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Data: The foundation of intelligent business

9 Nov 2022

This expert perspective highlights the research conducted by the Capgemini Research Institute into the role that intelligent products and services play in unlocking new revenue streams that leverage data to unlock new servitisation based business models.

“Intelligent products are smart, connected, software-enabled products that can be continuously improved using real-time feedback. The data they generate and collect can enable organisations to offer intelligent services, leading to new servitisation-based business and revenue models.” – Capgemini Research Institute

Fig 1. The Four Pillars of Intelligent Products and Services (Source: CRI)

Out of the 1000 businesses, interviewed by the Capgemini Research Institute, only 35% claimed to offer some form of intelligent services and a further 7% said they want to have fully scaled use cases for intelligent products and services. Furthermore, nearly 90% of organisations expect to enjoy revenue from intelligent services in the next 3 years. So, what does this mean?

It means that businesses who identify themselves within that 90% will need to have both the foundations and mechanisms in place to support the creation, development, and delivery of such capabilities to enable intelligent offerings. The business will also need a clear route to market as well as an approach for scaling up their intelligent service to the broader market. Securing that first use-case and proof of concept is key and this will no doubt be a challenge for businesses to achieve in such a short space of time.

Broadly speaking, servitisation models can be categorised into one of three: product-based models, usage-based models, and outcome-based models. But what themes underpin these models and where are businesses falling short?

Customer experience

Ultimately, if your business is customer centric, then the focus should be putting customer experience and outcomes at the core of any new service offering relating to intelligent services. Does this new service add value to our customers? Are we creating a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist? Failing to understand your customers’ needs can be detrimental.

Legacy systems

Ensuring your business is supported at the technology level is also pivotal when thinking about intelligent services/products. As this is quite a transformational proposition, many may find themselves stuck with legacy systems that don’t quite support the objectives or benefits that are trying to be realised. Some businesses may need large capital expenditure to ensure their technology portfolio is kept in date and aligned to the transformational objectives that the intelligent service/product is aiming to offer.


Data underpins customers’ experience and the famous phrase ‘you’re only as strong as your data’ couldn’t ring closer to the truth. Ensuring the business has the mechanisms in place to support data management from collecting, processing, analytics and security will ultimately decide how impactful your solution is.

53% of surveyed businesses stated that data governance, management and hiring data science professionals were critical talent gaps within their operation.

Talent is another hot topic that comes under the data theme. Does the business have the right people to drive this transformation forward and support its growth ambitions? Does the business have people who can interpret data and translate into key design decisions and understandable metrics?


Organisations must take a ‘toe-in-the-water’ approach: build only a few use cases at a time and test those before scaling further. It’s no surprise to learn that big-bang approaches rarely work, and businesses will need to match their intelligent service/product with intelligent testing to build durability and detect weakness, savings on cost, staying compliant and allowing for continuous innovation.

Fig 2. A five-point framework to assist organizations in moving towards an intelligent products and services portfolio (Source: CRI)

Fig 2. A five-point framework to assist organizations in moving towards an intelligent products and services portfolio (Source: CRI)

Digital continuity also needs to be considered to ensure scale and growth can be achieved. These new technologies need to be embedded into existing operations, interconnected in the new eco-systems and digital threads created to ensure full visibility of data across the product or services lifecycle.

Closing comments

So where does this leave us? Well, as discussed above, business leaders have a lot of unique themes to consider when building their new intelligent service offering. If those main factors are considered and managed effectively, then not only will the chance of success be higher, but also you’re building a more scalable service/product, which will ultimately generate increased revenue yields for the business. At the very core is your customer – they are the driving force and focus on customer experience and value add should be at the forefront of any intelligent transformation programme.