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Unprotected Intellectual Property is a Top Concern for Companies with Global Design Strategies

  • January 09 2006, 1:00am EST

New research reveals 63 percent of companies with global design strategies in place state that protecting intellectual property (IP) is a top challenge. AberdeenGroup's new research report titled, "The Global Product Design Benchmark Report" reveals a striking lack of action being taken to protect IP despite major concerns by manufacturers. The report also reveals other complexities that companies face as a result of global design and the actions they are taking to address their challenges, including the use of product lifecycle management (PLM) software technology.

In addition to IP concerns, companies with global design strategies also face obstacles in their ability to synchronize distributed designs and in their ability to manage changes across dispersed teams. Perceived challenges vary based on the length of time that a particular company has had a global design strategy in place. Initial strategic concerns about IP and retaining product knowledge, for example, give way to more tactical concerns as managing increased complexity gains in importance.

"Global design has benefits that are very attractive to manufacturers, but adds new challenges and intensifies existing problem areas," said Jim Brown, vice president, global product innovation and engineering for AberdeenGroup and author of the report. "Many companies are designing in four to five geographies in either outsourced or company-owned design centers. Designing products in a distributed approach makes classic control, communication and collaboration challenges in product development even more difficult to manage."

In addition to detailing the major challenges, "The Global Product Design Benchmark Report" provides recommendations to resolve the top concerns of companies pursuing global design strategies. The report also discusses how best-in-class companies are addressing their concerns and meeting their global design goals.

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