Tech talent continues to be one of the most common debates in the industry today. Conventional wisdom says that there is a critical imbalance in supply/demand, and data showing that there could be more than 1 million computer programming jobs unfilled by 2020 supports the thinking. But there are significant facts that you need to consider that show the opposite appears to be true. Thanks to work by Indeed.com, new data show three favorable trends for those looking to hire tech talent: The tech job market is changing slower than the rest of the company; tech talent isn’t as rare as it appears; and the mismatch between tech talent seekers and jobs available is less than the rest of the market. This ties with what Forrester finds. Specifically, our research shows that tech talent is available and affordable as, even though tech jobs grow faster than the overall market, tech wages have only grown at the market average. While there are shortages, they tend to be confined to specific industries, geographies, and skills. This should be welcome news to companies as they build their tech bench, but the fact remains that talent is a critical differentiator, so make sure you stay ahead of the game.
Building connected experiences with IoT and making the business model pay is hard. Bird, the e-scooter ride company, has been struggling with funding global growth for its IoT-enabled electric scooter services. It loses money on its original scooters because they only survive public use a month or two, which is not long enough to make a profit on selling rides that average less than $4. The company has begun deploying more robust, expensive scooters to reach a six-month lifespan, but it doesn’t have enough cash to fund expansion beyond the US and western Europe. So it has created Bird Platform to set up third-party partners that can fund and operate local business, starting with New Zealand, Canada, and Latin America. This is an innovative approach to a common problem and one that more companies can take advantage of. See our research on platform businesses to learn more.
Let’s face it, native apps don’t reach all your customers. And your current responsive website doesn’t deliver the results your markets and digital leaders would like. Fortunately, the pendulum of engagement is swinging back toward web, and new browsers from Apple and Google can deliver an applike experience via your website. New progressive web app (PWA) technology finally lays the foundations for a new paradigm of engagement, one that blends the reach and convenience of the web with the experience of an app. If our inquiry volume is any indication, you already have a movement forming inside your company to reinvent your mobile web strategy using progressive web apps. Get out ahead of this trend by joining consumer brands such as Starbucks and West Elm with a progressive web app strategy. Start with this report on PWA strategy and this one on PWA execution.
In our innovation inquiries with many enterprises, a fairly common question has been around what to do when the intellectual property for your proposed solution is already patented and controlled by a startup. Rather than waiting for the startup to disrupt your business, our most common recommendation is to partner with the startup to bring it to market. The biggest appeal to the startup will be your existing broader market engagement and assets, which will help expand the applicability of the startup’s IP and increase customer validation of the solution. If the startup isn’t willing to partner with you, however, then their patents clearly can be a blocker. But as you also know, 90% of all startups fail in the first five years of their existence. Apple is looking to expand its consumer appeal by taking advantage of one of these situations. It recently acquired a handful of patents from Lighthouse AI, a startup that went under in December of last year when it failed to achieve commercial success. With the deal, Apple gets potentially valuable IP that it can access using its market and operational advantages.
We tend to think of disruption and innovation being central to industries like retail and high tech. The fact of the matter is that every industry is under pressure. Case in point, the $90 billion pet industry has seen strong growth with humanization and premiumization leading the way. The problem is that both of these trends have been overplayed, as evidenced by a rising number of new products and services being delivered by more and more incumbents and new market entrants. To stay ahead of the game, innovation is a requirement, and a portfolio approach must be part of the thinking, as it helps you on multiple dimensions: improving the existing, developing the new, and laying the groundwork for moonshots that can create your company’s future. See our reports on how other seemingly staid industries such as farming are reaping the fruits of innovation.