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Predictions for 2014: Mind the (R & D IT) Gap

By Michael Shanler | December 13, 2013 | 0 Comments

ScienceR&DProduct DevelopmentinnovationEngineeringData and Analytics Strategies

When the snow starts to fall in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, and the Southern Hemisphere packs their Bermuda shorts and suntan lotion…this signifies only one thing at Gartner:    Predicts Season!

Over the past few weeks, many clients have received links to this year’s crop of technology predictions.  We fully expect many of these predictions to disrupt the status quo and spit in the eye of conventional wisdom.  I had my hand in guiding a few of the R&D related ones during a collaborative (and sometimes combative) effort with peers.

Bridging the R&D IT gap requires some courage, faith, planning, and a contingency plan.  The way I see it, you and your organization have three outcomes:  (1)  If your company suffers a paralysis and refuses to step over the gap, then there is strong likelihood that a competitor will figure it out first…  (2) If you can’t commit on a direction and suffer a perilous misstep, then your foot may be mired in unpleasant and jeopardizing IT muck…  (3) However, if you step over the gap correctly, then you will create some opportunities for R&D, IT, the business, and your customers.

I’ve ID’d the  key “Predicts” summaries that address R&D IT gaps:

  • Predicts 2014: Manufacturer R&D Gets Smarter About Innovation in the Digitalized Era   – This set of predictions are centered on  R&D business process. They fall along the lines of  XaaS infrastructure issues, Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) failings, inability of PLM to carry insights from research through manufacturing, the gaps in skills and capabilities for designing products with embedded sensors to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT)….and the inability of most organizations to capture opportunities related to cross-industry innovations.
  • Predicts 2014: Life Science Manufacturers Transition to the Digitalized Era  –  This set of predictions is specific for our pharma, biotech, med-device, and CRO clients.  We exposed gaps in tools and processes for leveraging big data and major issues in R&D data models that are sure to “crush” many already over-stressed R&D IT groups.  Dale Hagemeyer and Don Scheibenreif also predicted challenges as it relates to leveraging social media and regulatory risks, gaps around closed loop marketing campaigns, and gaps in ability to listen to what practitioners are saying about life science products.  BTW –  This big data “crush” was  picked up in the Top Industries Predicts .

We don’t take the predictions process lightly.  Man of these have deep impacts on client strategy and investments.  Predicts season is certainly one of the more stressful, but exhilarating experiences as an analyst.   Many eyes and ears are on us when we do these, so we make sure our ducks are in a row before putting them to print.

While the predictions are indicative of the challenges that lay ahead for many clients, they also represent enormous opportunities for R&D IT business partners to assess, educate peers, analyze,  and execute programs that will lead to improved innovations.  There are many creative and innovative ways to cross the gap, but very few are universal.  You will need to find the way that makes the most sense for your organization.  So…3 possible outcomes for bridging the R&D gap with different variations.   Plan wisely. Commit…. and be bold!

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