Smart organizations that want to achieve future growth and maintain relevant products in the market invest in Research & Development (R&D). These businesses carry our R&D activities to innovate and improve their product lines and procedures. They experiment with different approaches and often end up developing brand new products and services.
Instead of setting up an internal Research & Development department, organizations often outsource these activities to expert teams that specialize in R&D.
In this article, we:
- explain what R&D is all about,
- show why outsourcing R&D it is a good idea,
- and share some battle-tested practices for a successful R&D project.
What is Research and Development?
The idea behind R&D is conceptualizing an entirely new product or service.
Most R&D projects involve two different phases. During the research phase, the team formulates a problem, experiments with new approaches, and tests the viability of potential product ideas. Then comes the development phase where the team transforms the findings into a product or service.
Let’s look at them in detail.
In general, the goal of basic research is understanding a specific subject matter and building a body of knowledge relating to it. Note that basic research may not involve work that leads to developing a practical or commercial application. However, it brings companies valuable findings they can use to improve their products or take on a new direction in their offer.
Applied research always starts with more specific objectives. The objective of applied research is determining methods for addressing a particular customer or industry requirement. Applied research investigations concentrate on specific commercial goals of company products or procedures.
In this phase, the team uses research findings to produce specific products. These can be systems, methods, procedures, or materials. The team sets out to design and develop a prototype or a Proof of Concept that generates material for production. Another group - this time, a team of software engineers - takes advantage of these plans to produce commercial products, starting with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
Now you know why Research and Development offers companies a significant competitive advantage. It allows them to create products that stand out on the market to sustain their growth and success.
Outsourcing Research and Development
Research and Development differs from most operational activities companies perform daily. R&D departments often perform activities without the expectation or clear goal of immediate profit. That's because they focus on the long-term profitability of the company.
Setting up an internal R&D team takes up significant company resources. Consider the time and effort dedicated to sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding candidates or the financing of research activities. Most of the time, it's not easy for organizations to estimate the return on their R&D spendings.
That's why so many companies outsource Research and Development.
Here are some benefits of outsourcing R&D:
- Access to top talent – when outsourcing R&D, there's no need to invest in attracting, sourcing, maintaining and retraining employees. That makes a real difference for companies located in markets where finding highly-qualified technical staff is challenging. Organizations that outsource gain instant access to a team of experts experienced in delivering R&D projects.
- Faster time-to-market – by outsourcing R&D, companies can get down to work almost immediately. Recruiting employees and building an internal R&D team takes a significant amount of time. That's why outsourcing involves a massive reduction of time-to-market.
- Control of resources – another advantage of outsourcing R&D is the possibility of time-boxing contracts. That strategy works great for predicting the costs of research projects where the deliverables can't be defined. Organizations can perform a more accurate cost-benefit analysis to check whether going ahead with the project makes sense financially.
- Focus on products – ultimately, R&D activities need to concentrate on delivering innovative technologies, methods, and systems that serve for developing new products. It doesn't matter how much time you spend on a project; it should always bring you a deliverable. That's another point where outsourcing mitigates again R&D project failure simply because it’s easier to control the work of an external R&D team.
Research and Development – our way
At Codete, we help our clients carry out comprehensive R&D projects that develop new methods and approaches for producing highly successful products.
Here's how we approach Research and Development projects.
Research and Development come with a unique range of challenges for engineers. Over the year, we have developed processes and practices that enable our teams to reach maximum productivity and bring the best results to our clients.
Here’s an example of our R&D process.
Step 1: Business Audit
The first stage in our bespoke R&D consulting services is a thorough business audit. We gather all critical business information and highlight optimization opportunities.
Step 2: Proof of Concept development
Our tailor-made innovations come to life in the Proof of Concept model. It demonstrates the impact the researched technology will have on the client's business.
Step 3: MVP Implementation
Our R&D development team builds a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that showcases the core value of the developed technology. Dedicated IT engineers build it from scratch or serve as your auxiliary IT department in the process.
Agile development process
Our R&D teams follow the Agile methodology principle to stay nimble and flexible when delivering value. Agile project management with Scrum allows us to provide a defined output in a relatively short time. We develop the project incrementally to ensure it matches client requirements and bring them maximum value.
Our team uses Agile methods and Agile processes for teamwork. Team members meet every day, so decision-making is quick and efficient. The sense of shared purpose helps our experts approach the demanding Research and Development work with energy and enthusiasm.
Data lake forming
One of the critical steps in our Data Science R&D projects is forming a data lake. A data lake is a centralized data repository that allows storing both structured and unstructured data at scale. Businesses use it for Big Data processing, real-time analytics, machine learning solutions, and more.
A recent survey revealed that organizations that implement a data lake outperform similar companies by 9% in organic revenue growth.
We help business leaders take advantage of data lake in R&D projects to test hypotheses, refine assumptions, and evaluate research results for optimal performance.
Example success story: Porsche
To take advantage of data, Porsche invested in an R&D project to develop a machine learning solution for pattern recognition and predictive analytics. Our team of experts developed DLConverter, a solution that enabled the company to replace legacy data analytics models with modern ones. The highly-automated work environment designed specifically for this project today helps Porsche in to develop features faster and improve software reliability.
Invest in R&D with us
We support and execute innovation-driven projects across all types of business processes and industries. Our teams match data-driven solutions to the core business processes of our clients to build a significant competitive advantage.
Are you looking for an experienced technology partner for an R&D project? Our R&D teams will help your business ride the wave of digital transformation. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us!