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Service Innovation in a Digital World

A brilliantly organised course and well worth the investment. Probably one of the best courses I have attended.
Senior Programme Manager, Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi


The world is changing. New technologies - especially the internet of things and big data analytics - are opening up new opportunities for business model innovation. Digital businesses - like Alibaba, Amazon, Spotify and Tencent - are disrupting traditional industries. Global e-commerce giants like Baidu, Facebook, Google and Twitter are all changing the way people interact and share information. New digital businesses, such as Gild, GoSquared, OpenSignal and Trendspottr, are creating innovative new business models based primarily on their ability to access, aggregate and utilise data. These changes have profound consequences for the nature of organisations and the competitive landscape they operate in. For established businesses the challenge is spotting these new "upstarts" and deciding whether they represent real disruptive threats. For new businesses, the challenge is how to scale and grow, ensuring that competitors are locked out in the process. And for all business, issues of how to design and deliver outstanding customer service and experience become crucial in this increasingly competitive environment.

In the 21st century services have become core to the operations of both manufacturing and traditional service businesses. Understanding service processes - both how they are configured and structured; as well as how they operate in the eyes of the customer - is a crucial organisational capability. Thinking about the role of technology and how it can help you innovate your service processes to deliver ever better, more efficient and targeted customer outcomes is vital. Exploring new and innovative ways of measuring and managing service performance, aligning incentives and metrics to strategy and behavior to ensure rapid and agile strategy execution is fundamental.

The programme will explore service design, innovation and challenges service organisations face in the 21st century through lively discussions of latest thinking and practical examples so that participants will be equipped with tools that they can apply in their own organisation.


  • Competing in an ecosystem - increasingly competition is played out not between firms or even supply chains, but instead between ecosystems. The strategic debate centres around how to shape and influence ecosystems using partnerships, platforms and technologies.
  • Designing and delivering world-class services - in this open economy, where power lies in the hands of customers and consumers, creating great service experiences, time and time, is a key organisational capability. How do you design personalised services that you can deliver seamlessly and efficiently to multiple customers?
  • Measuring and managing performance in a digital economy - the digital economy opens up new opportunities to capture and analyse data in ways unthought of before. What is your strategy for performance measurement and management in the digital age? How can performance data be used to deliver new insights that drive ever better service?
  • Business model innovation - we see shift from products to solutions; from outputs to outcomes. Increasingly customers are demanding that their providers deliver to them the outcomes they value rather than straight forward products and services. How do you make this organisational transformation, focusing on service and solutions, rather than products and outputs? What new capabilities do you need to innovate your business model?

Answering these questions is not straightforward. The issues they raise and the implications they have for organisations are profound. However to start exploring these issues there are three things you have to get right. First, you need to develop a deep and nuanced insight into the minds both of your customers and their customers. You have to visualise your job as helping your customers help their customers. Second, you need to explore the broader operating ecosystem, understanding how this will evolve and how best to position your own organisation within it. Third, you need to think about changing risk profiles - as you take on more responsibility for helping your customers help their customers do a better job in the context of an evolving ecosystem, you need to clearly articulate the risks and the consequences of these risks as you innovate your business model.


This practical and stimulating two-day programme explores service design and innovation. Drawing on the latest thinking, as well as host of practical examples, the workshop will help you:

  • Understand the latest industrial trends toward services.
  • Apply tools and techniques for describing and designing service systems - tools such as - service blueprinting, service mapping and service network analysis.
  • Explore the process of service innovation - how multidisciplinary teams integrate knowledge to discover and develop new services.
  • Establish how to prototype, pilot and launch new service systems, focusing particularly on the customer experience.
  • Examine the role and use of digital innovations such as mobile technologies in providing complex service solutions within business ecosystems.

The workshop will equip participants with a robust set of tools and techniques that they can apply in their own organisations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their service design and innovation processes.

This programme counts as one course for those completing the Cambridge Judge Business School General Management Certificate of Achievement.

Who should attend

Those responsible for designing and innovating service systems, in both the manufacturing and service sectors. Examples used in the workshop will cover the public and private sectors.

We welcome design teams (up to a maximum of three people from any one company) so that they can share their learning and implementation when they return to the office.

Faculty & speakers

The programme will be delivered by Professor Andy Neely and Professor Michael Barrett. Both members of faculty have engaging and interactive teaching styles. They delivered workshops to a host of clients in the public and private, manufacturing and service sectors.

Andy Neely

Fellow in Business Performance Measurement & Management
PhD (University of Nottingham)

Watch a video interview with Andy

Read more

Michael Barrett

Professor of Information Systems & Innovation Studies
PhD (University of Cambridge)

Read more

Dates & fees

Dates Duration Fees *
2017 dates tbc 2 days £2300 + VAT

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%; e.g. £2,300 + 20% = £2,760.

* Fees include instruction, materials, lunch and breaks. Preferential rates may be available for groups, University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School's Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 226KB) (updated 27 October 2015)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 243KB) (updated 27 October 2015)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

Version 2 (8 January 2016)