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In the last post, we looked at the challenge of Digital Transformation and how it is becoming a global phenomenon, no longer confined to Silicon Valley, or Europe. This signals not only a shift in WHERE innovation happens but WHO leads and HOW it is done. In this blog, we will discuss the 3 trends re-shaping digital innovation.
It’s not so long ago that an Innovation Strategy seemed an unnecessary luxury, something dreamed-up by management consultants to extract value rather than create it. But with the pace of change and options now available, a company without an Innovation Strategy is at risk: the Digital waves keep coming, eroding existing business models and opening new channels for competitors, both old and new. This is now true for medium-sized companies and those further down the supply-chain, not just corporates. It’s not so long ago that an Innovation Strategy seemed an unnecessary luxury, something dreamed-up by management consultants to extract value rather than create it. But with the pace of change and options now available, a company without an Innovation Strategy is at risk: the Digital waves keep coming, eroding existing business models and opening new channels for competitors, both old and new. This is now true for medium-sized companies and those further down the supply-chain, not just corporates.
All enterprises must identify and focus on the key areas that would help their business to re-shape and to become a digital innovator and transform their business.
Driven by the failure to innovate internally at the pace or impact needed and the very public global success of some startups, the challenge for corporates is to understand how to acquire and absorb startup-led innovation, a marked change in innovation strategy. Acquisition is one strategy for larger companies but even then, the track-record of acquisitions is not good.
An alternative is to collaborate & partner, reducing risk and retaining the benefits of a contractual relationship. Ignitho Technologies and their Ignitho Innovation Labs platform is designed for these strategic relationships, for companies that cannot or do not want to acquire rapidly changing skill sets. Entering into a strategic partnership to ensure continuing relevance, flexibility and cost-effectiveness is an attractive option. Ignitho already has a track record of successfully delivering solutions in these partnerships for western enterprise customers. Ignitho Innovation Labs provides a platform to innovate with enterprises on co-ideating and co-creating experimental prototypes and POC’s (Proof of Concept) on limited budgets, using new technologies.
We are in an era of persistently low growth so we need radical solutions to achieve breakthroughs. Developing markets have an untapped talent pool, ingrained frugal innovation capabilities and significantly lower costs. Developing markets are the emerging source of Digital innovations AND the capabilities needed to make those innovations a reality in Western markets, at the speed and agility required to meet uncertain and rapidly changing needs.
Historically business models are closed to retain competitive advantages. But with increased global competition and digital technologies, these are likely to become more of a liability in industries that lack formal IP. Even the largest of enterprises are forced to collaborate when rapid transformation is required. The auto-industry being a great example. The major auto global OEM’s such as Ford and Toyota now coordinate vast networks of partners all focused and aligned to bring new products to market in record time, and with brand new technologies (including Digital), something no OEM could do alone.
These more open collaborative models are enabled by high-bandwidth internet-based platforms, ‘follow-the-sun’ development models and generational behavioral shifts. They demonstrate it is no longer essential to ‘own’ all the means of production, but rather to select, coordinate and direct them, focused on the customer and new value-generating opportunities.
Digital Transformation is not simply about new technologies, a shift to the Cloud or New platforms. It is about Data as a core asset rather than a by-product, new Business Models that better meet customers’ needs of today rather than those of yesterday, new industries and partnerships beyond existing boundaries and zones of comfort.
‘Business as usual’ will not make this happen, nor will ‘Innovation as usual’. Welcome to the new world of Digital Innovation – maybe it’s time to get onboard and find your partners?
Brendan Dunphy is an entrepreneur, consultant & social innovator specializing in strategy, innovation and transformation with a particular interest in startup collaboration with corporates to create new value for both parties. He has above 35 years of experience for consulting in strategy, innovation and talent development.
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