8 minutes

Ever had a new idea, but wasn't sure how to assess its viability, or turn it from an abstract thought into a concrete product?

One way to turn an idea into a marketable product is research and development (R&D). This process, which is responsible for many new consumer products and technical innovations on the market today, is often considered the sole purview of tech companies. While more and more businesses in all industries are realizing the value of R&D, it makes sense as to why technology might lean harder on this concept—items that we now consider ubiquitous throughout our daily lives weren't possible a decade ago. Now that technology is evolving so fast, businesses need the ability to adapt quickly in order to stay competitive.

R&D can be a lengthy and expensive process, but is very much worth the investment. The four largest companies in the world by market capitalization are good examples of the benefit of investing in R&D: Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet1 wouldn't be where they are today without keeping their finger on the pulse of not only new technology and its implementations, but what consumers are either looking for or lacking in their daily lives. Amazon alone spent $16.1 billion on R&D in 2016;2 the U.S. is a global leader in spending on R&D, splurging 2.4% of its gross domestic product focusing on new tech like artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, and adjacent software in 2018.3

Avoid being disrupted by another company with big ideas by having big ideas first. And Softjourn is happy to help with R&D if you don't know where to start.

The Benefits of R&D

With R&D, companies can begin to understand not just what products they should offer, but what their consumers are looking for, sometimes even before consumers know what they are looking for. R&D doesn’t only generate new ideas, but can provide focus on which ideas are even possible or most worthwhile. R&D brings several departments within a larger company together—involving more than just scientists and technical developers, R&D also brings in marketing, sales, designers, and others who all have valuable input throughout the process.

R&D can help cut a path through the huge amount of information available these days, gathered from every corner of the internet through computers, mobile devices, wearables, and so many other new forms of technology available to consumers. The term "big data" was coined, after all, to allow human brains a handle on the concept of billions of trillions of pieces of information now available through the informational hoarding we all participate in daily.

R&D can also vastly lessen time-to-market for new products. R&D is not just for end products themselves; it can also identify new procedures that take less time, energy, money, or workers, revealing how machines might automate a process and free workers up for more creative endeavors. R&D can be applied to many areas of a business, and thus can do more than just increase revenue: it might lessen operational costs, identify new areas where a different kind of team is needed, or illuminate how a particular technology can boost both external and internal processes to alleviate an otherwise unseen burden.

Outsourcing Your R&D

Pros for Outsourcing Your R&D

So why not just stand up your own R&D department, like Amazon or Alphabet? Not everyone has deep pockets like the tech giants. And besides cost, there are other reasons why it might make more sense for your company to outsource your research and development.

For one, you can benefit from the knowledge and innovation of an expert company. Softjourn is more than just a technology services provider—although we have proven experience and understanding of many of the current technology trends, we also have a deep understanding within our domains of expertise. Whether it’s Fintech, Cards & Payments, or Media & Entertainment (with a specialization in ticketing), we are always looking for opportunities to marry technology to a specific need within these domains. Because of this, we don’t waste time fumbling around, figuring out viability through trial and error and instead are focused on building toward a true proof of concept.

Cutting costs is always a persuasive argument, however. Outsourcing can do just that; 33.8% of respondents to a study from R&D magazine said they outsourced R&D because it was less expensive.4 Softjourn is proud to have its own R&D Centers located in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, and Wroclaw, Poland. These locations allow us to offer dedicated R&D at a competitive price that won't break the bank. You don’t have to worry about paying for a facility, paying staff wages and training, or getting your hands on the necessary equipment to conduct the level of R&D necessary for your company.

Beyond assessing the baseline viability of ideas and iterating prototypes, we also take regulatory requirements into account. What's the point of developing a product if it will be stymied before it makes it to market? By understanding the red tape that might get wrapped around your project, we help to alleviate potential frustration right out of the gate.

Working with another company to complete R&D can also help develop strategic alliances. Relationships are inherently useful as the world grows both more connected and more complex; partnering with experts in a particular field can yield unseen and unthought of results through future collaboration.

Named one of the best companies for global outsourcing in 2019 by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, Softjourn should be at the top of your list when it comes to thinking about partners who can assist with solving technology problems and providing solutions.

Ready to Collaborate?

Softjourn has almost a decade of experience when it comes to investigating new technology and ideas, and trying to understand how to make them a reality. We have many proven POCs that show our expertise in our chosen domains, whether it’s understanding financial processes, developing applications for specific concerns,  or marrying new technology to current trends. We are also very excited about artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other new technologies that are poised to alter our world in the coming decades.

If you’re interested in talking about how Softjourn can address your R&D needs, or already have an idea that you’d like to get started on developing, reach out to Softjourn today.