Today’s complex and fast-changing world is giving CIOs a tough time. Having to balance the demands of the commercial business, key IT sponsored programs, compliance (The California Online Privacy Protection Act, The Computer Security Act of 1997 and GDPR to name a few) and not to mention the territory of Digital and Agile working practices, the CIOs are in a tight spot. It’s no news that IT innovation mostly ends up low down the priority list. IT innovation comes with the challenge of securing funding for efforts that may not have clear paybacks. As a result Technology Innovation is often ignored completely. Is this acceptable?
Technology Innovation - Who Would Own it All?
Well, the short answer to who should take up technology innovation would be everyone and anyone in an enterprise. But where exactly should the ownership reside? I would strongly argue that there is no better place than that of the office of the CIO. The question CIOs' need to ask is ‘am I comfortable’ with that responsibility and maybe ‘am I comfortable’ with it outside IT? If you come to the conclusion that you should own it then you need to take action to make this happen.
What Should be the Roadmap?
A few key principles that can be considered to create an environment conducive to innovation are enlisted below:
Freedom to Express for all – More now than ever, the enterprise innovation groups are bombarded with limitless flow of ideas from everyone on board. The real issue is identifying the right idea and the time needed to nurture these ideas.
Leap over roadblocks – Most often, the CIO’s are not the sole decision-makers, they are needed to qualify ideas based on factors such as exertion, money, production, and achievement. The plan of action is often high-end and time-consuming, which underlines the possibility of ideas getting scrapped even before properly considered. The real deal is filtering out the one with minimum effort and maximum potential benefit. All said this is easier said than done with monolithic processes in innovation.
Money Matters – Today’s digital era witnesses CIOs who often shy away from adopting a ‘silver bullet’ approach to technology innovation. CIOs should go for innovative ideas that have the capacity to start small and scale with time.
It’s Good to keep track of Competitors – To keep track of what other businesses are doing and to adopt similar, novel business models into yours helps. For instance, has it ever occurred to you, seeing new business models or technologies like RPA that, you could use it to improve your business processes (including IT)?
Partner in Innovation – For a competitive edge, enterprises need to be very careful while selecting their innovation partners. Enterprises should strive to join forces with innovation partners who are able to bring a global delivery model leveraging onsite and offshore advantages to the party.
Indulge in Innovation with the Right Partner
Innovation is the key differentiator of the rapid success or decline of an organization. So, it is quintessential to look for a partner who does not treat innovation projects the same way as mainstream IT projects – business cases and expects the same guarantees on the investment return. The focus should be on innovation partners who give a greater preference to ROI-backed innovation or in other terms sustainable innovation.
Keith is a global technology professional with vast experience working across multiple industry sectors. He has proven expertise of operating in a CIO capacity and engaging at board level. Read More