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Digitalisation of products requires new service innovation strategies

Research can help companies modernise their business strategies by creating value of digital services together with their customers. A new study from Halmstad University focuses on digital service innovation in the vehicle industry – a development that everyone can benefit from.

– Traditional product sales oriented strategies may not work in this era of digitalisation. Digitalised products are not only a set of products for sale; they are also means for providing digital services to customers, says Soumitra Chowdhury at the School of Information Technology at Halmstad University, who recently defended his PhD thesis in Informatics.

Soumitra Chowdhury at the School of Information Technology defended his PhD thesis in Informatics on September 28.

Remote vehicle monitoring

Soumitra Chowdhury has in his research studied digital service innovation in the transportation sector. Today, vehicle manufacturers provide digital services related to safety and security, such as remote monitoring, roadside assistance in case of emergency and stolen vehicle identification. But in order to have effective, efficient and safe transportation, digitalised product platforms need to develop and include a larger range of services, for example remote diagnostics services (RDS). By using technologies for remote vehicle monitoring, diagnosis and prediction of faults, RDS can be designed for better vehicle maintenance and operation. This can benefit the transportation business as well as our society as a whole.

– One interesting and crucial finding in my research is the strategic value of data generated from the usage of digitalised vehicles. As the data is remotely transferred to vehicle manufacturing firms, the firms can use the data to design and offer services related to vehicle maintenance. In this way, manufacturing firms can become more customer-oriented which is an aim for the firms to sustain in business, explains Soumitra Chowdhury.

Adapt to modern requirements

– It is important that companies adapt their business to modern business requirements. Otherwise, the consequence will be devastating. For example, Kodak chose to focus solely on selling film cameras and underestimated digital imaging services, which resulted in bankruptcy. The digitalisation of products poses challenges in developing platform architecture and identifying technological capacity for creating value of digital services together with customers. Hopefully, my research will contribute to meeting these challenges, says Soumitra Chowdhury.


The image shows a digitalised vehicle platform.

– Hopefully, my research will contribute to meeting the challenges that come with the digitalisation of products, says Soumitra Chowdhury.

Updated 2015-10-06