Cutting-Edge IT solutions provided by a strategic partner can keep you ahead of the curve
Robert Iger, Disney CEO, once said, “If you don’t innovate, you die.” While a lack of IT innovation may not result in the death of your company, it is necessary if you want forward momentum that can place and keep you at the top of your market. Innovation keeps organizations aware of technology trends, helps them tailor products and services, and creates internal efficiency.
Innovation doesn’t require reinventing the wheel. It means taking a hard look at your existing capabilities and how they can be repositioned or enhanced to boost the bottom line. Upgrading IT is needed to dazzle the most important part of the innovation equation: customers. Innovating in this area can lead to increased market share and revenue.
In addition to offering a better customer experience, IT innovation gives your business a competitive advantage by solving problems and aiding product development, it reduces costs, optimizes business processes, and provides a path for continuous improvement. To innovate, you must understand the current landscape, assess market trends and customer needs, establish an innovation strategy, create a culture of innovation, and explore strategic partnerships.
The current business landscape and IT
Remember the good times? The times when reality met expectations: a stable geopolitical landscape, policy environment, talent pool, and your business could just hum along. Today, none of these things are true, the landscape is shifting in ways never seen before, and we had a pandemic that uncovered some pre-existing ills.
You may have noticed that while some businesses found their demise at the hands of the pandemic, others thrived – those that found growth despite severe constraints through an innovative approach and technology-driven transformation. Digital transformation became the buzzword of the day, and modern organizations leveraged (and continue to leverage) technology.
To excel in any business sector requires a tech-forward approach that sees challenges as opportunities and embraces cutting-edge IT tech solutions such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, intelligent automation, and the Internet of Things.
Finding the right emerging technology to transform your business can be tough, and this is where a strategic partner can be invaluable. Ferreting out the next big thing takes strategic foresight: working through possible unintended consequences, defining clear goals, and building the future you want. The signals are everywhere, but you must know what to look for.
Planning for disruptions
It is also essential to keep a keen eye out for disruptive forces that can affect your business, such as new kinds of competition, changes in regulations, a shift in customer behavior, new distribution methods, and the core technologies used in your industry.
You might be eying the competition or that new startup down the street, but you are looking in the wrong place.
So what’s providing the most disruption? Customers. Growth will come through actions that benefit the customer rather than the company. Creating new products faster, easier, or cheaper to fulfill their wants and needs is required.
This makes establishing an innovation strategy mission-critical for any business. You can create disruption in your industry that has your competitors looking to your company as the new benchmark.
Developing an IT innovation strategy
Technology, which is changing rapidly, drives business today. Your IT innovation strategy is a comprehensive plan that sketches out how technology will be used to meet business goals and should be a part of your overarching business strategy. All parts of technology management should be included – cost, human capital, hardware and software, and risk.
The components of an IT innovation strategy
Build on existing capabilities and develop a new business model to disrupt competitors. No matter what innovation strategy you undertake, some essential components are needed. Your IT strategic plan should work to set clear goals and objectives and identify areas for innovation.
Next, prioritize opportunities, allocate the required resources and budget, and create a roadmap and timeline. Stakeholder input is vital as well.
How to create a culture of innovation
A culture of innovation means creating an environment that encourages all stakeholders to share their ideas and creative solutions. The goal is to ignite a passion for knowledge and to tear down barriers to change, technical advances, and creativity. Keep in mind the following tips.
Foster a mindset that embraces change and experimentation
There should be no limits. What about an alternative business model? Removing constraints and questioning assumptions can be a great test of the effectiveness of your business model and your current processes.
Encourage collaboration and create cross-functional teams
Silos must be destroyed. There is no room for them in a modern business. All systems must be integrated, and your teams should be, too. Cross-functional collaboration can help solve problems, increase engagement, and accomplishes the goal of spurring innovation and creativity.
Provide resources and support for innovative ideas
Give access to equipment, software, and whatever else a team needs to innovate. Also, encourage teams to set aside dedicated time to innovate. It’s the combination of access, money, time, and equipment.
Recognize and reward innovative thinking and outcomes
Practice public recognition, treating the entire team, or offering promotions. Reward team members with activities, cash, incentives or discounts, or an actual trophy. These ideas can spur further innovation by creating a competitive environment and retaining your best and brightest.
Identifying areas for innovation and prioritizing opportunities often requires external collaboration and partnerships.
Collaborating and partnering for IT innovation
While you might have great internal resources, collaborating with startups and universities can get the creative blood flowing. The exchange of knowledge benefits all parties as complex problems can be solved together.
Attending conferences and forums in your industry is very helpful. One study found that innovation doesn’t always come from an individual but from the diverse networks they build.
When it comes to cutting-edge IT solutions, a strategic partnership can prove invaluable to ensure you’re on-trend and future-proofing your business. A strategic IT partner can help your business get more out of your current technology, pinpoint the best areas for innovation, and prioritize implementation. They can also offer the best IT solutions to improve your business processes.
Innovating with an eye toward an improved customer journey will always pay off for your bottom line – your customers. If you are one of the 61% of CEOs with a primary focus on innovation, you should know that businesses with planning innovation programs will grow at three times the rate in five years than those without one. Just keep your vision clear, collaborate, plan, create the right culture, and engage with a strategic partner.
Ready to reap all the benefits of innovation? It takes high-performing IT. By providing staff augmentation, Allari takes tasks off your IT plate and zeroes in on the technology opportunities that save money, drive revenue, and make the best use of existing and new technologies. It’s time to leverage Allari’s new technology and software development expertise. Let’s get started – schedule a call.