For the last 30 years innovation has been driven by hardware, with software playing an enabling role. Today, the move towards large scale digitalisation is reversing these roles, with software driving innovation and hardware becoming increasingly commoditised. A new generation of smart systems is set to emerge based on software centric technologies such as the industrial internet of things, artificial intelligence, block chain and cloud computing technologies.
The emergence of software as a driving force of innovation has profound consequences for industry. In the same way that 3D printing offers entirely new possibilities for designing and manufacturing physical components, software driven innovation offers companies completely new opportunities to better understand and more rapidly address the changing needs of customers. New products, services and business models better attuned to market demand and delivered more efficiently are the results. The ability to use software to drive innovation is therefore a key component in the digitization strategy of any business.