Innovation is not a Four-Letter Word

How many times have you heard technology leaders use the words “digital transformation” or “innovation”? Every day a new startup seems to pop up out of the ether to disrupt traditional processes, and our clients are constantly running to catch up.

Innovation is a great way to get ahead of those pesky startups, but when we take a look at our clients’ IT strategies, two big problems consistently get in the way of achieving their unicorn dreams:

  1. No Room for Innovation in the Plan
    If you want to achieve transformation, you must prepare to include it in your strategy. We often see:
  • No technologies identified
  • No resources to conceive or nor to identify or implement the innovation
  • No external confluences from which to draw innovation
  • No budget allocated to research or test solutions
  1. But We’ve Always Done It This Way!
    You know the old chestnut: if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. Building something new and game-changing involves risk and uncertainty. Here are some ways NOT to achieve innovation in your upcoming plans:
  • Basing your strategy on what’s working now, or what’s been successful in the past — not on the future.
  • Failing to pre-vet your plans with other parts of the organization
  • Not capturing or tracking data to facilitate and determine the effectiveness of the strategy. When you’re going through the motions, “Strategy” becomes nothing more than an IT Spend Plan.

When developing your IT Strategy for 2020 and beyond, dip your toe in the water while keeping hold of some of the best practices of the past.  Don’t forget to:

  • Research technology market for innovations specific to your industry
  • Collaborate ahead of time with business units that will be impacted by the IT strategy to get ‘buy-in’ and some ‘requirements’ for where they would like to go as a business
  • Evaluate how effective your previous strategies were with respect to spend plan and use that to guide decisions for the next phase of strategy.

So, go forth and innovate! If you need ideas or best practices, we’re always available to brainstorm your next breakthrough.