By CPA Global News ‑ July 9, 2020
If recent experience has taught us anything it’s that agility and flexibility are fundamental to resilience. This is true across all sector verticals and business activities, not least including Intellectual Property and R&D departments who must now grasp the nettle to ensure that they can go on generating high quality innovation.
There is a general socio-economic trend towards ever high levels of human activity, and a gradual shift where formally core, analogue activities are automated or rendered obsolete. The exponential evolution of technological advancement has rapidly sped up this process, but in some cases the solutions which have been developed have taken longer to embed in certain industries and business units, which have remained wedded to traditional ways of doing things (either for cultural, financial or regulatory reasons). But black swan events such as the coronavirus outbreak can be a catalyst for a sudden and wholesale shift in mentality and approach and rapid digital transformation. Those who are able to shift quickly position themselves well to emerge stronger post-crisis, and those who remain slow to adapt run the risk of becoming a casualty of the crisis.
For enterprises which are dependent on human intellect – in innovation-heavy industries and those where human-capital is paramount – the direction of travel is clearly towards freeing up people to focus on the higher value, and minimising those processes which can be done cheaper, quicker and more smartly by technological solutions. This is not a journey to be feared. Indeed, the pandemic has highlighted the very significant benefits which can be attained by adopting lean, agile operations powered by technology.
For IP departments these benefits can broadly be defined by three questions which we are being asked every day by corporate enterprises.
The fundamental question, though, for IP departments is this.
Does it still make sense to devote internal resource to routine tasks and processes – such as, data entry into IP Management Systems or invoice management – which are either already efficiently productised or which will soon become part of the digitalised world economy which is emerging?
Where the level of commoditisation and automation is high, then businesses should be considering whether to continue to invest in developing and maintaining teams to perform those tasks internally and ensuring they don’t pass that resource cost on to high-performing individuals whose time, energy and intellect is far better spent elsewhere in creating value for the business.
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