The promise


The digital revolution that is changing our world is ready to transform global business. We anticipate that digital service innovation will shape this new era.

The opportunity to digitalize core offerings and provide customers with highly valued experiences is revolutionizing industries and markets. Those who prevail will seize new service-based revenues, reach new audiences, build stronger customer relationships and be protected from competition and market shocks. 

The challenge


Where to start? Creating digital products and services through technology development, service rollout and business transformation is complex. Making a digital breakthrough that’s defendable in the market and resistant to margin pressures will be demanding. 
 
Design thinking will show the way – designing with the end user’s goals in mind and leveraging a broad mix of innovation accordingly. For success, it is paramount to apply just the right combination of market insight, service design and technology prowess.  

What’s next?


Transformational service models


Service innovation starts by viewing an organization from a single perspective. How do its activities satisfy end user goals? This will spark radical advances such as augmenting or displacing a physical product with a subscription model or personalizing an offering as a service.

Services become memorable experiences and new models change the commercial relationship between the consumer, provider and third parties.

All will transform a business, but it’s vital to consider the technical aspects of user access, billing, payment, service activation and management. Success will also depend on how new services are launched and incrementally developed – often with the help of AI systems that learn as they operate. 

Autonomous operation

The greatest value will come from services that bridge the physical-digital divide.

AI-powered connected devices and platforms that work in conjunction with cloud-based systems can revolutionize a business by carrying out the most complex tasks with limited human intervention.

This autonomous operation – spanning everything from robotic vehicles to frictionless shopping – is often controlled by a central cloud-based brain. Creating a service through the combination of these systems is a game-changer, increasingly empowered by new approaches such as digital twin and smart edge technology. 

Smart digital platforms

Platforms shape digital service thinking, at both technology and conceptual service model levels. The economics at play recognize the virtuous-circle interaction of consumers and producers.

This highlights the importance of the API economy where platforms can be extended to a range of devices to form digital ecosystems. Wearables, nearables, edge networks and fog computing are all included in this. AI will play an increasingly important role, enabling platforms to learn, recommend, make intelligent decisions and deliver data insights. 

Ambient interfaces


The success of services depends on human interaction. We are all lovers of screens and the power of visual interfaces endures. But contactless innovation is accelerating quickly, with new skills being applied to design conversations.

The five human senses are being augmented with vestibular (gravitational) and proprioception (relative body position), while technologies are also allowing for brain computer interfaces. We are ambitiously exploring these as the world moves beyond the screen. The next phase is zero UI, where we recognize sentiment, mood, perception, and gesture, and respond to neuroscience sensing. 

Human senses, ambient interfaces and the future of digital services

Oh, what it is to be human… many of us have been musing on the big questions of our existence and will continue to do so as lockdown gradually loosens around us. In our periods of isolation, we were reminded of what we were denied. 
 
Essential human contact, physical touch, our freedom to smell, see, hear and feel the wider world. For me, the phase has also highlighted the core component of my professional life, because human senses are the means by which digital services deliver value.  

Digital health services


Global healthcare is under immense pressure to deliver cost-effective, value-based care to an aging population, often challenged by complex, lifestyle-related chronic illnesses.

Simultaneously, emerging digital service technologies are bringing connectivity, mobility, data generation and machine learning capabilities. They promise new insights, new therapies and a response to the challenges of 21st Century healthcare. 

Healthy competition within digital services

Lockdown is changing everything.  Not least of which is digital revolution rippling through the established practices of how doctors see patients, where start-ups are disrupting the disruptors to accelerate mass adoption of new patient services. 
 
But just how protectable really are digital services? Are today’s breakthrough innovations under threat of becoming tomorrow’s commodities?  

Digital services

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