You work as a middle manager for one of the top U.S. producers of luxury and mass-market automobiles and trucks. The chief technology officer (CTO) of the company from the course scenario has been researching new technology developments that the company could integrate into its vehicles to enhance their usefulness and access to sensor data. Such data is acquired by the many digital sensors that have been integrated into vehicle subsystems over the past 20–30 years. The technology trend of particular interest to the CTO is the internet of things (IoT), the interconnection of embedded devices such as sensors and computers over the internet to share data. For automobiles, the trend points to creating connected cars.
Senior management has decided to explore IoT for the company’s trucks and cars. Your task is to create an internal memo explaining that the company should integrate IoT into its product line using the RWW (real, win, worth it) screening tool from the Module One resources and the information from the CTO Brief, Comparative Growth Data, Comparative Operating Statistics, and Comparative Product Plans documents. Consider the following:
- Discuss the feasibility of the product line (refer to RWW screening tool question number one: Is it real?).
- Is there a need or desire for the product?
- Is the size of the potential market adequate?
- Can the product actually be made?
- Will the final product satisfy the market?
- Discuss the ability of the company to win market share (refer to RWW screening tool question number two: Can we win?).
- Will your company’s products have a competitive advantage?
- How will your competitors respond?
- Can your company understand the market properly?
- Discuss the potential benefits to the company of producing this product (refer to RWW screening tool question number three: Is it worth doing?).
- Will the product be profitable at an acceptable risk?
- Does launching the product make strategic sense?
- Does the product fit your company’s overall growth strategy?
- Will your company’s senior management support this project?
- Based on the answers to the questions above, explain the reasons why IoT and connected cars are strategically important to the company.
- Consider the evolving customer needs and desires; how would they impact the company’s product plan?
- What do you think competitors will do (if anything) in response to changes in your company’s development plan?
- Do you think that accelerating development of connected cars will help grow the company?
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