Report Summary

Futurists have long predicted a world in which the products around us have minds of their own, from talking televisions to smart fridges. Now, at last, that vision is beginning to materialise, thanks to the plummeting cost of computing components and the ubiquity of wireless communications. 

Developing smart products is a new research report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Cognizant, that explores the commercial, organisational and strategic impact of smart products on the companies that develop them. 

Based on a survey of 205 senior R&D, innovation and product-development executives from companies involved in developing smart products, the report draws the following key findings. 

  • Smart products are reinventing the customer relationship 
    Nearly three quarters of respondents say smart products allow them to interact with customers directly for the first
  • As a result, they are reshaping the organisations that sell them 
    Over 50% of respondent organisations have adopted a subscription model in order to sell smart products
  • Smart products have the potential to restructure entire industries too
    Nearly half of respondents say they are selling smart products through new channels, while four in ten have formed new, joint go-to-market strategies

The report is a must-read for any executive considering a smart product strategy and its potential impact on their organisation.

It isn’t about someone turning on a switch and we all shift, overnight, into a brave new world of smart products. But every single day small advances happen that, over time, amount to big progress. We’re adding inches daily, and before we know it, we’ll have covered a huge distance.
Venky Balakrishnan, global vice president, digital innovation, Diageo


Published:June 10th 2015

Jessica Twentyman
Pete Swabey

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