Using technology to drive innovation may be challenging for some companies. A lot of times, new technology is introduced only to improve processes, rather than for innovation purposes. The companies who are only interested in improving productivity should understand that innovation is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself in the market, and it’s also very difficult for competitors to answer to – not to mention, according to this global survey, innovation can drive about as much ROI as productivity and operations. Keep in mind the following recommendations when building innovation into your current digital transformation strategy:
- Get comfortable with the unknown. While operations and processes are critical, know that innovation-driven uses of digitally transformative technologies are about as likely to create a strong ROI. Organizations can focus not only on building out the strong foundation of technologies, but feel comfortable including innovative new approaches and priorities.
- Recognize their tendency to invest only for productivity and operations. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because operations-driven digital transformation has proven to be successful. However, sticking with continued evolution of the tried-and-true can leave opportunities unexplored.
- Think about how foundational investment could lead to opportunities for true innovation. A strong foundation of digital transformation for fundamental operational purposes can in turn help to determine opportunities for innovation. Use the insight gained from these foundational investments to create a more informed, targeted path for innovation.
- Jump on the bandwagon – because others are either planning to, or are already on it. Many organizations are planning on making investments that will help them move further along on the digital transformation maturity curve. Those who fail to invest risk being left behind.
- Build a roadmap to greater ROI. Consider not only the context of digital transformation and uses of innovative technologies within your industry, but also the technology investments you have already made to drive your organization toward a high-ROI future.
Using technology to improve traditional business operations certainly has its place. No one can argue that building a strong technology base can support further innovation down the road. The important thing, however, is to keep moving forward. While the future is not always perfectly clear, a strongly aligned business leadership and project team, working together and being prepared to innovate appropriately, can achieve significant benefits through adopting new and innovative technology.