UK-based engineering and design consultancy, Plextek is launching a new innovation business unit called Ignite Exponential, to help established companies compete with agile and fast moving start-ups that are driving new disruptive technologies.
Ignite Exponential (IEX) aims to bridge the innovation gap faced by market-leading businesses struggling to stay ahead and meet changing customer expectations in a climate of unprecedented uncertainty and aggressive competition. In particular, the rise of new technologies such as Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are dissolving the barriers to entry, enabling the rapid introduction of new product and service offerings and challenging existing business models.
Ignite Exponential will build on the 30 years’ experience Plextek has working at the leading-edge of advanced technologies to help its partners navigate this changing landscape, through strategic innovation, future-focussed marketing, human-centric design and enabling technology.
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Alan Cucknell, who has been appointed to head up Ignite Exponential, summarises how IEX will bring a new approach to innovation: “I’ve spent my career helping global companies to innovate and seen how trying to create non-standard solutions to strategically important problems can lead companies to adopt standard processes, which can lead to standard results! There is no silver bullet for strategic innovation in these increasingly complex times and it is too important to outsource. Instead, we will look to create hybrid, collaborative and cross-functional approaches that harness combined skillsets, tools and experience and help to build internal ownership”.
Nicholas Hill, CEO of Plextek adds: “Front end innovation requires different mindsets, skills, processes and tools to downstream engineering. That’s why Ignite Exponential draws on the specialist development processes, systems and capabilities that Plextek is well known for, to create a distinct offering – a front end innovation partner that is agile, multi-disciplined and experienced. While the units will work closely together, the teams, systems, environment and culture are independent, to focus on maximising the impact of our work.”
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Together, Ignite Exponential and Plextek will be able to partner with clients from defining innovation strategy through designing purposeful business models, platform and product solutions to developing final products and manufacturing to market.
An alternative is for established players to innovate through acquisition, but this can lead to paying over the odds and result in costly mistakes. “More than ever, innovation will determine the success or failure of established companies over the next decade – it is too important to be left to chance,” says Alan Cucknell.