Sean Bryson, Vice President of Americas Solutions & Innovation at Hitachi Consulting Corp., provided insights into digital disruption in today’s global marketplace during his presentation to Argyle’s CIO membership at the 2018 Chief Information Officer Leadership Forum in New York on June 19. In his presentation, Bryson examined the link between digital disruption and innovation and offered tips to help business professionals drive innovation.
Innovation does not happen in silos and is not limited to companies that boast massive budgets and comprehensive resources. Comparatively, all companies are equipped to drive innovation if they encourage workers to collaborate with one another. With a team-based approach to innovation, a company can empower its workers to brainstorm innovative solutions to everyday problems. Plus, employees can leverage digital technologies to speed up the rate of innovation across a business.
Although many companies prioritize digital technologies, some businesses struggle to use these technologies to foster innovation. In certain instances, businesses ignore innovation altogether – despite the fact that the rate of innovation has reached new heights.
“The rate of change is speeding up,” Bryson said. “There are many companies that could not exist even 10 years ago, and the rate of innovation is unlocking entirely new industries.”
Failure to innovate is problematic. If a company is unwilling to innovate, it may quickly fall behind its rivals. It also is unlikely to keep pace with consumers’ expectations – something that may cause this company to become obsolete. “Innovation is going to happen at an extreme pace with or without you,” Bryson stated.
As companies search for ways to innovate, it is important to prioritize talent acquisition. If businesses employ workers who understand the importance of innovation, they may be able to satisfy consumers’ requests like never before.
At the same time, businesses must empower workers with the training and tools they need to innovate. If companies promote innovation across a workforce, they may reap the benefits of their efforts both now and in the future.
Digital technologies like mobile devices and social networks are evolving. Meanwhile, companies are expected to use digital technologies to engage both employees and consumers. By implementing an effective digital strategy, a company can connect with its workers and customers consistently. This business may be better equipped than its rivals to foster a culture of digital innovation, too.
“The concept of digital is constantly evolving,” Bryson indicated. “Digital is not a thing … and it is evolving to keep up with the pace of where our customers are going and what the market needs are.”
Ultimately, digital technologies deliver bottom-line business results. Research indicates that companies that prioritize innovation often earn more than those that ignore innovation. Conversely, research shows that both innovation leaders and laggards spend roughly the same amount on IT expenses.
“The people that are leaders [in innovation] are driving significantly greater margins,” Bryson pointed out. “Yet the difference in IT spend [between innovation leaders and laggards] is actually minimal.”
Technology alone is insufficient for companies that want to accelerate innovation. Instead, companies must have top talent at their disposal to maximize the return on their innovation investments.
A top-down approach to digital disruption can have far-flung effects on a company. If business leaders dedicate time and resources to educate employees and empower them with the tools they need to succeed, a company may quickly foster a culture of innovation. Then, a company’s employees and leaders can work together to brainstorm ideas, discover unique solutions to problems and innovate like never before.
“If we fail to address the people aspect [of innovation], we are setting ourselves up to fail,” Bryson noted. “The people have to be part [of innovation], and there has to be a culture of change if we are to be successful.”
There is a strong correlation between problem-solving and innovation as well. For companies that want to streamline day-to-day operations, encouraging workers to innovate is key. A company that promotes innovation gives its employees the ability to approach problems from multiple angles. As a result, employees are empowered to innovate and may rethink their approach to myriad problems.
“Growth and enablement comes back to our people and how we think about solving problems,” Bryson indicated.”
Innovation can occur at any company, at any time. By empowering workers to innovate, a company can create new solutions that match or exceed consumers’ expectations. Best of all, this business can distinguish itself as an industry leader and ensure its employees and customers consistently get the support they deserve.