Traditional R&D investments are usually on internal efforts to develop new products, capabilities, and methods.
Product refresh cycles and new product introduction timelines are getting shorter with rapid changes in technology, business models, and customer expectations. Integration among products and with adjacent services is gaining importance to deliver seamless user experiences.
It may be a challenge for the traditional R&D models to respond effectively. A hybrid approach to R&D investments may help companies stay relevant.
Companies can create a portfolio of investments that include:
- Continue to invest in internal research in core areas. Keep the core as the core. And strip everything else.
- Invest in startup firms working on innovative ideas that are relevant for the companies business – either directly or as an expansion of services.
- Collaborate with institutes on research in emerging and breakthrough technologies.
- Be a part of the larger ecosystem to provide user experience and innovative solutions partnering with external firms.
- Leverage open-source and crowd-sourcing platforms to generate ideas and to build solutions.
The exact mix of these investments will depend on multiple factors including, the nature of the business, company culture, maturity, risk appetite, etc. But it’s worth experimenting with such approaches to accelerate R&D outcomes.
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