The increased development of new technologies like Robotics, AR, VR, AI, and ML, has pushed more companies and institutes to invest time and other resources into R&D department creation. In the case of R&D in the software industry, companies have now expanded to employing outsourcing services – click for more info about R&D outsourcing.
But why is this? What are the research and development reasons that have driven companies to expand and invest?
Global Research and Development spending has reached nearly 1.7 trillion USD. Countries have further pledged to increase their private and public R&D spending and their number of researchers by 2030. Worldwide, the Republic of Korea has the highest percentage of their GDP allocated to R&D. While the United States has the highest spending overall.
40% of the top 20 companies with the highest spending on R&D in 2018 is composed of telecommunication and tech companies. 6 of the top 10 are information and technology multimillion companies; namely, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, Intel Co, Samsung, and Microsoft. In 2018, the Computing and Electronics industry and the Software and Internet industry stood in the top 5 industries with the percentage of spending on research and development worldwide.
Even the largest of tech companies and the richest of countries understand R&D necessity and have invested in the potential growth that innovation brings them. When done effectively, product innovation becomes a crucial driver for the growth, even survival, of a business.
Why establish an R&D department?
Due to the continuous growth in technology and consumer demands, companies are propelled to adapt and grow with the times. Companies can discover ways of improving their products, services, and processes, with research and development. Through this, businesses can also stay ahead of the curve with new and groundbreaking innovations.
Advantages of research and development
Boosts company and team productivity
Research and development trends, such as R&D trends in software development, link together several different aspects of the business. Marketing, Public Relations, Communication, and DevOps teams are some of the departments that work together to execute R&D projects and methods. Methods such as market analysis, product improvements, and product and process development. With the right strategy and R&D department, companies can boost team productivity and efficiency and inter-departmental collaboration.
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Provides insight for better decision making
With modern tools such as AI, machine learning, data science, and modern telecommunication tools, businesses can obtain large volumes of information from their consumers to fuel their research and development. Using the information acquired and tools such as Data Analytics, Data Mining, Machine Learning, and other data processing tools and methodologies, R&D departments can provide knowledge of product progress and performance. Executives can gain insight into their business and make better decisions for the continuity of the company.
Enhances business products, services, and processes
Research and development frequently lead to breakthroughs or improvements in products and services. The process of evaluation and innovation pushes forward change in the services and products provided by the company. Research and development is also an avenue to review, analyze, and improve business processes. This often leads to companies implementing tools and methods that increase organizational efficiency and effectivity.
Scalable for various types of businesses
Companies like Intel, Google, Microsoft, and Apple have the means to invest and spend millions of dollars supporting R&D expenses. However, businesses of any size – big or small – are also capable of employing research and development to innovate and improve. There are ways to scale and support R&D for small to medium enterprises or businesses.
During the G20 2019 Summit in Japan, Hiroyuki Okamuro and his team presented the challenges that SMEs face in implementing R&D, as well as solutions that have the potential to address these issues. Solutions such as leveraging and improving public support initiatives and policies, strengthening public-private collaborations and partnerships, protecting and leveraging of intellectual property systems, and others.
What are the latest tech Research and Development trends?
1. Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS)
XaaS provides businesses with tools to be more agile and adaptable in the market. The rapid growth of the Everything-as-a-Service tech solutions industry is even more attractive with its affordable costs. Businesses are capitalizing R&D costs and spending within a manageable financial range with these services. Businesses can improve and discover better products and services faster with the use of these services.
Cloud computing technologies such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service are even more prevalent, affordable, and accessible to businesses of any size with providers the likes of Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine, and DigitalOcean to name a few.
2. AI and Analytics
AI and Machine Learning are integrated into the numerous cloud-based technologies available in the market. With the capabilities of AI and ML, R&D departments can develop more sophisticated products that are highly capable of assistance, has expanded capabilities, and can provide labor alternatives.
From applications capable of expert knowledge to deductive and inductive analytics, AI and ML show continuous growth, increasing value and potential to R&D and businesses going forward.
3. Data Science
Data Science leverages the large amounts of data available to recognize relevant patterns and provide sufficient information for better decision making. Businesses can utilize data science tools to analyze market performance, sales patterns over time, operational costs, and other relevant information.
Businesses and data scientists can gain insight into potential strategies that will benefit the company the most. As Sean Law stated in an interview with DataCamp, Data Science in Research and Development aims to provide information on the potential of products or services.
Research and Development for Developers
Let us take Amazon and Intel as an example. Despite their dominance in their respective fields, Amazon with web services and Intel with hardware technology, both companies have shown continuous pursuit of excellence. A large part of this endeavor is their investment and belief in innovation and continuous growth. Amazon continues to expand its portfolio of cloud-based microservices, while Intel carries on in improving and developing cutting edge hardware technology.
Research and development essential for business innovation. It also ensures that there is a place for innovators, researchers, and developers to pursue their passion for knowledge and innovation, such as R&D in software development and R&D for apps. The combination of continuous innovation and having people that are passionate in their work, push companies such as Amazon, Intel, Google, and Microsoft to reap the research and development benefits, enduring and succeeding in their chosen fields and industries.