SEPG Europe 2012 Keynote Highlight: Jan Bosch

Speed, Open Innovation, and Ecosystems: Implications for Software Engineering

Jan Bosch (no relation to Bosch the SEI Europe sponsor, as he pointed out) from Chalmers University of Technology delivered an energetic keynote presentation that offered his solutions to a problem inherent in many organizations. They often face two important needs-to respond in a timely manner to customer needs and to make open innovation an organizational capability.

With that in mind, Bosch previewed three main points:

  • Increasing speed trumps any other improvement R&D can provide to the company, the goal being continuous deployment of new functionality
  • Software engineering is at an inflection point-from “integration-oriented” to “composition-oriented” software engineering
  • Software ecosystems offer the next phase of growth for successful product platforms

Bosch underscored those takeaways by sharing some current trends in software. Using both real-world results and guiding principles, Bosch illustrated some important implications for software engineering, including the role of software architecture, the organizations of teams, and the activities needed to evolve a software ecosystem.

After stating his case for the importance of speed over efficiency, Bosch focused on the ability of open innovation to drive growth by innovating with partners and sharing in the risk and the reward. He discussed some ways that Intuit fostered open innovation in directed and integrated contexts.

He wrapped up the presentation by saying, “If you take one idea way from this presentation, it should be this: focus on speed. If you do that, you will get efficiency as an outcome.”

He also left the audience with several other implications and his shadow beliefs. Among them is the notion that data always trumps opinion and that getting first to market with new functionality that closely aligns to customer needs is a significant competitive advantage that drives growth and results in market leadership


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