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Technology Innovation: Top Down or Bottom Up?

February 13, 2009

Deloitte debates how to drive innovation around asset intelligence and transform a business model overnight.

NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ -- Asset intelligence is at the forefront of innovation. Question is how to do it? And who should lead it? This is the focal point of a new debate initiated today by Deloitte on its Web site.

In the debate, Doug Standley, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and a leader in strategic technology innovation at Deloitte, makes a compelling business case for bringing a neutral operating platform perspective—anything, anywhere—to asset intelligence technology to drive a network effect for distributed assets.

"Applying intelligence to any asset class can help transform existing business models, shifting the value proposition from reactive to proactive to predictive," said Standley. "Products themselves can become drivers of services and potential competitive disruption."

Standley uses GPS and a waste management company example to illustrate his point. Instead of simply knowing where a dumpster is located, the waste management company could build real intelligence into every container and truck. Using a neutral operating platform, the company could also know when the dumpster gets emptied and how much garbage it contained. That knowledge would be used to automatically bill the customer, with no manual intervention. By combining weight, motion, and location sensors, the waste management business model could fundamentally shift—in a direction that rewards conservation.

Yet, for all the potential with asset intelligence, Standley argues in the debate that innovation around the technology will only happen if corporate leaders—not applications engineers or product designers—drive it.

"Asset intelligence is a strategic opportunity, not just a technology choice. Individual operating units don't have the capacity to drive this type of transformation. Our experience shows that this type of approach often leads to a proliferation of point solutions that not only don't add up to sustainable enterprise value, they can actually increase operating costs."

Deloitte leaders in the energy and consumer product sectors also weigh in on the debate to demonstrate how driving innovation around asset intelligence via a neutral operating platform would impact these industries.

About Deloitte
As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Services LP, separate subsidiaries of Deloitte LLP. Please see the company's Web site for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.

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