"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower."

Steve Jobs


Innovation is the key to continued business growth, but it is also the most elusive element in a business.


Traditionally, innovation has been an expensive, long drawn process. It was difficult to test new ideas in the absence of real time responses and systems that could gather these data points.


Hence, the fall back to more traditional, hit-or-miss methods was the only alternative. Innovation was thus the domain of the highly paid professional and based on his or her intuition and experience.


Celebrating failure

In the traditional model of innovation, failure was to be avoided at all costs, given the time, resources and expense involved.

A digital business model can completely rewire the innovation process inside an organization. Go or no-go decisions are based on testing and experiments, as it is simple and inexpensive. Freed from cost and resource constraints, experimentation can now be a continuous process. The challenge is now to find the right problem to solve.

In a digital business model, failures present valuable learning opportunities, and the focus is on delivering a minimum viable prototype rather than aiming for a perfect solution. This means moving through a series of rapid iterations to find what works, and what doesn’t. With data capture possible through a multitude of sources, right from browsers to mobile devices to IoT enabled devices, the ability to rapidly experiment and learn from these experiments can determine the speed at which innovation happens in a business.


Democratizing innovation

With digital technologies, every organization can instil in their employees a culture of testing and learning from multiple small experiments across all levels of the business.

In fact, as a consumer of digital technologies, we are the subject of an experiment every time we use them. Be it watching a movie on Netflix or buying something on Amazon, at every stage, our responses to changes are being constantly evaluated to improve the product and end user experience. In an intelligent enterprise, innovation is not the function of a department or team; instead, it becomes the role of every employee, driven by access to tools that can help them to quickly test hypotheses that can help provide better products and services. This ‘democratization’ helps business benefit from a much wider range of perspectives and more inclusive feedback.

Experimenting everyday: how technology can help


With access to pervasive and virtually inexhaustible resources of computing power in the cloud, businesses can empower their employees to use data to collaborate better with customers and partners.

The failure of new products and services can be sharply reduced by leveraging insights about customer preferences, even while being able to iterate rapidly. Predictive modelling can help anticipate customer preferences that can fuel new revenue streams.

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Building blocks of an intelligent enterprise : Innovation

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