Tesla In 2023: Building A Radically Innovative Operating System
For CEO Elon Musk, Tesla’s mission required not only new technologies to create electric vehicles, but innovation on the software that connected every aspect of the organization. Tesla was founded in 2003 with the goal of revolutionizing the automotive industry, by producing electric vehicles that would help accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Twenty years later, Tesla had achieved remarkable progress across multiple dimensions such as production capacity, innovative electric vehicles, customer experience, and financial performance.
The case study offers unique insights by Tesla leaders into the company’s journey to create a system and a process that would revolutionize the global automotive sector. To achieve its goals, Tesla had to deliver a dramatically different—and superior—customer experience to accompany the company’s innovative electric vehicles.
The case describes how Tesla’s IT team set about custom-building a vertically integrated system operating system (OS) that connected and bound every aspect of the company’s operations. In fact, the Tesla OS, a custom-built ecosystem, was far more expansive than a typical company’s OS in that it powered all aspects of business planning and customer experiences—this enabled Tesla to go directly to the consumer, and bypass the traditional automotive dealership networks.