2016: the year of co-creation!

2016: the year of co-creation!

The year is only one month old, and already I’ve had the privilege to attend many great speeches and lectures on the changes in the geospatial sector that are upon us. The experts tell us that everything will change, and I’m also of the persuasion that we are on the verge of a new era.
On many occasions, companies like Apple, Uber and Airbnb are mentioned as examples of how a market can be turned upside down. Although this might not be a full analogy of what’s coming our way, but it’s a given that our industry will be fundamentally different compared to the last decades. Changes will not only be visible in what geospatial solutions are offered, but especially in how those solutions will be offered.

Not so long ago we lived in a world where the common practice was to answer the need of making a map by investing in a comprehensive GIS system, which we could use to make fantastic analyses. The idea behind this was that an end user’s organisation had a clear view on the needs in the coming years and was able to put together a valid business case based on this.
Because our information society is evolving at an increasing pace, determing a business case years ahead also becomes more difficult. Looking ahead three years from now to see what’s coming is about the maximum. This asks for different financial models.

Our working relationship also changes dramatically. Where previously almost everybody was employed either by the government or a private company, or was the owner of a business employing multiple professionals, nowadays more and more people are self-employed, moving from project to project and from solution to solution, instead of working from a long term technical foundation. The contents, the assignment and therefore the value is different every time.

At Imagem and Hexagon Geospatial, we have thought about models that fit this new way of doing business. The new Smart M.App platform revolves around the thought co-creation of value, where everybody receives their share of the added value. So when we venture into an application building project, we bring our technical expertise and a solid technical platform, and our partner adds industry specific knowledge, creating a solution that utilizes the technical foundation optimally and at the same time is tailored to the industry specific process.

The investment up front is very limited, and when a solution is successfully implemented, the revenue is also shared between the partners. This creates a whole new dynamic compared to the traditional customer supplier relationship. Together we determine the best solution and the associated price. That price is in line with the value this solution brings to the end user.
The fourth industrial revolution is well underway. For some this might feel as a threat, but I primarily see opportunties. Those that seize the opportunities profit, those that wait too long will miss out. Creating value together and reaping the benefits together is the new norm. That’s why I declare 2016 as the year of co-creation!