Denver - Berlin

Diversified Manufacturer Develops New Business Models to Address Smart Systems and IIoT Growth Opportunities


A large diversified equipment manufacturer supplying solutions for multiple markets including power generation, oil & gas, transportation, industrial and healthcare segments reached out to Harbor Research to explore new IIoT business models and understand how to enable new revenue streams across its diverse businesses.


Our client, a 100+ year old Fortune 20 business, had identified that virtually all of its core lines of business were heavily investing resources to develop software and organize data platforms to drive new customer value and potential revenue streams. A team within the corporate R&D group reached out to Harbor to help validate the scale of new smart systems and IIoT growth opportunities, identify the new business models that would justify the levels of investment that the lines of business were allocating and then work with the team on an early assessment for senior leadership of how best to address these emergent opportunities.

Process and Outcomes

Harbor Research initially created a “briefing” storyboard that characterized the new growth opportunities as well as illustrative examples of peer organizations and their similar journeys to addressing new B2B software and innovation opportunities with in established industries and customers.

Once the client’s team has a chance to review and absorb this perspective, Harbor organized this work with the client’s R&D growth team along three dimensions:

  1. Developing a set of growth scenarios and related quantitative modeling to validate the scale, anticipated growth and overall attractiveness of new smart systems, services and IIoT growth opportunities across our client’s lines of business and related markets.
  2. Collaborating with the client’s growth team, Harbor developed a framework and related set definitions for new business and revenue models based on a carefully designed set of criteria including critical customer solution needs, customer buying behaviors as well as the alignment of existing capabilities within each line of business.
  3. Through a combination of peer analysis and internal examination of the capabilities of the individual lines of business, Harbor worked to develop a set of strategic alternatives for leadership review that addressed the design of new growth ventures that could successfully bring the new software platform and capabilities to market.

We then worked to combine elements of the three dimensions – opportunity scale and characteristics combined with new business models and growth venture alternatives to help support the team’s understanding and eventual decisions surrounding the path forward.


Based on inputs and feedback from our analysis, our client determined the best path forward was to consolidate new software development into an autonomous growth business and set the stage for developing new business and revenue models in a more venture-driven organization and culture.  These decisions and maneuvers have since created a nearly $1 billion software and digital solutions business.


Global (Fortune 20) Diversified Manufacturer


Facilitate Innovation Workshops

Validate Growth Opportunities

Growth Strategy For New Business Models

Design New Smart Services Offerings

Evaluate New Growth Ventures

June 22, 2020