The most effective solutions are usually a combination of technology and services.
While we often associate innovation with new technology, solutions can also take the form of new types of services that improve on old ways of doing things, meet previously unidentified needs, or fill market gaps. More often than not, innovation solutions use technology to support and despatch new services, so the best solutions are a mix of technology and services. Ride sharing, for example, is a service at its core, but it also heralded the use of new technology to make the services available and viable. Sharing a ride would not be possible without the support technology, which includes smartphone apps, mobile payments, and GPS locators.
Innovation solutions can also be specific to the innovation industry, which is tasked with collaborating with businesses to foster an innovation culture and help develop meaningful innovations. In this context, the term can refer to a whole set of tools used to drive innovation within businesses. Internal innovation solutions can range from consulting services to software automation that allows teams to advance, scout, discover, and accelerate innovation.
The Evolution of Innovation
We are currently in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and it is becoming increasingly clear that industries that were previously thought to be safe and immovable are just as vulnerable to disruptive technology and solutions. Companies, on the other hand, are unsure how to deal with these changes and incorporate innovation into their business structures. Organized business innovation is still a new practise that some Fortune 500 companies are struggling to implement successfully.
While figures vary, approximately 65 percent of major corporations are working to integrate innovation into their operations and include it at the executive level. As a result of these efforts, new positions on executive boards for Chief Innovation Officers, Chief Innovation Architects, and other similar titles have become available. The development of innovation departments is being overseen by new leadership, who is working to make innovation a priority on par with other daily tasks. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, companies have not always successfully implemented new plans.
Part of the issue is related to self-perception. Executives frequently regard themselves as not only open to innovation, but also as leaders in the field. According to a recent Ernst & Young LLP survey, approximately 90% of executives believe that their company provides clear channels for innovation and that new ideas are encouraged and celebrated. However, only 55% of entry-level employees share this sentiment. Employees and executives are clearly not on the same page when it comes to innovation.
Another barrier to effectively integrating innovation into businesses is the lack of clearly defined innovation executive positions. These positions do not have the same set of clear responsibilities and goals as other traditional C-level positions. It is up to the executive in some cases to negotiate and redefine their position on a daily basis as circumstances and demands change.
Fortune 500 companies that continue to struggle with implementing innovative solutions and moving forwards in an environment dominated by disruptive competitors will fall behind. By 2025, the Fortune 500 list will be unrecognisable, with approximately 55% of companies losing their place on this elite list. Finally, while 86 percent of executives recognise that innovation is critical to their growth and survival, only 19 percent believe that they are successfully implementing any of the required components of innovation.
This gap between the realisation that decisive action is required and the actual execution of innovation strategies is precisely where innovation solutions come into play. Using innovation solutions necessitates investing in and committing to the entire innovation life cycle. Engaging the right people, developing new strategies for automation and performance measurement, evaluating ideas, and executing the best ideas in a way that reduces time to market are all part of it.
How are Business Innovation Solutions Used?
Innovation solutions will be invaluable tools as you consider organising and reorganising your business structure to accommodate an innovation strategy. This comprehensive suite of solutions is critical for assisting your company in developing a customised structure and processes that will effectively drive innovation. Businesses will continue to talk about innovation without putting viable plans in place unless they implement innovative solutions.
Continue reading for a list of innovative solutions and information on how to put them to use.
Among the services that can be provided by an innovation consulting firm are:
- Providing expert consulting services to determine the best type of innovation structure for each business entity. Recommendations are based on prior experience as well as a detailed analysis of each company’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Consulting on the establishment of a new structure that fully integrates and prioritises innovation.
- Providing consultation to develop the rollout strategy and plan. It can take time and effort to change one’s way of thinking and acting, especially when employees don’t feel comfortable sharing new ideas. Rolling out the strategy can be a critical time, and success can be dependent on choosing the right strategy.
- Providing advice on how to set up an open innovation structure. Companies used to be secretive about their innovation projects, but the information age has popularised open innovation. Companies in this model are open about their technology and welcome feedback from outside sources. This approach promotes global collaboration and thought diversity, which has the potential to accelerate innovation.
- Coaching will continue. Even if a new innovation structure and strategy is successfully implemented and continues to produce results, ongoing coaching can assist businesses in adapting to new challenges. Staying alert and agile can help to ensure that innovation is a continuous process rather than a one-time event.
- Consulting for technology solution scouting and running innovation challenges Coaching can assist businesses in learning how and where to look for emerging technology solutions. Big data can reveal trends, identify who is working on what, and connect businesses with startups and innovators all over the world. Companies can also learn how to leverage internal teams and hold innovation challenges that encourage participation and provide a clear system for submitting and evaluating ideas.
And a lot more! Innovation solutions that include consultation services can vary greatly and be completely customised to meet the needs of each individual company; a personalised approach allows for the opportunity to build on weaknesses while fully utilising existing strengths.
Platforms for innovation challenge and idea management are examples of software technology and automation. The innovation process can be automated and ideas can be brought to market faster by providing a user-friendly portal for both internal and external collaborators to submit ideas. This approach also boosts engagement and fosters an innovative culture. Another useful tool within the software is innovation challenges, which use competition to encourage participation. These software tools can be customised so that each project is measured against specific, pre-determined criteria and is fully customised for a personalised platform.
Tools for idea evaluation and progression. These tools and features can help to automate the evaluation process. Ideas can be scored and advanced through the ideation process at a faster rate when they are measured against criteria.
Software for collaboration. Collaboration software is becoming increasingly important as more businesses embrace open innovation. The right software can help bridge gaps and allow people from all over the world to communicate effectively about projects and find innovative solutions.
Landscaping and scouting software based on cutting-edge technology. Technology landscaping enables users to gain a better understanding of the current market so that they can anticipate trends and plan for the future. These tools examine direct competition, analyse patents, grants, and trademarks, and provide insight into research and development to provide a comprehensive view of existing markets.
Software for project management.
Software is used in innovative solutions to organise and manage projects for greater efficiency and results.
- Services for technology scouting. The right technology scouting tools assist businesses in identifying emerging technology and determining how to incorporate it into their operations. This makes it easier to obtain cutting-edge technology at the right time.
- Big data technology is being mined in order to report on a specific technology or product space. With so much information available, the most difficult part can be sorting through it all and identifying the most important details. Fortunately, big data technology can enable all of this. Businesses can process and apply massive amounts of data, allowing them to have an accurate, real-time view of markets, technology, and specific product spaces.
- Looking for technological solutions. Users can connect with a solver, expert, start-up, discover new patents, or stay up to date on what’s going on in academia and research labs.
Why Do Companies Need to Implement Innovation Solutions?
Across all industries, technology is driving innovation. Even industries once thought to be invincible, such as finance and insurance, are being upended by solutions that use technology to provide new services. As technology advances, competition grows and consumer expectations shift; they feel more empowered than ever to demand better products and services from businesses. This has created an environment in which innovation is not an option. It must be prioritised and pursued methodically in order to ensure that businesses can remain open.
Innovative solutions assist businesses in their pursuit of innovation by allowing them to reorganise their innovation structure, develop a more cutting-edge approach, and establish an innovation culture. Previously, innovation was restricted to research and development departments, but it now extends beyond these boundaries and seeks to leverage both internal and external resources.
Companies that have been built using an insular approach based on a hierarchical system will need to rethink their business model. Bureaucratic red tape and inflexible departments that stick to their own offices only stifle innovation. It’s not enough to simply stay relevant when the competition is advancing at a breakneck pace. That is precisely why innovation solutions are so important in every industry.
Even the largest corporations will lack the manpower required to achieve continuous innovation within their own walls which is why working with the XCY team we can identify emerging technology, identify trends, and much more. Fortunately, innovation solutions are scalable and adaptable enough that even small businesses can benefit from them.
Finally, innovation solutions identify new technologies, a better understanding of the current market conditions, find partners to help accelerate innovation, and much more. These tools make use of big data, collaboration, communication, and automation technology to provide businesses with the solutions they require to move forwards with confidence in a competitive environment. As technology advances and competition grows, innovation solutions will become more common and widespread and you can be ahead of the game in every aspect.