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Typical Product Development Challenges and Global Resourcing as an Emerging Opportunity

Arpan Banerjee
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Arpan Banerjee
Global product companies or Independent Service Vendors (ISVs) are always under performance pressure, as would any of us in our respective jobs. They strive for market expansion, increased product features, and new product ideas and face the regular constraints of decreasing profitability, increased competition, dearth of resource and skills, and rising costs with simultaneous pressure to upgrade and widen product offerings while using fewer resources.

Product-development planning remains crucial to organizations’ survival. Some key challenges, and hence success factors are as follows: Development Speed: ‘Faster and faster’ is the mantra of product development. One way to hasten development speed is through digital design, analysis, and collaboration tools to get products to market faster. Using collaboration software, file-sharing software and more, engineers can transform ideas into digitized virtual designs for testing and viewing a new product in three dimensions, within months rather than years.

Platform Flexibility: Every product guru will acknowledge that a key success factor of a product in the market is its platform flexibility. This results from using modular product architecture to provide more product variety to customers. Computer aided design and engineering tools permit easy reuse of already completed design files. All these files make product design much more efficient, cost effective, and accelerated than ever before.

Complexity Management: A product stands apart from an application in its complexity. It involves engineering complex systems through analysis of interaction networks. Research has resulted in network modeling methods to examine a network of interacting elements that form part of complex systems being developed. The challenge of engineering complex systems with many components, sometimes called systems engineering, remains a key success factor.

Outsourcing and Offshoring: Finally, the biggest challenge that remains is optimizing in-house skills, supplier skills and capacity, international operations, and new markets. Sometimes outsourcing saves considerable cost and sometimes a little cost, but more importantly, it actually helps in taking advantage of global product development networks, largely to access new markets in different locations and leverage global talent pools. Let us have a closer look at the outsourcing opportunities.

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