Summary of Creating Digital Offerings Customers Will Buy

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Digital innovation is critical for companies that want to thrive. Management must craft and implement strong development strategies. This expert analysis by Jeanne W. Ross, Cynthia M. Beath and Martin Mocker for MIT Sloan Management Review describes key characteristics to include in innovation plans to improve operations. The recommendations aren’t groundbreaking, but the article shines in its use of examples. Each recommendation comes with a real-world case study of a company that implemented the guidance successfully. This well-structured and useful read is suitable for any company pivoting toward digital. 

About the Authors

Jeanne W. Ross is principal research scientist for MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research. Cynthia M. Beath is emerita professor of information systems at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. Martin Mocker is a research affiliate at MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research and a professor of information systems at ESB Business School at Reutlingen University in Reutlingen, Germany. 



Innovating digitally is critical – but easier said than done. 

Digital advances including AI, biometrics, blockchain authentication and cloud computing offer benefits to companies and their customers – boosting speed, power and connectivity. However, leveraging these innovations into viable products presents challenges. Product development can be a long process entailing direct collaboration with consumers. Many companies aren’t designed to accommodate multifunctional teams and a repeated process of trial and error. Competition among companies is fierce, and innovation is a way to gain an edge.

Companies should pivot from long-term, investment-heavy “big idea” projects to lower-stakes, shorter-term digital ideas. 

It needn’t be so difficult to experiment. Software developers can quickly produce a basic prototype and gather consumer input to indicate whether to continue or discard a...

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