2020 outlook and trends in product lifecycle services
Due to emerging technologies and new business models, continuous disruption in business has become a norm across industries. While many try to overcome the challenges and cope up with the disruption, there are businesses that ride the wave with newfound opportunities. In the era of continuous disruption, businesses need to constantly evaluate and identify which elements in their business are getting affected the most. The companies that thrive in this era create new customer value throughout the product life cycle.
The global market for product lifecycle services (PLS) is projected to reach US$65.8 billion by 2022, driven by the growing focus on disruptive product innovation and the ensuing need for technology solutions.
A major factor that impacts the life of a product depends on the innovations that happen in that specific industry due to technology advancements. PLS offering vary based on information across the industry, the service on-demand and the time to implement. In today’s digital economy, the most sought after lifecycle services fall under four major categories:
Design & Development
The first step towards a good product design is understanding the context and tying it up with a ‘customer-first approach’. With a solid design, development becomes easy. The development that focuses on core features for success in a timely manner ensures a great product release and enable businesses to review and prioritize features and technology choices. Overall, design and development services aim to offer efficient frontend and backend development, which reduces the time to market.
With increased test coverage and considering the time factor, automation becomes a necessity rather than an option. There is a major drift happening in the way an application is tested. Test automation reduces repeated / manual intervention, increases overall product efficiency and ensures robust product quality. Test automation also helps to quickly identify product modifications and improvements that can provide competitive advantage.
DevOps ensures app development, testing, deployment, and maintenance works in tandem to improve the speed, stability, availability and security of software delivery capability. To reduce DevOps efforts and automate routine operational tasks, having standardized environments throughout the lifecycle is necessary.
Disconnected systems and organizational silos throughout the product lifecycle keep crucial data from those users who need it most. The best-in-class companies have figured out ways to leverage PLS to orchestrate multi-system data, break down silos and improve quality. With a thoughtful PLS, organizations can create and extend the digital thread driving critical business value.
Top Trends in PLS
Companies that aim for continual growth and profits focus on product success relentlessly. By understanding trends in technology, the shift in market forces, and changing customer behavior, companies can reinvent the product creation process and attain product success. Here is a brief on the latest trends in design, architecture and technology that impact every aspect of PLS.
The design influences business and sets apart from the competition since it can help provide the desired customer experience. Today’s design trends aim to provide the most usable, self-guided, efficient user experiences. The demand for interactive user experiences have led to progressive web app designs that are responsive to serve the needs of both mobile phone and desktop users. The slick user experience can boost customer loyalty, which is becoming a rare commodity.
Surrounded by easy to use applications and intuitive User Interfaces (UI), UI as a service (UIaaS) increases application usability. With well-defined UI components, UI can be reused to build and recreate more than one UI instance. Reusable UI saves time in coding, developing and maintaining the application.
Many products run on monolithic architecture, which often comes with difficult to manage technical debts. Microservices architecture is a viable solution, which gained significant ground in PLS. This architecture targets to provide continuous delivery and avoid expensive and time-consuming upgrades. As microservices are loosely coupled services, it can be developed, deployed and maintained independently. Since the application is developed in smaller components, it is easier to release microservices and can bring new features faster to the market.
Microservices continue to benefit enterprises as it enables dynamic scaling, as making changes at the component level is easy without disturbing other parts of the application. With decoupled architecture, businesses could deploy more frequently, scale more efficiently, and avoid the problems of the software monoliths. This also leads to faster and iterative business practices, resulting in higher operational efficiencies and better ROI.
Intelligence Augmentation (IA) or Augmented Intelligence systems use artificial intelligence techniques such as logical reasoning, natural language processing, machine learning, pattern recognition and spatial navigation in sectors such as insurance, financial services, healthcare, or digital commerce. Identifying and training the systems with the right sets of data is the key to success.
IA enables cognitive systems that have the ability to enhance and scale human expertise. With augmented intelligence, computing is no longer a concern about coding but extends to focus on delivering systems that can learn by itself and increases functionalities over time. Machine learning can provide an unparalleled cognitive system, helping people unlock knowledge and key insights from massive volumes of data.
The Imaginea Wave
Markets are changing, so should businesses. In this age of disruption, businesses need to be mindful and make the right choices – be it technology, architecture or design-related trends, it should be aligned with the business goals. The PLS trends discussed above can act as a broad guideline. Before availing any product lifecycle trends, it is important to check if it will help improve one or more of the factors listed below:
- Help companies better meet customer needs and expectations
- Reduce the time and cost for product lifecycle management
- Help users gain more benefits from product investments
- Enable the creation of new business models
Managing product life cycles until its point of retirement against disruptive forces remains a core task and critical responsibility. The implications of these life cycle management decisions can have substantial impact on the business. Here is an overview of Imaginea’s differentiated approach:
This approach renders unmatched business value harnessing technology disruptions. To outperform, businesses must address the challenges at every stage in a product lifecycle as they mature from ideation through end of life.
2020 is an opportunity for organisations to equip themselves with the right PLS trends and evolve during disruption.