The Road Ahead Is Digital for Innovation Management and There Is No Way Back
Originally published: May 5, 2021
Read time: 6 minutes
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The thought-provoking paper by Cooper (2021) provides a beacon for researchers across disciplines contributing to the domain of innovation management. Cooper (2021) identifies five developments originating from the need for accelerating product development in the COVID-19 pandemic, but he also highlights a root cause which lies at a deeper level of change, viz. digital transformation. Digitalization has increasingly reduced the innovation cycles and accelerated new product development. The current pandemic is acting as a virtual magnifying glass and shows in a micro snapshot what the future has in store for innovation management. Cooper (2021) rightly points out that digital product development will increase the efficiency by 19% and reduce the time-to-market by 17% on average. These statistics are impressive, but even more impressive is the performance of the top 10% digital product champions (PWC, 2019): they increase their efficiency by 31%, reduce their time-to-market by 28%, and their production cost by 20% (13% on average). Digitalization has fundamentally changed the way we innovate by introducing novel digital business models, new smart products and services, emerging digital technologies, and the evolution of the experience economy. How can academic research support this paradigm shift to digital innovation management?