Digital technologies are bringing big data, automation, and mobile capabilities to processes like IT, HR, sales, and marketing, but what is the hold-up with product development? Has your product development process been modernized and “digitized?”

In a webcast titled Harness the Power of Predictive Product Development, a Tech Briefs attendee had the following question:

“You mentioned that digital transformation is a boardroom priority, but companies have been slow to transform product development. Why do you think that is?”

Read the responses below from two product professionals at Jama Software – a product-development platform provider based in Portland, Oregon.

And share your own thoughts below.

Jennifer Jaffe, VP Products and Strategy, Jama Software: I’m a product person. It has always been fascinating: When I look at market trends, companies have invested significant dollars in automating their sales, marketing, and operations processes. But fundamentally where you drive your company’s value is, more often than not, through your product.

I acknowledge, as a product professional, that product development is a challenging, nonlinear complicated process, and there’s no singular way to roll it out across industries and organizations. I think that part of the rationale for why product development has yet to be digitally transformed is, in fact, the complexity of finding the common patterns in product development processes.

I think that other disciplines that have been digitally transformed to date are more linear, sequential, predictable processes. Really it’s the complexity of product development itself that’s disincentivized or made it much harder for companies to really grapple with and engage in the commitment to transforming product development.

Scott Roth, CEO, Jama Software The product development process oftentimes is just really messy. Other functions have a much more linear process, and product development itself can require a lot of trial and error. You have to go through a longer journey. You think about the other functions that have been digital transformed: operations, IT, HR, sales, and marketing. Those generally have been a more linear process.

I also would say there are lot of executives and CEOs who didn’t necessarily come up through a product or engineering background. That can be really intimidating. You may be an expert in several other areas. As companies grow, the chief executive maybe comes from more of an operational background, and it’s hard to enact change in an area where you may not have as much expertise, like product development.

What do you think? What has your experience been as you “digitally transformed” product development? Share your comments and questions below.

Watch the full presentation: Harness the Power of Predictive Product Development.