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Innovating with IoT Technology: Discontinuous or Incremental Approach?

Option A

Overview In the highly competitive automotive market, it is critical to keep up with current technology to stay in or get ahead in the marketplace. To remain competitive, companies must innovate and integrate new technologies within their product lines and services. Scenario You work as a middle manager for one of the top U.S. producers of luxury and mass-market automobiles and trucks. The chief technology officer (CTO) of the company from the course scenario has been monitoring new technology developments that the company could integrate into its vehicles to enhance the usefulness of and improve access to the data acquired by the many digital sensors integrated into vehicle subsystems over the past 20 to 30 years. The technology trend of particular interest is the internet of things (IoT)—the interconnection of embedded devices, such as sensors and computers, over the internet. By taking advantage of this trend, the CTO believes the company can seize an opportunity to provide better service and predictive maintenance to its customers, improving customer satisfaction and adding additional revenue streams. Based on briefings by the CTO and your Module One memo, senior management has decided to implement IoT into its product line. Your CTO has asked you to lead a cross-functional team to take this initiative forward. Your first task is to create a presentation that will include your recommendation for how the company should approach this business problem: should you use incremental or discontinuous innovation? Specifically, should the company: Design a completely new product line, based on the new technology (discontinuous innovation) or Add new technology features first into one model and then incrementally into the broader product line (incremental innovation) The recommendation you and your team will make is an important first step in pursuing this new technology. Your presentation and recommendations will be reviewed by senior management. Until senior management approves your approach to this innovation, your cross-functional team will not have a budget and will not be able to start work on the innovation. You should utilize your work from the Module Two presentation and data analysis when making and justifying your recommendation in this first milestone. In Milestone Two, you will subsequently develop a go-to-market strategy. For your project in Module Nine, you will compile your work from Milestones One and Two, and include a proposed organizational structure to best integrate, produce, and market the new technology. Prompt Create a PowerPoint presentation to make a recommendation for how the company should pursue the IoT technology to remain competitive: either by discontinuous or incremental innovation. To make your recommendation, you will need to identify how the evolving IoT (sensor) technology fits into the company’s products and services and determine potential risks and benefits. You will also need to look at your competitors to see what they are doing. Finally, you need to analyze the company’s capability (resources) for pursuing the innovation. Use the information and data from the CTO Brief, Comparative Growth Data, Comparative Operating Statistics, and Comparative Product Plans to complete this milestone. Explain potential risks and benefits for options A and B. Overview (1 slide): Present the business problem and options A and B. Option A (1–2 slides): Explain at least two potential risks and benefits for option A. Option B (1–2 slides): Explain at least two potential risks and benefits for option B. Compare your competition’s products and services. Competitors (3–4 slides): Evaluate the competitors’ current products and services. What are your competitors' current products and services? Are your competitors expanding in the current market? Explain how this impacts their market strength. Analyze your company’s capability to pursue the innovation. Complete a partial gap analysis (2 slides): Does your company own the technology, or does it need to be purchased? How is the technology currently being used in today’s products and services? What type of technology is available to purchase? Recommend the innovation approach your company should pursue. Innovation approach (2 slides): Explain which innovation approach you are recommending and why. Consider the different stakeholders—research and development (R&D), marketing, finance—when communicating your recommendations. Include a description of the incremental or discontinuous product that you are recommending for R&D. Include the sales forecasts for marketing. Include a financial snapshot for finance.

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