Our studies have found leading companies were more likely to use digital tools at every phase of the research and development (R&D) process. The laggards might use digital tools for technical activities but not for management activities, such as planning and project management.
Those in the vanguard were particularly likely to use product data management (PDM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) systems, citing the benefits such systems provide in reducing both product and development costs.
Though it is true that advanced industries, and in particular, R&D, have been slower to digitize than many other sectors, there remains a sometimes-overlooked silver lining. By simply introducing technology and transparency into decision-making and operations, engineers and R&D staff are often more empowered, enjoy a better experience and can focus on what they like most — building & designing.
In an essay, we have examined the challenges and opportunities that come with tech-enabled transformations. Among them is that companies can take a piecemeal approach, leading to suboptimal outcomes.