“Our research suggests that companies are more likely to thrive if they act aggressively to capture market share during downturns rather than wait for the recovery to begin. This agility, combined with a focus on customer value and support, often gives companies a first-mover advantage that other players cannot match. First movers during the current crisis could emerge stronger in the next normal.”

McKinsey & Co. – July 20, 2020

The global pandemic has accelerated the pace of change in 2020, compressing years of change into months and months into weeks. High-tech innovation, already running at a breakneck pace, somehow found another gear that’s forcing organizations to speed up or risk falling behind… perhaps permanently.

Long-promised infrastructure technologies like 5G continue to proliferate, and the massive increases in bandwidth—and perhaps more importantly, the reduction in latency—is poised to create another boom in innovation similar to the one we experienced when home broadband and 4G mobile broadband were introduced.

5G leads to another innovation “Big Bang”

When most people think 5G, they think Verizon, AT&T or Vodafone. But 5G isn’t about getting movies faster on your cell phone. It’s all about the enablement of new technologies and solutions, like IoT, VR and AI.

One example of 5G opening a floodgate of technology innovation is the “vehicle to everything” (V2X) movement. V2X allows assisted and unassisted automobiles to convey information to each other, their environment, and even pedestrians to dramatically reduce or eliminate accidents and gridlock.

In this scenario, each of those vehicles, stoplights, light poles and even connected pedestrians are an endpoint on a network. But in order to act and respond at speed, routing through a distant data center isn’t feasible when milliseconds count. V2X has to get the data closer to where the vehicle is. So each vehicle will become its own data center in a sense, which introduces a whole new layer of hardware and software complexity to an already highly-complex product.

“The infotainment system in the new [Volkswagen] Golf alone consists of more than 10 million lines of code,” said Volkswagen Board member Frank Welsch. “That would have been sufficient for an entire car just a few years ago.”

Managing growing product complexity at speed

V2X is just one example of how innovation today requires hardware, software, connectivity and cloud to work tightly together to deliver revolutionary new products and customer experiences—also known as a “system of systems”.

This same product complexity is on the rise in practically all aspects of high technology, from consumer electronics to semiconductor manufacturing. So how can product developers be expected to accelerate innovation even further at a time when the products themselves require more time to bring to market?

The adoption of model-based systems engineering (MBSE) may be an answer. MBSE replaces the base unit of legacy collaboration—the document—with 2D and 3D models instead. These models contain multi-dimensional information within them, including:

  • Requirements management, functional, logical, and physical design processes
  • Systems validation, verification, and qualification
  • Full change and configuration management across the product lifecycle
  • Full traceability and impact analysis for any compliance and audit requirements

Many organizations we talk to think they’re embracing MBSE throughout their organization, but in many cases, they’re simply performing legacy 2D tasks on the 3D model. Adopting MBSE isn’t that simple, but forward-thinking organizations are using this period of global disruption to rethink their core processes and platforms and reinvent themselves to succeed in the next normal.

High tech product developers that embrace true MBSE will have the framework necessary to develop and deliver truly innovative system-of-systems based products at a pace that delivers a sustainable competitive advantage for their organizations for years to come.

In today’s world, High-tech innovation is fueled by fast-paced technological advancements and dynamically changing customer demands. Often driven by small- and medium-sized companies with a global reach and a network of diverse partners.

Want to hear more? Join our webinar “Accelerating Innovation in Today’s World” with Persistent’s Lewis Breeding and Dassault Systèmes Louis Feinstein as we explore a proven approach for accelerating hi-tech product innovation from ideation thru end of life. With the easy to deploy 3DEXPERIENCE cloud-based platform providing out of the box collaboration, and innovative capabilities within a scalable unified business system environment.