18 Apr Innovation Frameworks – Because Your Workforce Wants To Work Smarter
I love seeing really purposeful uses of technology (see video below). Most innovation comes from necessity, and disruption is usually born out of frustration. Enterprises’ IT continues to suffer disruption from consumer driven innovation, and this is largely driven by emerging productivity solutions. Bring Your Own Device trends and consumerised SaaS services like Dropbox are increasing and fragmenting the technology footprint of organisations without them realising it.
The drivers for this are worthy – the workforce’s desire for greater flexibility and productivity, but the effects on the business overall can become negative, if left unattended. In part the problem extends from silo’d cloud systems and dis-jointed strategies for mobile, SaaS and cloud infrastructures. Workers start to bypass or add to in-house IT solutions to increase the value of data or improve their own efficiencies, and before you know it data infrastructures are loosely coupled in a cloud layer controlled by your workforce.
Apple clearly realised this opportunity as it saw enterprise revenues soar, striking a deal with IBM to push further iOS adoption, and the more successful initiative of their enterprise mobility partnership programme with boutique app development agencies.
Maximise The Value Of Innovation By Providing A Framework
Rather than fight this disruption, some organisations are having the foresight to embrace it and provide innovation frameworks internally. This can take the form of an entire end-to-end skunkworks team or more often than not a small dedicated innovation functional unit with latitude to experiment alongside day-to-day R&D using external skills from agencies and consultants to leverage others IT innovations.
Unifying data from various SaaS & Cloud silos through ‘magic middleware’ layers brings a whole new set of value and benefits by eliminating micro inefficiencies and producing new services or new ways of doing business. More often than not these ‘magic’ layers are bespoke integrations mixed with a little machine learning, artificial intelligence or IoT resources.
Innovation of this kind requires focus, free from day-to-day distractions. It requires data and a culture of open communication in order to source meaningful project areas, plus a rapid prototyping function, all of which can be delivered through a mixture of in-house or outsourced resources.
The pace of progress is such that a lot can be achieved with very little resources and open source hardware and software means you can get prototypes up and running within days or weeks instead of months.
Here’s a great example of a manufacturing company with a joined up strategy putting innovation to work:
You can read more about them here
“Innovation Is The Only Way To Win” – Steve Jobs