Big Data and business model innovation

Posted on 13 Aug 2012 by The Manufacturer

Andy Neely, director of the Cambridge Service Alliance, on the opportunity for Big Data to innovate manufacturers’ business models.

Professor Andy Neely, Director, Cambridge Service Alliance

There’s no doubt Business Intelligence and Big Data play an important role in solving complex issues in production and supply.

But there is a danger the focus becomes too internal – on the systems and processes needed to harness large volumes of information. There’s another equally – if not more important – role for Big Data: the opportunity to drive innovation in manufacturers’ business models.

We know manufacturing firms in developed economies cannot compete on cost.

They have to innovate and deliver value, and often the answer lies in providing services that support products through their life. This is particularly important in asset heavy industries, especially when product supply is coupled with a focus on outcomes.

Outcome-based contracts which guarantee the uptime of equipment mean the interests of the manufacturer and customer are aligned. Rather than seeing spares and maintenance services as a source of income, manufacturers – like their customers – benefit from products that work.

Technology now exists to monitor assets remotely, and capture data on their operation. These data – collated in ever greater volume – provide insight and intelligence that can be used to manage and maintain assets more efficiently, enhancing their uptime and enabling business model innovation.

Business Intelligence and Big Data is about much more than internal
management and IT – it’s about the potential to fundamentally change the way business operates. It’s a theme that will be explored further at the Cambridge Service Week conference on Big Data: ‘A Business Model Innovation Opportunity for Complex Service Providers’ in September.