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We Work With Ambitious Companies To Discover and Launch New Smart Systems Businesses
Navigate Emerging Technologies and Develop New Growth Strategies

Harbor Research provides growth strategy consulting and venture development advisory services to leading manufacturers, service providers and technology developers to discover, design and develop Smart Systems and Internet of Things growth opportunities.

“Harbor Research coined the term “Smart Systems” to describe the emergence of a new generation of complex adaptive systems that are trying to break away from traditional computing and telecom paradigms. As the cyber-physical world continues to dovetail with IoT, machine learning and artificial intelligence, Smart Systems will enable unimagined capabilities for both the B2B and B2C worlds.”

– Glen Allmendinger, Founder & President, Harbor Research

SMART SYSTEMS ARE RESHAPING MARKETS & INDUSTRIES

Smart Systems are disrupting a wide range of domains driving new growth opportunities and creating a foundation for reinventing solutions, companies, markets and industries. Where will your organization gain the most from new innovations and business models?


Explore how Smart Systems are impacting specific domains:

ENABLEMENT & CONNECTIVITY
The “center of gravity” in the Enterprise will increasingly be driven by new sensing devices, edge computing capabilities and distributed intelligence. Higher bandwidth and reliable connectivity are key to many new business models. Embedded systems and connectivity technologies are enabling new innovations. Read more…

NETWORK SERVICES
A new generation of high-performance network technologies—5G, time sensitive and new sensor networks—are unleashing an age of pervasive connectivity that is fostering entirely new modes of customer interaction and services. Realizing this potential will require new ecosystems and business models.  Read more…

SOFTWARE TOOLS & PLATFORMS
Containerization is ubiquitous, languages are less important and microservices are available everywhere. All this changes how software is developed, but it also creates huge complexity. What new software opportunities are evolving in the market, what business models align with these growth opportunities, and how should software players organize their service and solution delivery?  Read more…

APPLICATION SERVICES
Smart Systems are creating new solution delivery modes that are turning manufacturers, and in many cases others along the value chain, into a new kind of application services business. First movers in asset management, security as a service, customer support innovation and more are locking down lasting positions in their industries. New data driven application solutions are disrupting virtually all sectors of the economy.  Read more…


SMART CITIES & INFRASTRUCTURE
New smart city technologies are showing promise in their ability to alleviate citizen and agency stakeholder pain-points, but the diversity of technologies and the number of applications and integration dimensions create numerous hurdles to adoption. While many cities are beginning to modernize, embracing technologies to improve their essential urban systems and enable more effective resource utilization is a complex challenge.  Read more…

INDUSTRIAL & RESOURCES
The acceleration of smart systems and digital innovations is causing a revolution in industrial systems, machinery and resource-driven segments. New business models, unexpected category dynamics, and disruptive technologies are challenging long-held beliefs and outdated strategy assumptions. Companies need to creatively evolve their business models and value delivery schemes to respond to the ever-changing customer and competitor landscape. Read more…

SMART ENERGY
Traditional power equipment manufacturers are facing new software and renewables competitors. Energy sector players need to step back and re-imagine solutions and re-think delivery models. Energy technology companies need to evolve their strategies to creatively leverage new software and data technologies which are forever changing the way solutions will be delivered and value is created.  Read more…

TRANSPORTATION
New mobility technologies are driving significant discontinuities in the vehicle, mobile equipment and transportation arena. Traditional vehicle manufacturers as well as construction, agriculture, mining, and material handing machine suppliers will need to define new mobility business models to leverage the diverse innovations invading these markets.   Read more…


SMART HOMES & CONSUMERS
The term “smart” implies intelligent, but you wouldn’t know it from today’s residential and consumer technology arena – a fragmented landscape full of narrow point-solutions, time-sink gadgetry, entertainment obsessions, and software/platform incompatibility. The next wave of “Smart Home” innovation needs to address the adoption barriers for smart interoperable systems.   Read more…

RETAIL & COMMERCIAL SERVICES
The retail and commercial services sector continues to be a highly competitive, low-margin environment where disruption has become the new normal. Battered by new online services, traditional bricks and mortar businesses search to balance their brands with new services, cross-channel interactions, and the impacts of digital technologies. Retailing needs to re-think how to design new modes of interaction with information-rich consumers. Understanding how Smart Services technologies can enable new customer experiences and achieve back office efficiencies will be critical.  Read more…

HEALTHCARE
Smarter healthcare equipment and systems are becoming integrated with virtual digital systems. This allows the data from patient sensors, diagnostic machines and more to become an integral part of all healthcare information systems. Developing new ecosystems to create new unimagined capabilities for patient care and delivery is the first step towards new growth.  Read more…

SMART BUILDINGS
All of the sub-systems in buildings—including power systems, HVAC, lighting, security, people movers, and more—produce data that has largely gone unharvested and under leveraged. Identifying and acting on new information-based services will create extraordinary business advantages for both established and emergent players.  Understanding how new digital building technologies are creating new “social” and data relationships between equipment suppliers will be key. Read more…

HOW WE HELP CLIENTS


SELECTED CLIENTS


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HARBOR’S THOUGHT LEADERSHIP


THE BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH US


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EXPERTISE

We have a unique perspective on the core technologies, market opportunities, business characteristics and organizational challenges honed by over thirty years consulting and analyzing the Smart Systems and IoT arena.

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FLEXIBILITY

Our agile teams tailor projects to your specific needs and we carefully align our team members with the deepest domain expertise to fit your project, emphasizing senior staff involvement and transparency.

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COMMUNITY

Our vast community brings together diverse expertise, including design, strategy, technology development, human sciences and more to help our clients push the boundaries of collaboration and build key partnerships.

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VALUE

Harbor’s consulting work is designed to minimize the scale, complexity and cost of projects and—far more importantly—to reduce the time to implement meaningful actions and drive execution.

SMART SYSTEMS DESIGN CORE PRINCIPLES


Catalytic combinations of technologies drive differentiation


Core technologies are reinforcing and accelerating one another multiplying their impact. Organizations can deliberately organize creative combinations of innovation to drive new value.

Think about opportunities as systems, not products


Innovators like Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs understood product innovation as well as also the business systems that created entire industries. Organizations need to look beyond their products and imagine entirely new experiences and marketplaces.

Strange bedfellows enable creativity and innovation


Organizations need to reach beyond their comfort zone to include diverse new viewpoints – what we like to call “strange bedfellows” – the users, customers and partners that bring new perspectives to drive creativity.

The era of flying solo is over – it’s all about ecosystems now


We’re witnessing the end of “command-and-control” partnering strategies. New Smart Systems solutions are setting the stage for visionary companies to step into the role of “system orchestrators” to facilitate open collaboration.

Creative contention drives business design


The technology architecture to realize new customer experiences and the business architecture that supports it must be mutually supportive. The relationship between these dimensions drives contention but is fertile ground for innovation.

We all need to think and act differently


Organizations have many rules and policies that are often disconnected – a triumph of technique over value. Companies need to resist Byzantine processes that allow good ideas to fade too quickly.

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