Technology and service providers (TSPs) that fail to embrace digital product management will be at strong risk of disruption within the next two years, according to Gartner.

“Regardless of whether you are a software, hardware, solution or service provider, digital product management is an inescapable new competency,” says Lars Van Dam, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “Organisations that embrace and invest in digital product management will be better equipped to capitalise on market shifts and disruptions.”

Digital product management is an emerging discipline that extends the scope of the traditional product manager’s role. It embraces design principles and quantitative insights to inform product vision, direction, trade-off decisions and differentiating customer experiences.

Today, two out of three product management initiatives are disconnected from business strategy.

Recent Gartner research reveals that only 16% of product managers use their defined product strategy to inform key decisions. Most organisations over-invest in product management execution at the expense of strategy, design and quantitative analysis.

“The majority of CEOs expect to change business models in the next two years, and by 2024, 80% of IT organisations will undergo radical restructuring to their missions as they embrace product-centric operating models,” says Van Dam.

“This will require product managers to fundamentally rethink how value is perceived, created and consumed.”

Gartner has identified five main capabilities required of digital product management to drive business model change and improve product success:

* Make decisions grounded in data;

* Design products and services with a customer experience mindset;

* Differentiate products and services by exploiting all digital-technology-based opportunities;

* Build into existing product management approaches the impact of technical and business disruptions; and

* Deliver products and services through innovative digital channels.

By 2023, 35% of product management teams will acknowledge having implemented digital product management and the five critical digital capabilities, from less than 2% in 2019.

“Innovation is no longer about product development creating the product that the rest of the organization supports in the market,” says Van Dam. “Instead, many departments and factors contribute to the creation and delivery of the product every day.”