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How to drive technology innovation through R&D outsourcing?

Reading time: 5 min

Tech development affects every company and every product. More than ever people expect to see something they have never seen before. With the pace of tech change only accelerating, technology and business strategy must be linked inseparably.

The truth is that those companies that are outperforming, are doing so because they allocate resources to tech innovation and understand the strategic importance of technology in their product markets. Through their focus on delivery of high-end tech solutions, leading and successful companies are increasingly market-driven and therefore gain competitive advantage.

It is innovation that brings investments that, at the end of the day, really add value and boost customer satisfaction.

But how to be innovative, when resources such as time, budget or knowledge are limited?

In today’s fast-paced environment, innovation requires not only new methodologies, but also new mindsets.

One of the ways in which innovation can be introduced is outsourcing. Although outsourcing has traditionally been viewed as a means of hiring extra staff to deal with business or IT processes, the trends begin to change as companies strive to gain competitive advantage by outsourcing innovation. Research and development is the first step towards this goal.

R&D – the way to innovate

Through research and development businesses obtain knowledge needed to market new or improve existing products, services, processes and systems, which eventually increases revenue. R&D can not only be conducted in-house, but also jointly, with other market participants. The trends are clearly visible – in order to harness technology, gain advantage and grow talents, measures such as partnerships, strategic alliances, co-operation and outsourcing are used to access expert knowledge and to maximise ROI.

R&D - Future Processing

Why should companies outsource R&D?

Rapid-fire tech development means that change is now driving the business. That is why companies need to redefine their approaches to technology. This is increasingly easy, as the required technology and knowledge is very likely already available somewhere in the market.

Previously, costs-cutting was the most popular driver pushing companies to outsource. But more often moving to a low-cost location is not what companies are actually looking for. This makes the traditional outsourcing attitude a bit outdated. It is rather quality, new opportunities and delivering impact and value that modern-minded businesses are wishing to achieve. And focusing on innovation can really create results that customers will appreciate.

Many factors make R&D outsourcing especially beneficial. It is one of the best means to obtain technology – not only in terms of time. Developing technology in-house is usually riskier than simply buying the results from the outsourcing partner, as the risks are shared and the outcome can often be seen or tested before embarking on the project.

The outsourcing company will have the necessary domain knowledge and expertise, sufficient manpower at disposal and will market the product or service faster and less expensively. They will also be helpful in terms of protecting the intellectual property of the innovation. That is why more and more often in-house R&D is not justified and businesses turn towards outsourcing R&D endeavours.

Outsourcing innovation – real life examples

Every new technology initially may seem enigmatic, but it brings new opportunities to the business. That is why it is technology that is one of the most common types of R&D that is outsourced.

However, not only hi-tech companies and industries invest in R&D outsourcing. There are numerous other industries that benefit from tech innovation.

Let’s look at healthcare, for example. When it comes to the critical issue of health, innovation needs to provide tangible benefits. Technology is the keystone to delivering truly innovative solutions, helping healthcare companies to stay on top of the competition.

Also, our cities and towns are already looking to utilise smart tech solutions that can provide practical benefits including significant cost savings, environmental improvements and increased efficiency in people’s lives. Using innovative tools, entire cities can offer better working condition, smarter habitat and life facilitation. Multidimensional cooperation using the latest technologies is the very foundation for sustainable development not only of the city, but also of the entire country. Incorporating innovative solutions into the worlds around us ultimately brings real value.

Bottom line

Companies with strong capabilities to innovate are likely to have an edge over their competitors, and harnessing innovation through R&D outsourcing is surely a way to deliver value, provide new products and services and drive revenue.

What is more, businesswise, outsourcing R&D can be an effective strategy to foster internal creativity and build an open innovation climate. It enhances not only business development, but also boosts security and splits risks.

That is why it is reasonable to entrust R&D to a specialised company as it will not only perform the task at a lower cost, but also maximise ROI and allow to maintain balance of R&D and risk.

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