A company’s R&D efforts can make or break its success. And online communities focusing on R&D are an excellent way to share ideas and strategies. By leveraging the experience of peers, business leaders and entrepreneurs are better equipped to deploy a cost-effective and value-driven R&D plan.
The Dangers of Ineffective R&D Strategies
According a study by McKinsey, companies spent as much as $2.9USD trillion in R&D in 2019. That amount is also expected to grow as the past ten-year trend has seen a 4% year-over-year growth. As over half of that amount was spent within industry, companies must develop strategies that address modern-day barriers to R&D.
The study continues by pointing out several key factors standing in the way of R&D. Innovation cycles are getting shorter and are accelerating, putting pressure on new businesses with scarce resources. They also point out that traditional R&D has not always been customer-connected and often lacks tracking metrics. And finally, companies regularly lean toward being risk-averse in R&D, looking for safer projects rather than bold and innovative projects.
Online Communities to Expand Thinking and Share Ideas
Technology such as IoT and Industry 4.0 initiatives can address many of these problems, but entrepreneurs and business leaders are not always sure where to start. They may also be caught off guard with a rapidly accelerating product cycle within their industries. By joining online communities – both specific and general – leaders can uncover new ideas, find a fresh approach, and develop a mindset that helps them navigate the challenges.
Here are five online communities about R&D you should join:
Eliminate Execution Risks: Because 90% of startups fail less than five years from inception, leaders need to improve their execution. Instead of constructing the new product or service and trying to fit it into the IoT ecosystem, business owners can learn to build IoT connectivity and value into the product from the ground up. And while that may sound daunting for resource-scarce startups to consider, it’s better than winding up in that 90%. Reducing execution risks means developing IoT products that are scalable within the IoT environment within their industry. And it means commercially viable products that can interact and seamlessly work with other connected devices while delivering on their original value.
Know the Numbers – Entrepreneurs also need to know the numbers. While smart cities, factories, and buildings accounted for over 50% of all projects in 2018, these figures vary from country to country. Knowing the numbers will help business leaders determine the best way to penetrate and engage that market.
Integrate the Data into the Business – While this may sound obvious, many miss the value brought about by data and its KPIs obtained through analytics. Everything from Consumer Retention Rate (CRR) to end-of-lifecycle management programs can be leveraged with data available through IoT. This includes faster, more accurate traditional KPIs and new ways to look at data and chart a course based on what is uncovered.
Know the Trends – Digital acceleration during the pandemic, changing customer needs, a spotlight on sustainability, and other trends were at the forefront in 2020. By staying on top of trends as they develop, entrepreneurs can make sure they are building products that address these realities. They can also hone their business model to focus on them to uncover new avenues for revenue through additional products and services.
Develop New Business Models – Today, it’s not enough to roll out a product based on a “good idea” and let momentum carry it to the moon. With IoT technology, entrepreneurs can develop entirely new business models. Because the landscape is so vast, it opens up business opportunities that would not have been available or that would not have occurred to owners in the past. Through deep analytics, machine learning, and AI, businesses can understand customer tastes, leverage business insights, improve operational costs, track assets, and other cost-saving mechanisms in addition to offering value-added services and new products.
These are only a few of the online opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs and business leaders wishing to find a community for R&D. Others offer specific benefits and value for women-owned businesses, minority-owned companies, and industry-specific R&D collaboration.
The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) at Georgian College helps entrepreneurs advance and grow their companies. To leverage our expertise and help create a vibrant community for R&D, both virtual and real, contact us at Innovator’s Central today.