Discuss about the Organisational Knowledge Creativity and Innovation.
The report essentially focuses on evaluating potential problems faced by a technology company, Apple Inc. regarding development of its technology products. The report would initially focus on highlighting and discussing the academic concept regarding Innovation Life Cycle. It would then tend to analyse the different types of problems faced by Apple Inc. concerning the innovative landscape. Finally, the paper would focus on the different types of strategies that can be undertaken by Apple Inc.’s management for addressing the problems faced by Apple in its innovation paradigm.
Overview of Innovation Life Cycle
The Innovation Life Cycle of business institutions is depicted as the S-Curve. The S-Curves are designed to reflect the fashion in which a product, service, business processes or the technology used by a business institution tends to evolve over a specific period. The S-Curves are also used to ideally map the evolutionary process of products in an institution. The S-Curves are increasingly linked to the market adoption curves of the product or service. The Innovation Life Cycle curve is effectively reflected in the following illustration.
The Innovation Life Cycle curve essentially reflects four different stages like Early Market, Mass Market Adoption, Mature Market and finally the Late Adopters. It reflects the market and consumer adoption of new products, services or technological processes introduced in the market. The bell curve initially starts from the Early Market stage consisting of customers that focus on testing new products and services (Blank, 2010). The Mass Market Adoption stage essentially reflects on specific needs and demands generated by customers. The identification of consumer needs and wants by the manufacturers and marketers of products and services contribute in generating tailor made product and service offerings. The same contributes in generating customised and standardised product and service solutions for the greater market. The above features contribute in generating needed maturity to the product or service market. Finally, the late adopters come into scene that essentially focuses on using the tested products and services. These late adopters are identified to be risk adverse customers that procure tested products and services on account of reduced risk (Kaplan, n.d.).
Overview of Apple Inc
Apple Inc. based in United States focuses on the designing, manufacturing and also the marketing of different types of gadgets serving mobile communication and also the development of personal computers and laptops. It also contributes in the development of other types of sophisticated media players along with the development of digital solutions for music lovers. The development of iPhones, iTabs and iPods by Apple Inc. has contributed in considerably revolutionising the digital industry. iPods contributes in helping the consumers store large number of songs and thereby play them based on their needs. Apple Inc. has expanded its base to different geographical markets like Europe and other Asian countries like China and Japan. Apple Inc. also has its markets in other emerging countries like India, Middle East countries and also Africa. Apple Inc. was founded by three entrepreneurs Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and also Stephen Wozniak during 1976. It has its headquarters based in Cupertino in California (CNN Money , 2016).
Problems Faced by Innovation Projects in Apple Inc
The first greater challenge that Apple faces relating to its innovation activities is associated with the lack of security pertaining to the different types of digital gadgets and systems generated by it. The lack of security relating to the innovations rendered by Apple Inc. makes it amenable to be copied by other companies in the market. The copying of designs and technological solutions from Apple by other companies makes the former suffer from increased threat relating to brand liquidation. The second essential challenge faced by Apple relates to the growing expectations of the consumers regarding the degree of innovation and novelty regarding the digital products generated by Apple. People are always interested in earning new products and devices from Apple. Thus, the amount of delay reflected nowadays regarding the generation of new and innovative products from the previous periods amounts to affect and offset the interest of the customers (Lundy, 2013). The consumers are observed to regard the iPhone 5 generated by Apple as having lost its novelty and thus are in search for newer products. This, challenge requires Apple Inc. to continually focus on innovating newer technological products and solutions to entice their customers in a sustained fashion. Any shortfall in the above respect tends to affect the expectation levels of customers regarding Apple’s product and services (Lundy, 2013).
Apple Inc. in the current period or after the era of Steve Jobs is also observed to suffer from the problem concerning its narrowed focus concerning the development of product ranges and also a reduced brand focus (Shaughnessy, 2013).
The problems concerning Apple’s innovation aspects can be effectively dealt with regarding the generation of Apple Watch. The battery life of Apple Watch is observed to be quite limited owing to the existence of a colour screen with an effective processor and also the need of the Apple Watch to both transmit and gain data from the Apple iPhone. The above features thereby require the Apple Watch to be charged quite frequently and also happen to reduce the longevity of the battery life in the long run.
Further, the requirement of Apple Watch to be frequently plugged in to a charger happens to reduce and affect the interest of the consumers for procuring the same. The Smartwatch developed by Apple is also observed to have gained larger number of competitors on a global scale like Samsung, Motorola, LG and Google. The companies are observed to copy the designs and technology used by Apple Watch in marketing their products and thereby tends to enhance the level of competition for Apple in the Smartwatch market (Safford, 2014).
Apple Watch is also observed to suffer from problems concerning the design of the products. The Apple Watches introduced into three styles is taken to face increasing competition from the other Smartwatch products generated by its competitors. Thus, design wise also Apple Smartwatch tends to suffer from increased threat from its global competitors. Apple’s Smartwatches are also observed to be highly priced at $349. Though, the Smartwatches generated by Samsung tend to command a higher price yet the higher price is debated by the company based on the existence of an effective Smartphone inbuilt within the Smartwatch. Apple’s Smartwatches however require the users to carry a Smartphone separately with them such that the same can be effectively integrated with the Smartwatch device for making them operational. The above factors thus tend to reduce the requirements for Apple’s Smartwatches to be priced in a higher fashion (Safford, 2014).
The decision undertaken by the current CEO of Apple Inc. Tim Cook regarding dismissing the innovation wing of the company and in requiring the internal staffs pertaining to various departments to undertake innovative processes and work designs happens to reduce the level of competitiveness of Apple. Different companies like Google and Microsoft are observed to have an effective wing that contributes in generation of innovative products and thereby in enhancing the level of competitive advantage of the technology firms.
Strategies undertaken by Apple Inc. for Overcoming Problems
Apple Inc. is required to change its innovation outlook and essentially focus on three essential standpoints.
In the first case, Apple Inc. is required to focus on enhancing its platform for generating innovation in a sustained fashion for a longer period. Development of a sustained climate for innovation is made possible by the institution through the readying of cash and investment flow and also must develop needed hedging capacity for a longer time scale. Apple Inc. is also required to focus on incorporating changes in the organisational structure and process such that the same contributes in fostering a greater degree of innovation. The transformational process is required to be developed for the technology institution through the identification of change leadership models. Generation of needed changes in the organisational landscape would contribute in making the organisation receptive to changes in consumer demand and thereby can react accordingly to generate the right kind of product and service solutions. The study of the lifestyles of the growing urban middle class consumers would also help Apple understand the current needs regarding technological and digitalised products. It would thus help in designing and manufacturing products accordingly to meet the emerging needs of the customers (Satell, 2013).
Secondly, Apple is required to incorporate effective software like SaaS that would help in analysing the changing needs of the customers and thereby in guiding the manufacturing activities of the company in effectively addressing the consumer aspirations and needs. The incorporation of Just-in-Time and Lean Manufacturing concepts together with the study of consumer viewpoints along the social media platforms like Facebook would contribute in meeting such ends.
Finally, Apple Inc. is required to essentially focus on innovating the existing processes through development of a service oriented enterprise structure. The development of a service oriented organisational structure coupled with existing technological components and resources would help Apple in addressing the consumer expectations and needs in an effective fashion (Shaughnessy, 2013).
Apple Inc. is required to generate a long term vision that would effectively trigger the company in generating effective product and service solutions for the problems and technology gaps observed by the customers (Shaughnessy, 2013). Apple‘s management apart from generating an effective strategic vision is also required to focus on developing an effective collaborative relationship with other companies and technology experts. Collaboration on the technological platform would tend to be increasingly effective through the creation of an open and cooperative internal culture within the technology firm (Satell, 2013).
The analysis carried out in the report effectively reflects the potential problems faced by Apple Inc. relating to innovation projects carried out by it. It firstly reflects the concept of innovation life cycle and subsequently analyses the different types of problems concerning the generation of innovative products by Apple Inc. The analysis reflects that Apple Inc. faces potential problems associated with the development of Apple Watch. Apple Inc. not only gains potential competition from other competitors that have generated similar products like it but also other types of technical problems concerning the reduced battery life and also the use of high price points. Apple Watches are also observed to counter from potential problems for its increased dependency on the existence of Smartphones at the hands of users in contrast to Smartwatches developed by Samsung that does not require the existence of Smartphones for its operation. Further, the different types of strategies required to be undertaken by Apple’s management are observed like redesigning the strategic mission and vision objectives with also development of a collaborative and open culture within the firm.
The development of an open culture within the firm would help Apple’s staffs to effectively collaborate with external partners like technical and design experts for the generation of effective devices and gadgets. The same would enhance the level of competitive advantage for the company in long run. Further, the CEO of Apple Inc, Tim Cook is also required to design an effective innovation wing or team within the firm such that the same would help in designing innovative products with needed designs and potentials. Apple is also required to incorporate effective software like SaaS and study customers reviews and interests generated along the different social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The same would help Apple in understanding and anticipating consumer needs and interests and thereby design products for addressing such in an effective fashion.
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Satell, G., 2013. Apple’s Innovation Problem. [Online] Available at: https://www.digitaltonto.com/2013/apples-innovation-problem/ [Accessed 4 December 2016].
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Shaughnessy, H., 2013. The 3 Ways Innovation Is Changing (And How To Adapt Fast). [Online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/haydnshaughnessy/2013/02/07/the-3-ways-innovation-is-changing-and-how-to-adapt-fast/#60df3156223b [Accessed 4 December 2016].