Industry as a Product (IaaP)

Written By Patrick Connally

A technology, project management and consulting expert. When I'm not blogging and working, you can catch me searching for the joy in the simple things in life. I love connecting with people, so share your ideas, feedback and criticism...#SpreadLove

Industry as a Product

“To industry, nothing is impossible.” (Latin Proverb).

Introduction:

Digital transformation is sweeping across industries, and companies must find ways to adapt to remain competitive. Industry as a Product (IaaP) is a new approach to digital transformation that promises to help product and services companies stay ahead of the curve. In this blog post, we will explore what IaaP means for talent management, product management, go-to-market (GTM) strategy, and marketing.

Modern Business Challenges

The modern business landscape is characterized by increasing competition, changing customer needs, and evolving regulatory requirements. In this environment, traditional software solutions that are agnostic to industry-specific requirements often fall short in meeting the unique needs of customers within a particular industry. Customers are increasingly looking for solutions that are tailored to their specific industry and provide them with the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs.

Industry-specific solutions, on the other hand, are designed with the unique needs and challenges of a particular industry in mind. These solutions provide a higher level of (native and/or configurable) customization and flexibility, enabling customers to achieve their specific goals more effectively. By providing solutions that are tailored to a particular industry, software organizations can differentiate themselves in a crowded market and deliver greater value to their customers.

For consulting and professional services firms, industry-specific solutions provide an opportunity to create deeper and more long-lasting relationships with clients. By providing tailored solutions that meet their unique needs, these firms can build trust and credibility with their clients and become trusted advisors in their respective industries.

Furthermore, industry-specific solutions help software organizations stay up-to-date with the evolving regulatory landscape of different industries. As regulations continue to change, software organizations can leverage their expertise and deep knowledge of a particular industry to create solutions that are compliant with the latest regulatory requirements. This, in turn, helps to mitigate regulatory risks and ensure that customers are always in compliance with the latest regulations.

Industry as a Product (IaaP) Solutions:

Industry as a Product (IaaP) is a new approach to digital transformation that offers companies tailored solutions for their specific industry. Microsoft recently took this approach – I worked on an industry product team focused on driving and enabling growth by treating industry as the product. Our team was expanding industry solutions to focus on high-growth industries (including High-Tech/Software/Platform, Professional Services, Smart Buildings, Travel & Transportation, and others. IaaP solutions are scalable, flexible, and customizable, and they provide more value to companies than industry-agnostic solutions. By adopting IaaP solutions, companies can become more agile, responsive, and innovative, and deliver personalized experiences that meet the needs of their customers.

Embracing the Change:

Shifting to Industry as a Product (IaaP) means significant changes for consulting/professional services firms and product managers/product marketers. Here are some things to consider:

  • Consulting/professional services firms will need to be more aligned with industry regulatory agencies to ensure that the products they offer are truly industry-aligned.
  • Product managers and product marketers will need to rethink the structure of their organizations to maximize ROI and value. This may include realigning teams by industry or creating industry-specific product lines.
  • IaaP may require closer collaboration between product teams and industry experts, including industry associations and regulatory agencies. Companies may need to invest in developing partnerships with these groups to ensure that they have access to the latest industry insights and trends.
  • Companies may need to develop specialized skills and knowledge to build and maintain industry-specific solutions. This may require additional training or hiring new talent with specific industry expertise.

While there are macro-changes and impacts, organizations also need to consider the micro-impacts supporting those larger shifts. A few are worth a double-click: shifting to IaaP impacts the way organizations hire and engage the workforce, orchestrate product marketing, plan and execute on their go-to-market strategy, and market their offerings.

What IaaP Means for Talent Management:

As companies shift towards IaaP solutions, the need for specialized talent will increase. Companies will need to hire people who have industry-specific knowledge, such as compliance regulations, and who can help them build solutions that meet the unique needs of their industry. Talent managers must rethink their hiring strategies and focus on attracting talent with the right skills and expertise.

What IaaP Means for Product Management:

IaaP solutions require a different approach to product management. Product managers must work (closer) with industry regulatory agencies to ensure that their solutions meet compliance requirements. They must also collaborate more closely with customers to understand their unique needs and build solutions that meet those needs. Product development processes will shift to increase scale, flexibility, and adaptability. This may mean advanced branching and code management to support different product features, but also to centralize and simplify security patching for core product elements shared across industries.

What IaaP Means for your Go to Market (GTM) Strategy:

Shifting to IaaP solutions requires a different go-to-market (GTM) strategy. Companies must focus on building relationships with industry-specific partners and building solutions that meet the unique needs of their industry. Companies must rethink their GTM strategies and focus on delivering personalized experiences that meet the needs of their customers.

What IaaP Means for Marketing

As companies shift towards Industry as a Product, it is essential for marketing teams to be more industry-focused and have a deep understanding of the unique needs and challenges of customers within a particular industry. This shift means that marketing teams must change their approach to messaging, content creation, and delivery to ensure that they are speaking the language of the industry and are addressing its specific pain points.

Reasons to Shift to IaaP

It may seem daunting and arduous to pivot to an industry-focused organization. There are several compelling reasons for organizations to shift to Industry as a Product (IaaP). By providing tailored solutions that are specific to a particular industry, organizations can differentiate themselves in a crowded market and deliver greater value to their customers. Here are some key reasons why organizations should consider shifting to IaaP:

  • Eliminate the Communication Gap: By grounding your solution in customer needs and outcomes, you get away from talking bits and bytes and make it easier for your customer to understand how you solve their challenges.
  • Increased Customer Engagement: By providing industry-specific solutions that meet the unique needs of customers within a particular industry, organizations can improve customer engagement and build long-term relationships. Customers are more likely to stay loyal to organizations that understand their specific needs and provide solutions that meet those needs effectively.
  • Faster Time-to-Market: Industry-specific solutions can help organizations bring new products and services to market faster. By building on established industry standards and regulatory requirements, organizations can reduce the time and effort required for product development, testing, and certification.
  • Greater Regulatory Compliance: As regulations continue to evolve and become more complex, organizations need to be more vigilant in ensuring compliance with industry-specific requirements. By providing industry-specific solutions that are compliant with the latest regulations, organizations can mitigate regulatory risks and avoid costly penalties and fines.
  • Improved Risk Management: Industry-specific solutions can help organizations mitigate risk by providing tailored solutions that are designed to meet the specific needs of a particular industry. By focusing on the unique challenges and risks associated with a specific industry, organizations can reduce the likelihood of costly errors and failures.
  • Improved ROI: Industry-specific solutions can help organizations maximize their return on investment (ROI) by focusing on specific industry verticals and target markets. By creating products and services that meet the unique needs of a particular industry, organizations can reduce their costs and increase their revenue, resulting in improved ROI.

The shift to Industry as a Product provides a unique opportunity to create and deliver solutions that are more aligned with the needs and challenges of their customers within a specific industry. By embracing this shift, organizations can improve customer engagement, mitigate risks, increase their competitiveness, and achieve long-term success in an increasingly competitive landscape.

The Future of Digital Transformation:

Industry as a Product (IaaP) is the future of digital transformation. It offers companies tailored solutions that are scalable, flexible, and customizable to meet the unique needs of their industry. Industry-specific solutions are becoming more popular than industry-agnostic solutions because they provide more value to companies. Shifting to IaaP requires companies to embrace change, invest in new technology, adopt new business models, and rethink their product management and marketing structures. By embracing IaaP, companies can become more agile, responsive, and innovative, and deliver personalized experiences that meet the needs of their customers.

 

 

 

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