Co-innovation in large software platforms

Fábio Rocha from the University of Edinburgh Business School will present research co-authored with Neil Pollock into Co-innovation in large software platforms: Theorising a new model of digitalisation. Read the summary below.

Digital technologies are increasingly composing the fabrics of organizations. Nowadays it is difficult to find an organization that does not have any digital technology as part of the core of their products and services or, at least, taking care of some of their operations. Enterprise System (ES) is one type of digital technology—a large scale corporate system—that is virtually omnipresent in a global market that is expected to reach more than £148 billion by 2020, having a consistent five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.5% in the period. The capacity of innovating and meet customers’ needs brought ES there, and it is what keeps ES there. Large-scale software innovation represents an increasing challenge for software vendors to keep evolving specialized, diverse industry skills to serve continuously such market while promoting an integration of this heterogeneous knowledge. That is why software vendors are relying on others—customers, for instance—to keep their pace of innovation. They are co-innovating. Looking at this picture one can ask, but why do customers engage in co-innovation ventures with software vendors? What are the tensions between the constituents, given their heterogeneity? Moreover, what are the mechanisms (e.g. legal, operational) that support such endeavours? After all, is it a new model of digitalisation? The research aims at deepening the studies in search for answers to these questions and offering insights able to guide management practices in the ES innovation.