and selecting those ideas that truly have the potential to disrupt competition and bring game-changing value to the organisation remains a critical step in new product development. In the digital age new business models and increased complexity in the value chain increase the difficulty of picking the right horse in the race to innovate.


  • Speed – the digital economy favours first movers and fast followers. Increasingly important is getting to market with a product, gaining rapid feedback and iterating improvements quickly into the next revision.


  • Technology – flexible technology platforms must be identified and selected. These may often require a migration from incumbent product architectures to allow them to take advantage of emerging technologies in connectivity, sensing and embedded intelligence at the edge. They must be scalable, capable of being adapted for yet, undefined future product iterations.


  • Skills – developing cloud connected products, implementing machine learning and artificial intelligence, designing digital twins and providing excellent user experience are all common aspirations for digital product developers. Few organisations possess the skills to provide all aspects to develop digital new products, so they must decide where to focus their internal resources and where to seek partners to support them.



If you recognise these challenges or indeed are facing other significant challenges, then join in the discussion and follow the blogs – all comments are welcome below!

Next time we will explore the first question in any new product development journey – where should we focus our valuable product development efforts?